7 Breath-Taking Hikes You Must Do in Asheville, North Carolina

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There are probably hundreds of hikes in the Asheville area so I won’t pretend to sit here and tell you that these are the absolute best hikes in Asheville but I will tell you that these are breath-taking and jaw-dropping hikes that you shouldn’t miss if you’re in the Asheville area. I’m a broken record but I’m in love with Asheville. It has everything. I hope to visit a couple more times next year to expand my knowledge of the area and just get a good ole dose of one of my favorite places. I was lucky enough to visit twice this year and did as much as hiking as I could when I wasn’t eating all the vegan food or visiting all the animal sanctuaries.

best hikes in asheville

Psst: Looking for more information on Asheville? Check out a few of our other posts!


Catawba Falls

best hikes in asheville

When I visited Asheville in March, this was the only hike I had time to check out due to it just being a weekend trip. I asked someone in a store for a recommendation and this was his first choice and it was a great suggestion.

Asking locals is always a great idea!

The trailhead is located just off I-40 about 20-30 minutes away from downtown Asheville. The terrain is fairly flat most of the way with some moderate inclines. At one section, you will have to cross water via rocks.

This trail has a little bit of everything. The entire trail follows along the river and leads to the beautiful Catawba Falls.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | 2.7 miles round trip
Difficulty | easy
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | 3074 Catawba River Road


Craggy Gardens Overlook

One of my new favorite hikes ever and definitely one of the best hikes in Asheville is the Craggy Gardens overlook. It sits on the Blue Ridge Parkway which if you haven’t driven, don’t wait. Go…now. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in the country and shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the area.

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The trail is a bit rocky and definitely not even terrain with a slight incline. For most of the hike, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful rhododendrons which kind of makes the end magical because it all the sudden opens up and you can see all the different blue hues of the mountains.

I highly suggest driving here before sunrise and hiking with the sun. I know it’s hard to get up in the morning this early but that’s why the reward is so great. I don’t usually cry. My mother will tell you I never cry but when I reached the top of the overlook with the sun rising and no one in sight, I will admit that I got a little teary eyed.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | 1.9 miles round trip
Difficulty | easy to moderate
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | 3074 Catawba River Road


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Glassy Mountain Trail via Little Glassy Mountain Trail

This hike kind of got the best of me. I was shorter on time and it was raining. I didn’t realize how long the trail was so I only got to do the trail to the actual trail as I didn’t realize that was how it was set up. However, what I did see made me want to go back and finish the actual mountain trail.

This trail, among others, is located at the Carl Sandburg Home historical area. Poet and writer, Carl Sandburg, made his final family home in the mountains of Western North Carolina near the town of Flat Rock. This is a great hike to do in conjunction with visiting Sweet Bear Rescue Farm and Sanctuary Brewing.

It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and ask of himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’ – Carl Sandburg

After Sandburg passed away, his wife donated the 267 acres to the National Park Service and it is now a National Historic Site.

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best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | 2.6 miles round trip from the house
Difficulty | moderate
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | 36 Montford Ave, Asheville


Hooker Falls

Hooker Falls is located in the Dupont State Forest and Dupont State Forest is a place you should not be missing! Brevard and Transylvania County are called “The Land of the Waterfalls” and it’s no wonder why The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans were filmed here. This area is absolutely stunning.

Hooker Falls trail is definitely the easiest. You’ll follow along a wide path for .25 miles before and the falls will come up on your right-hand side.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | .5 miles round trip
Difficulty | easy
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC


Triple Falls

You’ll park in the same spot for Hooker Falls and Triple Falls. Once you’re done checking out Hooker Falls, you’ll go back the way you came but instead of going back to the parking lot, you’ll turn right onto the pedestrian bridge towards Triple Falls.

Unlike Hooker Falls, the Triple Falls trail is rather steep but short. Triple Falls is, you guessed it, a three-tier waterfall. You can view the falls from the main trail or take a never-ending staircase to the base where you can get a little closer to the falls.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | 1 mile round trip
Difficulty | easy
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC


High Falls

If you continue on up the trail from Triple Falls for another .5 mile, you’ll come to High Falls.

High Falls is a 120-foot waterfall that slides down a plane of granite. You can see the falls from the main trail or head down the ‘Base of Falls’ trail spurring off the main loop.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | .5 mile from Triple Falls (1 mile from parking lot)
Difficulty | moderate
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC


John Rock Trail

John Rock Trail is located in the Pisgah National Forest and while it’s not the hardest hike ever – don’t go into it lightly either.

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Due to some reviews, I found online, we did this hike counterclockwise. While I can’t compare, it is said that the incline is more gradual this way. However, if you want to hike it clockwise, go to the very far left side of the parking lot and the trailhead starts there.

Additionally, this trail is not well-marked in my opinion. I had step-by-step directions pulled up on my phone to access just in case I felt signs weren’t obvious and this was a definite plus. You can’t just walk up to the John Rock Trail – you have to access it via Cat Gap Loop.

These are the directions I used (which also goes counterclockwise) and they were a lifesaver!

All that being said – this hike was one of the highlights of the trip and I’ll do it again for sure. Not only was the scenery ever changing but the dramatic view was so well worth it, it’s not even funny.

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

best hikes in asheville

ESSENTIAL INFO
Distance | 7-mile loop
Difficulty | moderate to difficult
Dog-Friendly | yes, leashed
Address | National Forest Rd, Brevard, NC

Psst: Looking for more hiking posts? Check out a few of our other posts!


What to Pack for Hiking

Wear Pact – Ethically made vegan hiking clothes
Merrell Hiking Shoes -vegan-friendly!
Trekking Poles – not all of these trails need these but they would have come in hand on a couple!
Snacks – definitely on longer trails but pack out your trash!


Have you ever been to Asheville?? Tell me about it in the comments below ↓↓↓

Looking for accommodation in Asheville? Check out reviews here and book here.
Want to know where I stayed? The Hotel Indigo
Want to know where to eat in Asheville? Here’s a vegan guide!
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best hikes in asheville
best hikes in asheville

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

8 Comments

  1. Heather

    November 28, 2018 at 5:54 PM

    Yes, I have been to Asheville but only once and I’m DYING to go again. I flat out LOVE it there! I have done the Triple Falls and Hooker Falls hikes and would so do them again. But there were so many other hikes we wanted to do and ran out of time. On your list, I would love to do Catawba and Craggy Falls most, but let’s be honest, they all are great. So many beautiful waterfalls to see and then there’s a sunset point I want to hike up to also. Sunrise and sunset will definitely make you cry even if you aren’t a crier (which I’m not either). Asheville rocks!

  2. Andi

    November 28, 2018 at 8:56 PM

    I want to hike here! I have been wanting to visit Asheville again during the leaf changing and one of the best ways to see that is hiking. I love these kinds of trails, right up my alley and I love having this list!

  3. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    November 29, 2018 at 6:31 PM

    We really want to go to Asheville. Those hikes are so short for such pretty waterfalls at the end. Coming during leaf season would be exceptional too. Sooner or later, we’re going to Ashville. I really like Hooker Falls. It just looks so majestic.

  4. Janiel Green

    December 1, 2018 at 2:02 AM

    That lens globe is incredible! I really love that you mention if dogs can come on the trails – that is the number one thing I look for in adventure blogs. I really like triple falls the most out of all the ones you mentioned.

  5. Juliann Jones

    December 1, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    A good friend of mine just went to Asheville for Thanksgiving weekend with her husband. They loved it there so much that they both started thinking that they might like to move there when they retire. I know they went hiking, but none of the trails you mention sounded familiar to me. I’ll have to share this post with her in case they really do move there and need to get out and explore!

  6. Sarah

    December 3, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    You are really inspiring me to travel to Asheville in 2019. I think I already said that on your FB page, but I mean it so much! It sounds like my dream destination and I had wanted to go there so badly this year but time got away from me. Your other posts combined with these hiking trails will be so useful when I finally make it there. Thanks for the tip about the Blue Ridge driving route as well.

  7. Eileen

    December 5, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Those waterfalls are beautiful! I think I’m well overdue for a trip to this part of the US in the near future. It looks almost tropical!

  8. Cat

    December 7, 2018 at 1:37 AM

    I love hiking for the sunrise – it is just so breathtaking to see it up on the mountain! That view you got from Craggy Gardens Overlook is stunning. Bonus point for it being an easy hike!

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