Banner Elk is a great hiking spot located only an hour and a half away through Marion, North Carolina. If your looking for something to do this weekend near Asheville, why not drive up into the mountains to Banner Elk and do some beginner or intermediate hiking in the cloudy mountain woods. After your hike, feel free to relax at one of many mountain resorts, such as Best Western Mountain Lodge, that are fun for families, or if your alone cool off at a relaxing spa, such as the Serenity Day Spa. For food I recommend the Louisiana Purchase in downtown Banner Elk. The Cajun seafood is spectacular but if your not into that, you can’t go wrong with Puerto Nuevo or Stonewalls.
Day hiking portions of the Jackalope’s, Oz Forest near Banner Elk, North Carolina. Moderate hiking trails with several named connecting loops trails. Also used for Mt Biking. Very well marked. Has some very cool rock and cliff formations. Winter hiking gave it an even more mystical experience. Was extremely slippery and muddy from all the recent rains, including some snow accumulations.