Amazing! We have 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 are the best hikes? (Pic above is Rough Ridge.)
November 13, 2016 Alert: Numerous wildfires are burning, especially southwest and southeast of Asheville. If you are planning to hike during the next couple of weeks, check latest conditions. Most of the fires are in the Nantahala National Forest, but others major fires burn at Lake Lure / Chimney Rock and South Mountains State Park. Various degrees of smoke covers much of Western NC and varies day-to-day depending on weather. See the latest wildfire updates.
Here are our favorite day hikes near Asheville and in the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. We feature hikes for all skill levels, located in 16 counties in western North Carolina. When selecting trails, we use the following criteria:
- The hike trailhead is easy to find and within 100 miles of Asheville.
- The trail is safe, marked, and maintained.
- Does not require any special equipment, technical skills or shoes.
To help you plan your trip, see our Hiking & Waterfall Safety Tips.
Note: Several of these hikes are not accessible in the winter months, especially when snow and ice close the Blue Ridge Parkway and National Forest Roads. See our Favorite 20 Winter Hikes & Top 10 Hikes with Mountain Views.
Search Options Above
If you are searching 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.
Watch our featured hike video, High Shoals Falls at South Mountains State Park.