Top 20 Asheville Picnic Spots, NC Mountains

20 Picnic Spots, Asheville & Parkway

Having a picnic in the mountains is so much fun (and romantic)! Here are some of our favorite spots near Asheville. Photo above is High Falls.

Triple Falls Picnic
Picnic at Triple Falls
Perhaps our most favorite picnic spot is on large, flat boulders in the middle of a triple waterfall in DuPont State Forest! It's an easy one-mile hike from the parking area. Take the long staircase down to the picnic spot. It can be crowded here on weekends and hot summer days. We love going early and having breakfast on summer days before others arrive.
Parkway Picnics
Picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Picnic spots are limitless along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Spread your blanket on the grass or tailgate at any of the many overlooks and soak in the views. Plus, there are several large picnic areas complete with grills. Be sure to get food before you get on the Parkway!
Beacon Heights
Picnic at Beacon Heights
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 305.2: Talk about a picnic with a view! Take a short 1/2 mile hike to a large rock summit with plenty of room for a picnic while taking in wonderful views from several vantage points. This hidden jewel on the Parkway is accessed from a small parking area, so most folks miss it.
Linville Falls
Picnic at Linville Falls
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 317: The riverside picnic area near the Visitors Center is open April through October. An alternative to the picnic area is taking your picnic down to the base of the falls on the large rocks (3/4 mile strenous hike from Visitor's Center via the Gorge Trail) any time of year. There are three other overlooks for the falls via other trails; however, those overlooks are designed for viewing, not picnics.
Crabtree Falls
Picnic at Crabtree Falls
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 349: The Crabtree Falls area has a large picnic area. A little north of the picnic area, there is a campground with a 2.5-mile hiking trail to beautiful Crabtree Falls. The trail goes by the base of the falls, and there are some rocks for small picnics there. Picnic area is open mid May through October.
Mt Mitchell Picnic
Picnic at Mt Mitchell
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 355: Picnic atop the highest summit in eastern North America. The a large picnic area has 40 tables adjacent to the parking area at the summit. Two picnic shelters with fireplaces are perfect for groups of up to 16 people. The picnic area is open year-round, but is snow covered much of the winter. Even in the summer, take a sweater or jacket since it can be 10-20 degrees cooler than in the city of Asheville. Use of the shelters is free of charge unless reservations are requested.
Craggy Gardens
Picnic at Craggy Gardens
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 365: Located 24 miles from downtown Asheville is Craggy Gardens. Before you reach the visitor center, a road on the left takes you to a large picnic area with many picnic tables and some beautiful hiking trails. Pink and purple rhododendron bloom in June. The picnic area is open mid May through the end of October. For a picnic with a 360-degree mountain view, continue north on the Parkway past the Craggy Visitors Center and hike to the top of Craggy Pinnacle. Take a jacket, it is always 15-20 degrees cooler atop the summit than down in the city. Great spot for sunrise and sunset.
Mt Pisgah
Picnic at Mt Pisgah
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 407: A large picnic area includes grills, tables and restroom facilities. All are ADA/ handicapped accessible. It is located near the Pisgah Inn (one mile south) where you can order picnic food (May-October). You can take a strenuous hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah, but there are no great picnicking spots at the summit.
Biltmore Picnic
Picnic at Biltmore Estate
With 8,000 acres to explore, there are plenty of options for picnics! While there is not an official "picnic" area, you can spread a blanket along one of the hiking trails, along the river, or in gardens (except the Walled Garden). For a more secluded picnic, take the Deer Park Trail that begins by the South Terrace beside the Biltmore House. You don't have to stay on the trail! Walk toward the back side of the house for a secluded spot with an amazing view. Other great spots include the Lagoon with great views of the house, the Vista leading up to the Diana statue in front of the house, and the gazebo on Bass Lake. You can order a picnic basket at the Bake Shop, located adjacent to the Biltmore House.
Looking Glass Rock
Looking Glass Rock
If you are a looking for a nice reward after a challenging hike, head to this well-known rock face summit in Pisgah National Forest. You will ascend about 1,700 feet in just over three miles. The views from the top are well worth the effort. There is plenty of space to relax on the rock face with your picnic! Then it's downhill all the way back to the car.
Cataloochee Valley
Picnic in Cataloochee Valley
Tailgate and watch elk graze nearby in meadows just after sunrise or just before sunset in this beautiful valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Don't feed the wildlife.
Mt LeConte
Mt. LeConte, Great Smoky Mountains
For a challenging-yet-amazing full day hike with a "catered" picnic, hike to the 6,593-foot summit of Mount LeConte (third highest peak in the Smokies). You'll climb 2,853 feet in elevation and 5.5 miles on the Alum Cave Trail with amazing views. Mt. LeConte Lodge sits atop the mountain with overnight accommodations and lunch for day hikers - call them ahead to make reservations. Also, Myrtle Point lookout on the summit is a fabulous perch.
The Swag Picnic
Catered Picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains
For a catered gourmet outdoors lunch high in the Smokies with spectacular mountain views, check out the Wednesday picnics at The Swag country inn.
Pisgah Forest Picnic
Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway Picnics
There are plenty of roadside stops (many by a cascading river) on this Byway through the Pisgah National Forest. The section on U.S. Highway 276 between Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway passes by Looking Glass Rock, Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock and the Forest Discovery Center. Home to many waterfalls. Just four miles south of the Parkway is the Pink Beds Picnic area with an easy four-mile loop hike.
Table Rock Picnic
Picnic atop Table Rock
Have a picnic on one of the biggest tables in the country! The rocky summit of the elongated rock summit provides plenty of spots on the rim of the Linville Gorge, with a moderate 2.2-mile roundtrip hike.
Max Patch
Max Patch Picnics
You may want to run across the meadow and sing the "Sound of Music" atop this grassy summit along the Appalachian Trail. Plenty of spaces to spread the blanket for a picnic with 360-degree mountain views. The summit is a short uphill walk from the parking area. Roan Mountain and Black Balsam Knob Mountain are two more great bald mountains for picnics.
Nantahala River
Nantahala Gorge Picnics
Picnic by the Nantahala River while watching whitewater rafters and kayakers negotiate the rapids. The Ferebee Memorial on the Mountain Waters National Scenic Byway offers a picnic area with tables, charcoal grills, flush toilets, and serves as a launch and take-out area. A suspended bridge crosses the river leading to a trail on the opposite bank. Located a few miles from NOC.
Pack Square Park
Downtown Asheville Picnics
The best place in downtown Asheville for a picnic is Pack Square Park. Get takeout from many nearby restaurants or pick up a gourmet picnic.
Great Smoky Mountains
Newfound Road Picnics, Great Smoky Mountains
Along Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) through the middle of the Park, there are two large picnic areas in addition to overlooks. The Chimneys picnic area is on the Tennessee side (near the Chimney Tops hike). The Collins Creek picnic area is on the North Carolina side, about six miles from Cherokee. They both have tables, grills, restrooms, and a nature trail.
Heintooga & Balsam Mtn, Great Smoky Mountains
The less-crowded Heintooga picnic area and campground at Balsam Mountain is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. And go "car hiking" on the 14-mile Heintooga-Round Bottom Road that starts at an altitude of 5,535 feet and descends through the lush forest to Cherokee.
Roan Mountain Picnic
Roan Mountain Picnics
Picnic with the rhododendron each June. Or picnic along the Appalachian Trail atop one of the balds with panoramic views.
Rhu Picnics
Picnics by The Rhu
Take in the sights and mountain views with a picnic basket from The Rhu cafe in downtown. Picnics include house baked breads and pastries, local cheese and meats and salads made from fresh local produce. Many choices! Order in advance for quick pick-up. 10 South Lexington.

Picnic with Music
During the warmer months, there are many outdoor concerts in parks that make wonderful picnic venues. Downtown, our favorite is Shindig on the Green. Another favorite is the summer music festival at Brevard Music Center with lawn seating adjacent to their big outdoor auditorium. 

Protect the Wildlife & Bears!
Black bears are dying unnecessarily due to improper disposal of garbage or illegal feeding by visitors, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains. A bear’s remarkable sense of smell may lead it to human foods, such as a picnicker’s cooler, garbage left in the open, or food scraps thrown on the ground or left in the grill. A bear that has discovered human food or garbage will eventually become day-active and leave the safety of the backcountry. It may panhandle along roadsides and be killed by a car or it may injure a visitor and have to be euthanized. Please do your part to help protect black bears and other wildlife in the North Carolina mountains. Clean your picnic area, including the grill and the ground around the table, thoroughly after your meal. Feeding bears and other wildlife is illegal in the National Parks and Forests (and not a good idea elsewhere).

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