The best hikes in the Asheville area? How about hikes exploring hardwood forests and tumbling waterfalls? Or hikes with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Take your pick from these and more. Don’t feel like you have to pay your dues to see the views, if you know what I mean. Our hikes range from easy to moderate.
Unless otherwise noted, the only things you will need are drinking water and comfortable walking or athletic shoes. Don’t forget to register for your hike. We’re excited you’re joining us!
Collier Nature Preserve: Collier Loop
Enjoy a bit of solidtude on this mountainous escape. Some steep climbs are ahead but the effort is worthwhile, with clearings offering great views of the Butler Mountain Range.
Miles: 1.5 miles
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Parking Info: 190 Rhododendron Drive, Arden, NC
We will gather in the parking area (it's small)
Craggy Gardens: Craggy Gardens Trail
Experience some of the wonders of high county terrain on this short hike through rhododendron tunnels and northern hardwood forests. Catch a view of the Asheville watershed and Graybeard Mountain though striking clearings. Don't forget to bring a picnic to enjoy after this hike!
Even if it’s warm where you are, bring a sweatshirt or light jacket: we’ll peak out at about 5,600 feet and there’s often a nice breeze up here.
Miles: 0.9 miles
Level: Moderate - some minor obstables and climbing
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Parking Info: Craggy Gardens Picnic Area, Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Post 364.2
Take the entrance road to the picnic area (where the road ends). We will meet near the kiosk.
Alexander Mountain Bike Park: Alexander Park MP3 Loop
This hike provides the chance to explore multi-use trails, a novelty hiking experience on the east coast. See how the trails at Alexander Mountain Bike Park have been designed to accommodate hikers and mountain bikers alike and how the two types of trails differ. You'll also catch some great views of the French Broad River below.
Be prepared to share the trail with mountain bikers. When they approach from the rear, they likely will say, “On your left,” your cue to step to the right side of the trail.
Miles: 2.8 miles
Estimated Time: 3 hours
Parking Info: 90 Old Marshall Highway, Alexander
Meet in the parking lot
Moses Cone Park: Flat Top Tower Trail
Meadering through the former estate of Greensboro textile magnate Moses Cone, we'll hike sections of the extensive carraige trail leading to the highest point on the property. The hike will start at the impressive manor, and lead through pasture and forest alike.
This is an exceptionally foot-friendly trail, made of finely crushed gravel. If you tend to avoid mountain hikes because of the challenging trail surface, this is the hike for you.
Miles: 5 miles
Estimated Time: 2.5 hours
Parking Info: Moses Cone Park Mile Post 494 on Blue Ridge Parkway
Take the short drive up to the manor house. We will meet in the lot.