From easy hikes to challenging excursions, Asheville has something for everyone. You can find a broad range of backpacking trips and day hikes in the nearby Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Great Smoky Mountains. All of these places are within a 90-minute drive from downtown Asheville. 

Popularly known as the land of waterfalls, Ashville is a picturesque hiking spot for visitors across the world. With so many hiking trails to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the top 7 for you.

Craggy Pinnacle

Length: 1.4 miles, round trip
Elevation: 5,892 ft.
Difficulty Level: Strenuous

This short mile hike is located in the Craggy Gardens and offers beautiful 360-degree panoramic views. When hiking, you will go through a plethora of wildflowers, rhododendron, and gnarled sweet birch trees. You’ll also get to explore side trails near the top.

Black Balsam Knob

Length: 1- 10 miles
Elevation: 6,214 ft.
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Black Balsam Knob is tree-less and bald and offers wide views of the surrounding mountain ranges. You can explore plenty of areas and access several trails from this point. This hike is perfect for day hikers, photographers, families, and those looking to explore the surrounding peaks.

Looking Glass Rock

Length: 6.5 miles, round-trip
Elevation: 3970 ft.
Difficulty level: Strenuous

It is one of the best hiking trails in Pisgah National Forest. It is a slightly challenging climb, but the view from the top is all worth it. About two miles into the hike, you’ll find a flat rock where you can relax. Once you reach the top, you’ll be surrounded by panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll also get to see the mountains of Transylvania County.

Hawksbill Mountain

Length: 1.5 miles, round trip
Elevation: 4,009 ft.
Difficulty level: Moderate

Located on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, the Hawksbill Mountain hike has a lot to offer, including stunning scenic views of the Linville Gorge Wilderness. It’s definitely one of the most spectacular hiking sites in the Asheville area.

Max Patch on the Appalachian Trail

Length: 1.5 miles round trip
Elevation: 4,629 ft.
Difficulty level: Easy

Max Patch is located near the North Carolina-Tennessee state line. It is an easy hike that offers captivating views of the bald mountains. Once you reach the top, you’ll get to witness the magnificent views of the Black Mountains to the southeast, Great Smoky Mountains, and the Great Balsam. It is suggested that you climb Max Patch during the night to get a memorable stargazing experience.

Devil’s Courthouse

Length: 1 mile, round trip
Elevation: 5,719 ft.
Difficulty level: Moderate

Devil’s Courthouse has a short and strenuous hike trail, which is definitely worth the challenge. It overlooks a famous Parkway picnic spot and has some gorgeous views of the rugged landscape surrounding the area. Most of the trail is paved, but the steep climb will give you a good workout.

Roan Mountain

Length: 1 – 7 miles
Elevation: 6286 ft.
Difficulty level: Moderate

This Appalachian trail goes through grassy summits and boasts beautiful mountain views. It is popularly known for Catawba Rhododendron gardens with purple flowers that bloom in June. All in all, it’s a beautiful place to visit, and you can hike here around any time of the year.

image: Aneta Ivanova