Don't like to hike alone? Join a guided or group hike in the North Carolina mountains and meet fellow hikers that love the outdoors. Here are some places to find guided hikes near Asheville:
- The Friends of the Smokies non-profit support organization for the Park offers monthly guided group hikes the second Tuesday of each month. See their schedule below.
- Swannanoa Valley Museum in Black Mountain has two guided hikes each month. Their Swannanoa Rim hiking series offers eleven hikes that will take place the third Saturday of each month. The Museum’s Valley History Explorer Hiking Series consist of seven moderate (about 3 miles) hikes to historic locations around the Swannanoa Valley. See their schedule below.
- The Carolina Mountain Club offers three or more group hikes each week, from easy rambles on mostly flat trails to challenging, all-day hikes over steep terrain. Each hike is rated by difficulty, length, and altitude gain, from C (easier) to AA+ (strenuous). Annual membership fees are $20/person. See their long list of hikes at carolinamountainclub.org.
- Blue Ridge Parkway rangers conduct weekly hikes in the summer and fall in the Asheville area, usually on Friday mornings at 10 AM and some Thursday evenings. See our list of dates and locations, usually announced two weeks ahead.
- The Pisgah Field School offers regular guided hikes as well as custom hikes just for two! Read more.
- Chimney Rock Park rangers lead hikes throughout the year. See their list of events for dates.
- Lake James State Park rangers give frequent guided hikes and nature walks. Go to their calendar of events.
- Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy has guided hikes for members and visitors throughout the year.
2017 Guided Group Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains
See breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, historic homesteads and much more tucked away in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Classic Hikes of the Smokies Series. The hikes feature trail interpretation, history and information about park projects that donations to Friends of the Smokies support. Hikes are lead by hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein. Carpools are available from Asheville and Waynesville. The guided day hikes are $20 for members. New members may join Friends of the Smokies and hike for a total of $35. Donations benefit the Friends’ Smokies Trails Forever program. For info and registration, go to the Friends of Smokies Website.
March 14: Mingus Creek to Bradley Cemetery
4.0 miles, 300 ft ascent, easy
Features: historic mill and cemetery
Highlight: Water Quality Monitoring
April 11: Ramsey Cascade
8.0 miles, 2,200 ft ascent, moderately strenuous
Features: wildflowers, cascades
Highlight: Treatment of Ash Trees
May 9: Caldwell Fork
9.4 miles, 1,650 ft ascent, moderate
Features: historic Cataloochee Valley, wildflowers
Highlight: Elk Bugle Corps
June 13: Charlies Bunion
8.0 miles, 1,640 ft ascent, moderately strenuous
Features: views & Appalachian Trail
Highlight: A.T. Ridgerunners
July 11: Alum Cave to LeConte Lodge
10.0 miles, 2,600 ft ascent, strenuous
Features: views, historic lodge
Highlight: Trails Forever
August 28-29: Overnight hikes at Fontana Village
Experience the scenic beauty and notable history of this remote area of the park
September 12: Boogerman Trail
7.5 miles, 1,150 ft ascent, moderate
Features: historic Cataloochee Valley, elk
Highlight: Cataloochee Valley Historic Preservation
October 10: Purchase Knob
7.5 miles, 1,500 ft ascent, moderate
Features: views, Appalachian Science Learning Center
Highlight: McNeil Endowment
November 14: North Shore Road Loop
9.4 miles, 1,350 ft ascent, moderate
Features: historic tunnel
Highlight: Brook Trout Restoration
December 12: Little River/Cucumber Gap Trails, Elkmont
7 miles, flat, easy
Features: Historic Elkmont
Highlight: Parks as Classrooms
Guided Hikes by Swannonoa Valley Museum
The Swannanoa Valley Museum in Black Mountain hosts hikes year-round to learn about the social, cultural, and natural history of the Valley. The museum offers two monthly hiking series as well as other excursions. See our Swannanoa Valley Museum Guide for general info. For hike reservations: call (828) 669-9566 or register online. Fees are $25-$30/members and $35-$50/non-members.
- Saturday, February 18, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #3: Cherokee Boundary
- Saturday, March 18, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #1 Weatherford Heights
- Saturday, March 25, 2017: Seven Sisters Peaks Hike
- Saturday, April 8, 2017: Valley History Explorer Hike #2: Riceville
- Saturday, April 22, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #4: Montreat East Ridge
- Saturday, May 13, 2016: Valley History Explorer Hike #3: Swannanoa
- Saturday, May 20, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #5: Pinnacle of Blue Ridge
- Saturday, June 10, 2017: Valley History Explorer Hike #4: Black Mountain (In the Oaks)
- Saturday, June 17, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #6: Grey Eagle Rock
- Tuesday, July 4, 2017: Independence Day Fireworks Hike
- Saturday, July 8, 2017: Valley History Explorer Hike #5 – Leader’s Choice (Broad River)
- Saturday, July 15, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #7: Patton’s Table
- Saturday, August 12, 2017: Valley History Explorer Series Hike #6: North Fork
- Saturday, August 19, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #8 – Walker’s Knob
- Saturday, September 9, 2017: Valley History Explorer Hike #7: Montreat
- Saturday, September 16, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #9: Buckner’s Knob
- Saturday, October 14, 2017: Valley History Explorer Series Hike #8: Ridgecrest
- Saturday, October 21, 2017: Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #10: Top of Brushy/High Top Bee Tree
- Saturday, November 18, 2017: Swannanoa Rim Hike #11: Garden of Eden
For road bikes, a popular spot is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Read some great tips about biking on the Blue Ridge Parkway... read more