Enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway by exploring some of its many hiking trails near Asheville. There’s a big variety of hikes, ranging from easy strolls to strenuous climbs. Since finding the perfect day hike that offers plenty of mountain scenery can be a challenge, we've put together our list of the Top 15 Quick & Easy Parkway Hikes. All of these hiking trails are easy to find and less than four miles, while providing plenty of reward for all fitness levels. For a full-page guide with photos of each hike, click the links. These hikes are located at various spots along a 120-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, starting from the north near Grandfather Mountain and working south. During the winter months, these trails are often inaccessible since sections of the Parkway often close for snow and ice. Read more about current Parkway closures. (Photo above: Rough Ridge)
Blue Ridge Parkway Ranger Guided Hikes near Asheville
If you prefer a guided group hike, meet up on Friday mornings during the summer and fall with a Park Ranger. They usually announce locations about 10-14 days in advance, so check back here for the latest options during summer and fall. Bring water, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and prepare for changing weather. For more information, call 828-298-5330, extension 304. Free admission.
Friday, June 15, 2018: Blue Ridge Parkway Hike of the Week “Rustic” Summer Retreat - Join Parkway rangers at 10 AM for an easy, 2.2-mile round-trip hike to and around the Buck Spring Lodge. Before the Pisgah area became public land, it was owned by the Vanderbilt family, who enjoyed the mountains so much they built a “rustic” hunting lodge at Buck Spring. Come learn about their lasting contributions to our forests! Meet at Milepost 407.7 and park at Buck Spring Gap Parking Overlook (on the way to the Mt. Pisgah Parking Area).
Friday, June 22, 2018: Blue Ridge Parkway Hike of the Week “A Room with a View” - Join Parkway rangers at 10 AM for a moderate, 1.4-mile round-trip hike on the Craggy Pinnacle Trail. Known for its amazing 360-degree views from the summit, the trail also features many high elevation species including rhododendron, yellow birch trees, and plenty of wildflowers. This summit hike also provides an excellent opportunity to discuss proper hiking etiquette and the conservation issues facing trails that experience high visitor usage. Meet at the upper level of the Craggy Dome Parking Overlook at Milepost 364.1, just north of the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center.
Parkway Quick Hikes near Asheville (North to South)
Watch our Video: Devil's Courthouse Hike
Hiking Trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Complete List
Stop at any of these mileposts on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Asheville, North Carolina, area for a hike (listed north to south). Click links for more details!
- Milepost 294 Moses Cone Manor, variety of trails.
- 297 Price Lake Loop Trail, easy walk of 2.3 miles.
- 302.8 Rough Ridge 3/4-mile with wonderful views on a boardwalk atop a rocky ridge, on Tanawha Trail.
- 304.4 Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center and Tanawha Trail.
- 305.2 Beacon Heights Trail, one mile round-trip with panoramic views from a rock face mountaintop, on Tanawha Trail.
- 308.2 Flat Rock Trail: Loop with panoramic views from rock summit. 0.63 mile, easy.
- 316.4 Linville Falls Trail: Trails to multiple overlooks of the waterfall and Linville Gorge. 1-4 miles.
- 320.8 Chestoa View Trail: 30-minute loop to vista. 0.6 mile. easy.
- 339.5 Crabtree Falls: Loop trail to view waterfalls. 3 miles, strenuous.
- 344.1 Woods Mountain Trail: USFS trail. 10.6 miles, moderate/strenuous.
- 350.4 Green Knob Lookout Tower. A tower with 360-degree views is a 1/2-mile hike. Moderate/strenuous.
- 355.0 Bald Knob Ridge Trail: USFS Trail. Virgin red spruce and Fraser fir. 2.8 miles, easy.
- 355.4 Mt. Mitchell State Park & Mt. Craig.
- 359.8 Big Butt Trail: Highland trail to Pt. Misery and Little Big Butt. 6.2 miles, strenuous.
- 361.2 Glassmine Falls: Just a few steps out of the parking area to a view of Falls. 0.05 mile, moderate.
- 364.2 Craggy Pinnacle Trail: See a spectacular panoramic view from the summit. 0.7 mile, moderate.
- 364.6 Craggy Gardens Trail: Beautiful displays of Catawba Rhododendron bloom in June. 0.8 mile, moderate.
- 374.4 Rattlesnake Lodge Trail: Woodland walk up the ridge to old homestead site, now just walls and foundations. 0.5 mile, moderate.
- 382.0 Mountain-to-Sea Trail: MTS Trail from Folk Art Center to Milepost 365. The Mountain-to-Sea Trail roughly parallels the Parkway through most of the NC mountains.
- 393.7 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Bent Creek-Walnut Cove. 3.1 miles, strenuous.
- 396.4 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Walnut Cove-Sleepy Gap. 1.7 miles, moderate.
- 397.3 Grassy Knob Trail: Steep trail to USFS area. 0.9 mile, strenuous.
- 397.3 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Sleepy Gap-Chestnut Cove. 0.7 mile, moderate.
- 398.3 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Chestnut Cove-Bent Creek Gap. 2.8 miles, strenuous.
- 400.3 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Bent Creek Gap-Beaver Dam Gap. 1.9 miles, moderate.
- 401.7 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Beaver Dam Gap-Stoney Bald. 0.9 mile, moderate.
- 402.6 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Stoney Bald-Big Ridge. 1.2 miles, strenuous.
- 403.6 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Big Ridge-Mills River Valley. 1.1 miles, moderate/strenuous.
- 404.5 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Mills River Valley-Elk Pasture Gap. 1.2 miles, strenuous.
- 405.5 Shut-In Trail/MTS Trail: Elk Pasture Gap-Mt. Pisgah. 1.7 miles, strenuous.
- 407.6 Mt. Pisgah Trail: Hike to summit view from 5721 ft.. 1.3 miles, strenuous.
- 407.6 Buck Springs Trail: Pisgah Inn Lodge to view. 1.06 miles, easy/moderate.
- 408.5 Frying Pan Mountain Trail: Historic fire tower with views. 3/4-mile trail, moderate.
- 417.0 Skinny Dip Falls: Park at Looking Glass Rock overlook for 1/2-mile hike to popular summer swimming hole.
- 418.8 Graveyard Fields Loop Trail: Loop by a stream with several waterfalls. 2.3 miles, moderate.
- 420.2 Black Balsam Bald & Art Loeb Trail. Outstanding hike across the balds with several hike options. 1-5 miles.
- 422.4 Devil's Courthouse Trail: Panoramic summit view. 0.4 mile, moderate/strenuous.
- 431.0 Richland Balsam Trail: Self-guiding loop through spruce-fir forest near the highest point on the Parkway. 1.5 miles, moderate.
- 451.2 Waterrock Knob Trail: Summit view. 1.2 miles, moderate/strenuous.