With its beautiful mountains and hundreds of acres of national forests, Western NC is a hub for all things outdoor recreation, from biking to fishing and everything in between. But when it comes to exploring the best spots in the area, there’s nothing that quite compares to hiking!
Since there are trails for every skill level—from simple loops to challenging climbs—there are plenty of options for all hikers to experience the waterfalls and scenic outlooks of Western NC. Take a look at our top picks for hiking trails, and check out our page all about hiking for even more options.
If you’re looking for a simple hike with easy terrain, these are for you.
Moore Cove Falls Hike
A 1.5-mile round-trip hike, the Moore Cove Falls trail has minimal obstacles and a gentle elevation gain. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the trail meanders through fern-filled forests and along trickling streams before arriving at the small sprays of Moore Cove Falls.
Toms Creek Falls Hike
The Toms Creek Falls Hike is perfect for hikers of all ages and skill levels, as it comes in at just .8 miles round-trip and gains only a few feet of elevation. Along the way, you’ll follow a small creek through hardwood forests before arriving at the observation deck for the 60-foot falls. If you want to explore a little more, there are some old mica mines below the falls, but be careful of slippery rocks and falling debris.
For a little bit of a challenge but nothing too extreme, these moderate hikes are perfect.
Rainbow Falls Hike
The Rainbow Falls region is one of the most popular spots in Western NC thanks to its stunning scenery and the variety of hikes it offers. This specific hike is around 4 miles round-trip, depending on how far past the falls you choose to go. Highlights of the the Rainbow Falls Hike include deep river pools, several lookout points, rushing streams, and beautiful cascades from the falls. There are tons of photo ops!
Linville Falls – Erwin’s View Hike
While the Erwin’s View Hike is relatively short—juts 1.5 miles round-trip—it takes you through three amazing lookout points: the Upper Falls, Chimney View, and Erwin’s View. The middle of the hike might get your blood pumping, but it’s relatively casual for the rest of the way. You’ll be able to enjoy truly breathtaking views from high above the tree-line, and glimpse the the falls up close.
With long, steep climbs and difficult terrain, these hikes are reserved for hikers who have a decent amount of experience.
Graybeard Mountain Hike
Peaking at just under 5,500 feet in elevation, the Graybeard Mountain Hike comes in at around 9 miles round-trip. You’ll traverse through forests, across ravines, over footbridges, and up steep crests as you make your way to the top of the hike, passing scenic outlooks and waterfalls along the way. Once there, you’ll find incredible views of everything from the Black Mountains to the Blue Ridge to the Great Craggy Mountains.
Mount Mitchell Hike
Known as one of the most challenging climbs in the area, the Mount Mitchell Hike winds from the Black Mountains up to the highest peak in the East (Mount Mitchell), reaching over 6,600 feet in elevation—although you’ll only gain 3,600 feet during the hike. The trail is fairly long, coming in at 11.4 miles round-trip.
The trail is full of tough sections, filled with roots, rocks, and inclines, but the views at the end are well worth it.
Find Your Home in Western NC
Whether you’re looking to relocate and buy a new home or just want to rent a cabin getaway for a weekend, there are plenty of great options! Explore a little more of what the area has to offer, and browse our hiking page for more trails.
Give us a call when you’re ready to start your real estate journey!