The Asheville area is surrounded by some of the best hiking trails in the country. From moderate trails to steep mountain climbs, the mountains surrounding Asheville serve up plenty of hiking options.
Here are Five Hikes You Don’t Want to Miss
At 6,684 feet , the Mt Mitchell summit is the highest east of the Mississippi and on a clear day offers incredible views. Temperatures can fluctuate wildly near the peak so make sure to dress in layers to accommodate changes in the weather. The area offers hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Foraging bears can active and sometimes aggressive at the Commissary Ridge area.
Learn more at https://www.ncparks.gov/mount-mitchell-state-park/trails
The Rattlesnake lodge site is northeast of Asheville, about 8 miles from Oteen on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Rattlesnake Lodge area is above mile post 375 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are two ways to access the area. One, from the Tanbark RidgeTunnel, where there is some limited parking, is .44 miles long and takes about 20 minutes with a Moderate hike.
The other, a trip of 1.42 miles from Bull Gap, is not as steep. To get to the start at the gap, leave the Parkway at the Ox Creek Road, and continue to the right for about .6 miles. There is a small parking area at BullGap. Go about 50 yards to the gap and turn left on the Mountain to Sea trail. The trail is marked with white blazes. It is an easy walk to the lodge area.
Learn more at https://www.rattlesnakelodge.com/
The Mount Pisgah area offers a wide range of hiking opportunities. From short loops near the Pisgah Inn to longer treks to Shining Rock and the 16-mile Shut-In Trail, there are hikes to fit every ability. At an elevation of 4,980 feet (1,518 m), Mount Pisgah offers moderate to cool temperatures during camping seasons and is a welcome relief to hot summer temperatures.
- Get a Glass of Wine & Eat at the Pisgah Inn
- RV and Tent Camp at the Pisgah Campground
- Pick Blueberries along the trail
- Learn more at https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/poi/mount-pisgah/
A 3.2 mile loop, Graveyard Fields trail winds through this high-elevation and flat valley. Look for side trails leading ti incredible waterfall views.
Learn more at https://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/graveyard-fields/graveyard-fields
Looking Glass Rock
Trails from Forest Service Road 475 and 475B lead to the top of the mountain. It is a moderate/strenuous trail climbing 1700 ft over 3.1 miles to its peak where panoramic views can be seen. There is a flat slab on the top, that can be used as a helipad.
To get to Looking Glass Falls, take U.S. 276 North from Brevard about six miles. Or take U.S. 276 South from the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 10 miles. There is no admission fee and it’s always open.