If you love art and history, you don't want to miss walking Asheville's Urban Trail, a 1.7 mile walking tour through the streets of downtown Asheville. Asheville's history and past are told through 30 stops, each with public sculpture which function as landmarks along the Urban Trail. Read more about Asheville's Architecture.
The Urban Trail was begun by the City of Asheville as part of its ongoing program to improve the quality of our city through the display of public art. The Trail was designed by volunteers and built with donations from individuals, groups and organizations who wish to leave a lasting legacy to their community.
This self-guided tour, guided by local Ashevillians, is perfect for any history buff or architecture lover, local or tourist, downtown stroller or urban explorer alike. Asheville's history is rich, and the Urban Trail highlights upon five distinct time periods that are signified by pink granite markers in the sidewalk: the feather represents the Guilded Age, the horseshoe represents the Frontier Period, an angel for the Times of Thomas Wolfe, the courthouse for the Era of Civic Pride, and an eagle for the Age of Diversity. Learn the legends and lore of our city while enjoying the outdoors, and Asheville's beautiful skyline, streets and sculptures.
Urban Trail maps are available at Pack Place, many downtown stores, and other information centers in town.
Stop 5: Drhumor Building
Stop 13: Appalachian Stage
Stop 8: Flat Iron
Begin the Urban Trail at Pack Place (See map above)
1. Walk into History: George Willis Pack
2. Crossroads: Turkeys & Pigs (removed for Pack Square renovations)
3. Stepping Out: Bronze Top Hat
4. O.Henry: Plaque in sidewalk
5. Immortal Image: Drhumor Building
6. Elizabeth Blackwell, MD: Iron bench with a bower of medicinal herbs
7. Art Deco Masterpiece: S&W Building
8. Flat Iron Architecture: Giant flat iron
9. Cat Walk: Cat on wall
10. Grove's Vision: Grove Arcade
11. Historic Hilltop: Battery Park Hotel
12. Guastavino's Monument: Basilica of St. Lawrence
13. Appalachian Stage: Bronze fiddle and quilt on bench and five bronze figures of dancers and musicians in front of Civic Center
14. Shopping Daze: Abstract, forged metal representation of three ladies shopping
15. Marketplace: Bronze bonnet and basket of apples on bench
16. Legacy of Design: Bench and young boy, Richard Sharp Smith
17. Woodfin House: Ceramic replica of YMCA
18. Wolfe's Neighborhood: Metal sculpture with Thomas Wolfe's
19. Dixieland: Bronze replica of Thomas Wolfe's shoes in front of Thomas Wolfe Memorial
20. Curtain Calls: Abstract metal sculptures mounted on building
21. On the Move: Art in motion sculpture with history of transportation. Turn wheel to hear 11 different sounds.
22. Civic Pride: Historic bell from City Hall.
23. Past and Promise: Little girl drinks at a horse-head fountain
24. Man and Mountain: Plaque
25. Ellington's Dream: Granite etching of city-county buildings by Douglas Ellington
26. Time Remembered: Plaque covers bicentennial time capsule
27. Monument Corner: Bronze carving tools and carving
28. Brick Artisan: James Vester Miller, cornucopia over the doorway
29. "The Block:" Bronze wall sculpture for historic African-American community
30. Hotel District: Bronze eagle overlooks early hotel district
Stop 7: Art Deco Masterpiece
Stop 14: Shopping Daze
Stop 6: Elizabeth Blackwell
Stop 2: Crossroads
Stop 21: On the Move