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Hiking trails in Asheville and the Western North Carolina range from easy to difficult, and take hikers past mountain vistas, nature scenes and waterfalls. Here are details about trails for your next hiking vacation. Check out the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which traverses the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and parts of Western North Carolina, or walk some of the Pisgah National Forest Trails or Nantahala National Forest Trails.

White Water Rafting


Water adventures in the Asheville area range wildly from whitewater rafting named the best in the whole U.S. to a unique natural waterslide to fun swimming holes and beautiful waterfalls. Western North Carolina is perfect for explorers who don’t mind getting wet. Mother Nature carved out a water park in the area, leaving behind calm wading pools, exciting water slides, memorable swimming holes and rollicking rapids. Some are easily accessible, a few require an adventuresome spirit, and several have lifeguards or trained staff on duty.



Looking for an active and scenic vacation? The Asheville area has plenty of open road and off-road trails for bikes of a different kind. If you don’t have a bicycle, plenty of shops in the Asheville area rent road bikes, mountain bikes, and cruisers. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers scenic road cycling rides for all skill levels: Ride 75 miles of paved road from Asheville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (hard). For a shorter trip, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Gardens for a well-loved lookout point (moderate).

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding offers a unique, calm and relaxing way to take in unique views of some of the area’s most beautiful vistas from the Biltmore House to dramatic back-country scenery. Biltmore has 8,000 acres that include horseback riding trails through peaceful meadows and shady hardwood forests. Saddle up and catch a Western-style guided trail ride (for adults and children over 6 years old) to see one of the only views of the Biltmore House’s western façade. Extended and private guided rides are available.



The mountains of Western North Carolina that surround Asheville is well-known for their many streams and creeks with diverse stream conditions, from tiny, plunge-pool headwater streams to broad, open-valley rivers. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests areas around Asheville, Brevard, and Hendersonville are the first targets for quick access to wild, pristine trout fishing. Whether you're searching for Rainbow, Brown, or Brook Trout, you'll find that these scenic waters boast some of the best fly fishing around. Small and Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, Sunfish and more can also be found in abundance in the region.