Amazingly, there are 3,000+ miles of free, public hiking trails near Asheville, including 1,600 miles in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, 850 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and many more along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in state parks and forests. Where to begin?
Here are our favorite hikes near Asheville in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. We feature hikes for all skill levels. When selecting hikes and walks, we use the following criteria:
- The hike trailhead is easy to find.
- The trail is safe, marked, and maintained.
- It does not require any special equipment, technical skills or shoes.
Note: Many of our picks are along the Blue Ridge Parkway (also see our Blue Ridge Parkway Top 10 Quick Hikes). This makes for great convenience except in the winter months when the parkway is closed in the higher elevations.
You can also narrow your search by region:
- East (Black Mountain , Chimney Rock, Morganton)
- North (Burnsville, Hot Springs, Madison City, Mt Mitchell)
- South (Brevard, Hendersonville, Saluda, Tryon)
- West (Bryson City, Cherokee, Highlands, Sylva, Waynesville)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (includes more options for West)
- Blue Ridge Parkway (includes more options for North and West)
ADA Hiking Trails
Several area trails are designated as accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One is a 1/4-mile trail at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also, Mt. Mitchell has a ADA 1/4-mile paved trail from the parking area to the observation tower, although it's uphill.
More Outdoor Adventures
After a hike, have some fun at the Adventure Center of Asheville, tucked away in a tree preserve just across the French Broad River, five minutes from downtown. Find five fun options: At Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures, fly on 11 ziplines through old growth trees from towers with skyline and mountain views. Bring the kids for the one-of-a-kind KidZip. Play in the trees at Treetops Adventure Park. Climb trees at TreeQuest. Ride the trails at Kolo Bike Park. Read all about The Adventure Center of Asheville.