Sunday, 02 April 2017 20:17

Four Relaxing Natural Hikes in Western North Carolina

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There is no question people choose to visit and live in Asheville because of the natural wonders and beauty all around the city. From mile-high mountains, to winding rivers, to old-growth forests, western North Carolina offers numerous opportunities to get away and relax. 

In this article, we are listing a few of our favorite, relaxing natural hikes in western North Carolina. This is not an exhaustive list, but if you are seeking a short, easy getaway, these trails will be to your liking. 

1) Linville Falls and Gorge Trails

There are numerous trails around the Linville Falls, Linville Gorge, and Linville Cavern areas. Approximately 1.5 hours for downtown Asheville, you can see a lot of the falls and gorge views by hiking the two out-and-back trails totaling about four miles. Linville Gorge has been called “The Appalachian Grand Canyon”; however, the work required to see such majesty is not particularly difficult.

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Once you drive to the Linville Falls parking area, you can find maps in the visitor center, and the trails are well-marked. A relaxing hike full of new friends, this will be a rewarding trip for anyone in the Asheville area.

2) Crabtree Falls Trails

Just down the road from Linville is Crabtree Falls. A marvelous waterfall and mountain views are the rewards for hiking this moderately difficult three-mile loop. There is significantly more change in elevation than Linville, but the hike is worth it. There is a bridge from which you can take the perfect hiking selfie with a waterfall backdrop. 

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3) Max Patch Trail

Less than two hours from Asheville, Max Patch is a magnificent bald with 360 degree views, located in beautiful Madison County. The hike to the top of Max Patch is about 1.5 miles, but it climbs more than four hundred feet. There are numerous hiking trails at the top, including the famous Appalachian Trail. Max Patch is a popular place to take a picnic and throw a Frisbee.

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4) Rainbow Falls Trail

Rainbow Falls is located less than an hour from Asheville, in nearby Transylvania County, the Waterfall Capital of the East Coast. Rainbow Falls is a fairly difficult out-and-back, totaling 5.5 miles and climbing over 1,500 feet. It is not for the faint of heart; however, the reward is a wispy waterfall and great mountain views.

The forests surrounding Rainbow Falls feature numerous other water attractions including:

  • Turtleback Falls
  • Sliding Rock
  • Looking Glass Falls
  • Moore Cove Falls

This is not an exhaustive list of hiking trails in Asheville, NC; however, starting with these four can certainly help you find some peace-of-mind. We are grateful to practice neurofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapies in beautiful western North Carolina.