Saturday, 29 July 2017 08:47

Five Relaxing Midsummer Hikes Near Asheville

peaceful sunrise

Though the heat has been intense the last few weeks here in Asheville, we live close to high peaks and cool mountain springs that offer reprieve from the temperatures. Getting outdoors and in nature can help us relax. In this article, we will talk about five great hikes you can take to beat the heat and refocus.


1) Deep Creek Waterfall Loop

Near Bryson City, about an hour and a half from downtown Asheville, Deep Creek Waterfall loop is a relatively easy, wooded hike that features a beautiful waterfall. With light traffic, it is possible to see diverse wildlife on or near the trial. You can add distance to this trail by combining it with numerous others in the area.

  • Elevation Gain: 600 Feet
  • Length: 2.7 Miles
  • Location: Deep Creek Trail Trailhead, Bryson City, NC
  • Style: Loop

2) Blackrock Mountain Trail

A moderately difficult trail due to the distance and elevation gain, Blackrock Mountain Trail follows a high elevation ridge near Addie, NC. Over a mile high, this trail features spectacular 360-degree views of the Great Smokey Mountains. Blackrock is accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour and a half from Asheville.

  • Elevation Gain: 1,600 Feet
  • Length: 4.5 Miles
  • Location: Waterrock Knob Overlook and Visitor's Center, Sylva, NC
  • Style: Out-and-Back

wooded scene

3) Rainbow and Turtleback Falls

An easy-to-moderate hike near Brevard, Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls share this forested trail. Once you pass Rainbow, Turtleback is just ahead. Bring a picnic lunch and swimsuit, as Turtleback features one of the better sliding rocks in the area – some would argue that it is more fun to slide down than Sliding Rock itself.

  • Elevation Gain: 870 Feet
  • Length: 4 Miles
  • Location: 976 Grassy Ridge Road, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747
  • Style: Out-and-Back

4) Grandfather Mountain

Though Grandfather is a about two hours away from Asheville, it is worth the drive for numerous mile-high hiking trails that are often as much as 20 degrees cooler than our area. In addition to pleasant wooded hikes, Grandfather features a mile-high swinging bridge and fascinating nature center.

  • Elevation Gain: Various
  • Length: 20+ Miles
  • Location: 9872 North Carolina 105, Banner Elk, NC
  • Style: Out-and-Backs and Loops

5) French Broad Greenway

We have several easy hikes here in town, including the French Broad Greenway at Carrier Park. The greenway follows the river through a mix of woods and clearings. It can be combined with Hominy Road and the Hominy Creek Trail for an extra two miles of walking.

  • Elevation Gain: Less than 100 Feet
  • Length: 4 Miles
  • Location: 220 Amboy Rd, Asheville, NC
  • Style: Out-and-Back

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