Hiking in Western North Carolina
Discover Scenic Trails
Many people visit — and often end up moving to — Western North Carolina for the scenic trails. No matter where you chose to call home in The Blue Ridge Mountains, you have access to many hiking options. Many of our mountain towns have hiking trails within its city limits, making it easy to exercise without leaving town like Lake Junaluska’s 3.8 mile trail around the scenic Mountain Lake. For the more adventurous, you can find other trails that attract hikers from all over the world. Yet they’re easily accessible off the Blue Ridge Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway. Hike the Appalachian Trail from entry points in Asheville, Hot Springs or Cherokee. Trek through the United States’ most visited park, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, known for its splendor, views and diversity of animal and plant life. In fact, the Elk populations are flourishing in the park since being reintroduced in the early 2000s. The best time to visit is around leaf season or springtime. Just north of Asheville, the Pisgah National Forest features hiking and and backpacking trails through the more than 500,000 acres of land. The reserve sports some of the highest peaks in the South, including Grandfather Mountain and Cold Mountain. But not all hiking trails are rugged climbs; the waterfalls in Dupont State Park and Linville Falls are easy for most people. Jackson County local’s favorite hike is through Panthertown Valley. Hike, bike and explore one of America’s last true wildernesses. Panthertown displays amazing waterfalls, scenic trails and panoramic views. It is has been crowned the Yosemite of the East and is one of the most spectacular areas in America.