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Trails Near Asheville

Asheville, NC: Hike with Elk (Cataloochee Divide Loop, Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

While Great Smoky Mountains might be the most visited park in the system, Cataloochee is far from the crowds—with a bit of luck, you can see as many elk as people. BY GRAHAM AVERILL

Charlotte, NC: Morrow and Sugarloaf Mountains

Hike Sugarloaf and Morrow Mountains in just a few hours at Morrow Mountain State Park outside Charlotte.

Charlotte, NC: South Mountains—High Shoals and Headquarters Trails

Hike to a beautiful waterfall and go for a swim in South Mountains State Park near Charlotte.

Charlotte, NC: RibbonWalk Nature Preserve

Make a quick getaway to a lush forest 10 minutes from Uptown at RibbonWalk Nature Preserve.

Charlotte, NC: Badin Lake Loop

Enjoy lake views and isolated woods on this easy trail along Badin Lake in Uwharrie National Forest.

Charlotte, NC: Living History Farm, Kings Mountain

Explore well-preserved Living History Farm on this short hike near Charlotte.

Charlotte, NC: Robinson Rockhouse Ruins, Reedy Creek

Enjoy a short hike to 200-year-old ruins along Reedy Creek on the Robinson Rockhouse Trail in Charlotte.

Charlotte, NC: Pilot Mountain Grindstone Trail

When you're in need of some amazing views, and willing to drive for them, hit the Grindstone Trail on Pilot Mountain outside Charlotte.

Charlotte, NC: McMullen Creek Greenway

This close-to-Charlotte hike takes you along McMullen Creek via fun, bike-friendly boardwalks.

Charlotte, NC: Lake Shore Trail, Lake Norman

Stroll 4.8 miles along Lake Norman on the Lake Shore Trail about an hour from Charlotte.

Asheville, NC: Mount Rogers via Massie Gap

Mount Rogers via Massie Gap: A state high point, the Appalachian Trail, and wild ponies all in one hike—jackpot!

Charlotte, NC: Seven Oaks Preserve Trail

Let you mind go free while you wander along a pretty lake on the uncomplicated Seven Oaks Preserve Trail.

Charlotte, NC: Browns Mountain, Kings Mountain National Military Park

Climb Browns Mountain, hike a narrated battlefield trail, watch a reenacted revolutionary war encampment, see war muskets—Kings Mountain has it all!

Charlotte, NC: Crowders Mountain

Charge up the most famous peak outside Charlotte for views of the surrounding forests via the Crowders Trail.

Charlotte, NC: Reedy Creek Preserve Loop

Wander through a secluded forest on this east loop in the Reedy Creek Preserve outside Charlotte, North Carolina.

Asheville: Old Butt Knob-Shining Rock Trails

Climb knobby ridges to the white quartz cap of Shining Rock, then follow a pristine stream back to your car on this arduous 7.8-mile loop.

Asheville: Panthertown Valley Loop

On this 5.6-miler, see the rare granite domes and lively waterfalls that earned this Nantahala National Forest valley the nickname “Yosemite of the East.”

Appalachian Trail: Lovers Leap Loop

Sample a classic stretch of the Appalachian Trail on this 11.5-mile route around a 1,000-foot gorge, with overlooks and eye-candy vistas of the Smokies.

Asheville: Blackstock Knob

Get to know the Mountains-to-Sea Trail while spiking your adrenaline on this 4.8-mile dayhike among the tallest mountains east of the Mississippi.

Asheville: Little Lost Cove Cliffs Loop

This 4.6-mile loop gets two thumbs up for its rushing cascades, sweet campsites, and two fine viewpoints overlooking Pisgah National Forest.

Appalachian Trail: Brown Gap to Max Patch

Go 6.9 miles on the Blue Ridge, mostly tracing the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, to one of the largest balds in the Southern Appalachians.

Asheville: Tanawha Trail

Parallel the Blue Ridge Parkway on this 12.5-mile one-way hike with picturesque overlooks and streams cascading through towering hardwoods.

Asheville, NC: Calloway Peak

Navigate rocky crags, snaking switchbacks, and wooden ladders on this 6.5-mile trek that crests Calloway Peak, the highest summit in the Blue Ridge.

Asheville, NC: Plott Balsam

En route to four 6,000-foot summits, this 7.8-mile bushwhack travels the crest of wooded ridgeline above the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville, NC: Linville Gorge

Sample a weekend-sized chunk of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the Pisgah National Forest.

Asheville, NC: Cedar Rock Loop

Climbing granite slickrock to a highpoint above DuPont State Forest, this 4.4-mile loop jogs back down into a dense forest toward a trailside swimming hole.

Asheville, NC: Guion Farm Loop

Disappear into deciduous forest outside Asheville on this 7.5-mile bird-watching loop that wanders past a Civil War-era cemetery and hidden cascades.

Asheville, NC: Hawksbill Mountain

Challenge the family with a 1.5-mile roundtrip that climbs nearly 1,000 feet to a craggy summit and far-reaching views of Linville Gorge and Pisgah National Forest.

Asheville, NC: Shining Rock

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this 10-mile loop treks through the Pisgah National Forest past numerous ridge-top overlooks and up to a quartz-clustered summit.

Asheville, NC: Green Knob

In the shadow of Mount Mitchell, this 5.6-mile ridgeline hike climbs through hemlock and chestnut oak to a watchtower overlook of Blue Ridge and Pisgah peaks.

Asheville, NC: Yellow Face and Waterrock Knob

Conquer two 6,000-foot peaks in Pisgah National Forest on this 3-mile trek that straddles the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville, NC: Linville Gorge Loop

A super-sampler of the southern half of Linville Gorge, this 3-day backpack showcases some of the best sweeping cliff-top views and raging waterfalls that the “Grand Canyon of the East” has to offer.

Pisgah National Forest: Black Balsam Knob to Cold Mountain

Trek 18.2 miles from the South’s best view to its most famous mountain.

Asheville, NC: Woody Ridge Trail

This challenging 4.8-miler in the Black Mountains features a stiff climb past rhododendron and rocky outcrops to a windswept ridge connecting Celo Knob and Gibbs Mountain.

Asheville, NC: Black Balsam Knob via Graveyard Fields

This ridge-country classic swings from the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Graveyard Fields en route to Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain. Tackle the 9.8-mile lollipop loop in a day or stretch it into a leisurely overnight with one of the many prime campsites around Ivestor Gap.

Asheville, NC: Mount Mitchell via Black Mountain Crest Trail

Climb over 10 peaks above 6,000 feet on this 11-mile shuttle-hike culminating at Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.

Asheville, NC: Creekside Loop

Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? Hit up this gentle, 10.4-mile loop in the Mills River area of Pisgah National Forest.

Asheville, NC: Bartram Trail (Nantahala Gorge to Wayah Bald)

Climb past a glimmering highland lake to a lofty southern bald.

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