Western North Carolina begins phased reopening efforts in early May after more than a month of COVID-19 closures including all nonessential businesses, public parks, national parks, state forests, and national forests. As cabin fever is at an all-time high, locals of the region are eager to get outdoors and want to know what trails are open near Asheville. Below is an updated list of trails that are open, along with attractions and other related coronavirus news. We encourage you to avoid popular trails and parks due to overcrowding and safety concerns. Please review proper social distancing etiquette for parks and trails below. Governors Cooper's 3 Phase Plan to reopen NC.
Many Summer Festivals and Events will be canceled. We will continue to make updates as we get them.
Coronavirus: Updates for Asheville and Western NC
- June 1: Sliding Rock, Pisgah Forest, and Great Smoky Mountains Railroad reopen. Click on each for details.
- May 22: NC moves to Phase 2 of reopening, lifting Stay-at-Home order. This allows some businesses to open at limited capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. This includes restaurants (dine-in), personal care businesses (salons, barbers, etc), pools, and more. Read more details on Executive Order No. 141.
- The Blue Ridge Parkway road and trails are open, but facilities, restrooms, picnic areas are closed. See more details.
- Pisgah National Forest reopens May 21 with limited facilities. Find details and what's open here.
- Biltmore reopens the house, gardens, grounds, and Antler Hill Village with modified hours and reduced capacities May 23-June 30. Get details.
- Sliding Rock will be closed until August 13, 2020.
- The NC Arboretum will reopen its trails to the public on May 9. Read more.
- DuPont State Forest opens May 14, allowing public access to areas of the forest that promote movement-focused activities only.
- Gorges State Park will open its trails and restrooms on May 13.
- Most state parks will begin the phased reopening of trails on May 9. This includes:
- Buncombe County will open public parks with limited hours on May 9. Read more details here.
- Governor Cooper is hopeful to begin Phase One of his 3 Phase Plan to reopen NC effective May 8 at 5 PM. Phase One will allow nonessential stores and retail to open, with social distancing measures still in place.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park plans to partially reopen Saturday, May 9. Other National Parks will work to reopen in phases on a park-by-park basis. Stay tuned for updates!
- Pisgah National Forest is closed, preventing the use of "certain roads and trails, entering or using a developed recreation site or camping in the Pisgah National Forest August 13, 2020, or until rescinded." Though it's possible that the park will reopen in stages prior to Aug 13th according to Governor Cooper's 3 phase plan to reopen NC (See below).
- Governor Cooper extends the Stay-At-Home order through May 8. Read more on the 3 Phases Cooper laid out for reopening NC here.
- What trails are open? See our Pisgah National Forest Closures and Nantahala National Forest closures here.
- Asheville Outlets will host a Blood Drive in partnership with The American Red Cross April 22-23, 11 AM-4 PM inside the Food Court. Social distancing protocol will be followed. Find details.
- National Forests in NC are responding to the "Stay Home" order by shutting down all recreational facilities. This includes Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest. See details on the USDA site. Also, Asheville City Parks are closed. This includes dog parks, playgrounds, and outdoor courts, such as Carrier Park and French Broad River Park.
- Buncombe County residents ordered to 'stay home, stay safe.' Read more about what this means.
- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, DuPont State Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway make closures in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
- Measures are in place to protect residents and visitors to the area. Here is a helpful article on how Asheville is responding.
- Buncombe County and the City of Asheville declared a local state of emergency on March 12, 2020.
- K-12 schools are closed for the remaining 2019/2020 school year.