Where is the Best Hiking in North Carolina?

Though North Carolina is a large state covered in great forests, there’s really only one area that is the best for hiking. Chimney Rock State Park and Hickory Nut Gorge have the best hiking in North Carolina. You don’t want to skip hiking here if you’re an outdoorsman or even just looking for an interesting adventure during your North Carolina vacation. Here, we’ll guide you to the best hiking in North Carolina. You won’t be disappointed!

If you’re able, hiking is such an incredibly rewarding outdoor activity in our area. At The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, we’ve put together a comprehensive, free Vacation Guide covering the best our area has to offer. You’ll love the diversity and sheer number of great things to do, no matter why you’re here. Use our guide to craft the best North Carolina vacation you’ve ever had!

The Best Hiking in North Carolina is Right Here

Let’s begin with our area. Here, just outside of Asheville, the terrain is diverse and special, practically brimming with opportunities for some of the best hiking in North Carolina. Around Lake Lure, in Chimney Rock State Park, and the Hickory Nut Gorge, you won’t soon run out of incredible hikes and views. Here are some of the best trails for hiking in western North Carolina.

Easy Hikes

The Donald Ross Nature Park offers a short trail, between a half mile to three miles in distance, where you’ll encounter informative stops on the well-maintained path through beautiful North Carolina forest. This is the perfect hike for an easy stroll and families.

Little Bradley Falls and Big Bradley Falls are two gorgeous waterfall trails you’ve got to take! These short hikes are two miles and one and a half miles, respectively, and lead to rewarding, beautiful waterfalls of 50 and 100 feet, respectively.

Florence Nature Preserve at the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead is a scenic, wooded trail that runs parallel to creeks, waterfalls, and old cabin ruins. This trail has several loops, the longest of which is nine miles.

Moderate Hikes

Bearwallow Mountain Trail is one of the more popular trails in the area because it leads to the top of the highest mountain in the area. Bearwallow Mountain stands at 4,232 feet. The trail is great for dogs on leash, and the trail itself is a breeze at two miles.

Chimney Rock Park features a few trails, one that leads you to a 400-foot waterfall! But, the most rewarding, and most difficult trail in the park, is the Exclamation Point Trail. It takes you to the top with views that will take your breath away. There is an entry fee for this trail, but it is well worth it!

Buffalo Creek Park offers an array of ways to enjoy the park. From hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and even trail running, you’ll find no shortage great ways to find adventure. The trail is a three-and-a-half mile loop in the woods with creek crossings, good views, and a fun boulder field for a break from hiking.

Difficult Hikes

The hike to Little Bearwallow Falls is a relatively new trail, hiking to a 100-foot cliff where you can see the falls. The strenuous trail is about two-and-a-half miles long roundtrip. You’ll enjoy the trails made of stepping stones, clear trail markers, and bridges over water.

The most difficult hike on our list, The Peaks Trail is an unofficial trail with no parking. The eight-mile round trip trail is very difficult but grants you serious bragging rights if you can do it. Incredible views await you, but you’ll feel it the next morning!

The tallest mountain in the eastern United States is Mount Mitchell Trail, a towering peak that measures in at 6,684 feet. Mount Mitchell is home to wide range of wildlife, miles of trails, and a unique climate not often found in the region.

Kick Off Your Hiking Boots and Relax With Us

After you’ve trekked any of these gorgeous hikes, come kick off your boots and rest those tired feet here at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant! Our beautiful rooms are the perfect respite from your outdoor adventuring. We’ll get you rested up and taken care of so you can get to the next great thing on the Vacation Guide! So, browse our availability and see for yourself the kind of comfort you’ll enjoy. We are eager to accommodate you, so contact us today to book your next North Carolina getaway!