Driving through the North Carolina mountains is great but remember that it is also a hiker’s paradise, with trails of all difficulty levels and amazing views waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an experienced hiker looking for a new challenge, these hikes are sure to please. So lace up your boots and get ready for an adventure!
There are a variety of trails to choose from at Grandfather Mountain, each with its own unique set of challenges and rewards. The most popular trail is the Mile High Swinging Bridge, which is a challenging but rewarding hike that takes you to the top of the mountain. If you’re looking for something a bit easier, the scenic loop around the mountain is a great option. And for the most experienced hikers, the hike to the top of one of the many peaks is a true test of endurance. No matter which trail you choose, you’re sure to enjoy stunning views of the North Carolina mountains.
Rough Ridge (Blue Ridge Parkway)
Rough Ridge is a moderate hike that takes you through a beautiful forest and offers stunning views of the Linville Gorge. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, making it a great option for beginner hikers. However, there are some sections of the trail that are quite steep and may be challenging for some. But the effort is well worth it when you reach the top and take in the breathtaking views.
Devil’s Courthouse (Blue Ridge Parkway)
Devil’s Courthouse is a strenuous hike that should only be attempted by experienced hikers. The trail is steep and rocky, and the summit is exposed to the elements, making it a challenging but rewarding hike. The views from the top are simply incredible, making it one of the most popular hikes in the North Carolina mountains.
Table Rock (Linville Gorge)
Table Rock is a moderate hike with some sections that are quite steep. However, the reward for completing this hike is an incredible 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. Table Rock is also a great option for those looking for a bit of adventure, as there are several rock formations along the trail that can be climbed. Just be sure to use caution, as the rocks can be slippery.
Hanging Rock (Hanging Rock State Park)
Hanging Rock trail is relatively short at only 1.3 miles. However, hikers should still be careful because there are still some steep sections. One good thing about this trail is the warm temperature. That means you can enjoy hiking this trail at any time of the year as long as there aren’t any severe weather conditions. There are multiple viewpoints and you can take your time enjoying the view of what each stop has to offer.
Roan Mountain (Roan Mountain State Park)
This is another short hike at 1.5 miles but don’t let the length of the trail deceive you. You will be going up an incline for most of the hike but once you reach the top, you’ll be able to see six different states! That’s right, on a clear day you can see Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky. Can you imagine being able to say you saw all those states in one day?
The Rhododendron gardens at Roan Mountain State Park are a must-see for any hiker. The gardens are home to over 12,000 rhododendrons, making it one of the largest collections in the world. And with so many different varieties to see, there is something for everyone. So be sure to make time to stop and enjoy the beauty of the Rhododendron gardens on your next hike in the North Carolina mountains.
Art Loeb Trail (Pisgah National Forest)
The Art Loeb Trail is a long and challenging hike that spans 30 miles through the Pisgah National Forest. This trail is recommended for experienced hikers only, as it can be difficult to navigate and there are some sections that are quite steep. But the stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains make it well worth the effort.
The best time to hike the Art Loeb Trail is in the spring or fall when the weather is cool and the leaves are changing color. But no matter when you decide to hike this trail, you’re sure to enjoy incredible views of the North Carolina mountains.
There you have it! These are just a few of the best hikes in the North Carolina mountains. So get out there and explore all that these beautiful mountains have to offer. And be sure to take in the breathtaking views along the way.