Entirely surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Western North Carolina provides a setting like no other for rambling along mountain trails. With what seems like thousands of miles of hiking trails found throughout the greater Asheville, Hendersonville, and Waynesville communities finding just the right mountain stroll can overwhelm even the most avid rambler.
The Classic Hikes of WNC
For me selecting a hike really depends upon my mood. Sometimes spending time with an old friend is the perfect way to spend a warm summer day. Here are a couple of classic hikes to consider if you don’t mind sharing a well worn mountain path with a few other folks.
Craggy Gardens Perfect for an early morning stroll with a cup of coffee. The short 1.4 mile hike offers visitors unrivaled views to the east, Recognized by the state of North Carolina as a National Heritage Area. It is home to a multitude of rare plants and wildlife and easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Graveyard Fields A popular hike thanks to its beauty and ease. The trail leads to Lower Falls as well as through open, grassy areas and past nice pools for wading on a hot summer day. BTW, there is no better place to pick mountaintop blueberries in late summer. You’ll need to get there just as they come ripe because hundreds of your fellow berry hunters will be joining you for this Sound of Music experience.
Mount Pisgah Known for its commanding views of the surrounding counties of Buncombe, Henderson, and Haywood. The 5,721 foot summit is clearly visible from around the region and even includes a beautiful drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A Few Lesser Known
If you are ready for a slightly more adventurous jaunt, here are some suggestions for enjoying the wild side of the WNC region. Many of these hikes are strenuous and require good backcountry skills, please be careful. We would much rather hear about your adventures via and email from you and not on the evening WLOS news.
Panthertown Gorge At least eight major waterfalls emanate from the area’s streams. You’ll also find hikes that take you to cliff-top views of the surrounding mountains, or to sandy beaches on deep, clear swimming holes. This area is not for the unadventurous, a confusing network of trails branches off with few signs or blazes. Hiking here requires you to be competent with a map, a compass, and spending an unexpected evening under the stars. But, if you are looking for one of those unique places that are well revered by hiking and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as ecologists, Panthertown Gorge is the cats meow.
Art Loeb Trail The 30.1 mile Art Loeb Trail is one of the longer and more difficult trails in the state, and it’s also one of the more popular. This trail is a memorial to Art Loeb, an activist from the Carolina Mountain Club. Traveling mainly along peaks and ridges, it skirts along the southwestern rim of the Davidson River valley, then skips across some of the highest peaks in the area before descending Cold Mountain which inspire the bestselling book and movie.
Green River Gorge The remote Green River Gorge, southeast of Hendersonville, North Carolina, is a rugged landscape of steep ravines, coves, and old-growth boasting some of the most popular whitewater rapids in the eastern United States. At its most impressive point, the Green River drops 400 feet in a distance of one and a half miles and runs through a six-foot wide crevice known as the Narrows. An incredible experience if you are up to navigating the steep and rugged trail that includes a few stream crossings.
More Resource For Hiking In The Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson County Region
Our associates are some of the most knowledgeable people around about the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Waynesville communities. If you would like to learn more about the hiking opportunities in our incredible area or how you could become more than a visitor, contact us today.
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