AVL City Guide: Take a Hike | My 8 Favorite Hikes

Hiking is one of my favorite Saturday activities (besides brewery hopping, of course), especially on a crisp Fall afternoon (or January morning because let's be honest - yesterday was 68). A few years ago, on New Years Day, Hobbs and I went on a hike on January 1, and it was by far one of my most favorite hikes we've done. The temperate was just right, and getting out in nature, moving our bodies, on the first of the year set just the right tone for the rest of the year.

I feel so fortunate to live within close proximity to such beauty, and I love that being outdoors is so commonplace in this little mountain town. I think one of the most frequently asked questions I get when I say I'm from Asheville is "Where should we go hiking when we come to visit?" Well, for those inquiring minds, I give you: My 8 favorite places to go hiking in Asheville, NC. 

Hike in Pisgah Forest:

John Rock

Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes to an hour
Hike Distance + Duration: 5 mile loop, can take around 4 hours
Hike Difficulty: moderate to strenuous
Pet Friendly? Yes, leashed
Where to Park: The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery near Brevard


Looking Glass Rock

This was taken a few years ago, prior to Porter, when my best model in hiking photos was a Sam Adams beer can... photo via my instagram image source

This was taken a few years ago, prior to Porter, when my best model in hiking photos was a Sam Adams beer can... photo via my instagram image source

Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes
Hike Distance + Duration: 6.5 miles; about 4-5 hours
Hike Difficulty: moderate
Pet Friendly? Yes, leashed
Things to Know: Popular during the Summer and Fall; best to go during the Winter


Hike in DuPont Forest:

Triple Falls

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Distance from Asheville: 45 minutes to an hour
Hike Distance + Duration: 0.5 miles; usually takes about 15 minutes
Hike Difficulty: easy
Pet Friendly? Yes, but be careful near the water as currents can be strong
Things to know: On a gorgeous Fall Saturday, this trail is crazy crowded. Try going during the morning on a weekday, if you can.


Hike Linville Gorge:

Table Rock

Photo by Hayden Phillips image source

Photo by Hayden Phillips image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Distance from Asheville: Allow about 2 hours
Hike Distance + Duration: 2.2 miles roundtrip
Hike Difficulty: moderate
Pet Friendly? Yes, but keep them leashed
Things to Know: Great for camping! We went in October of last year, and although it was incredibly cold, we camped on the bald, and the sunrise and sunset were completely worth it.


Hawsbill Mountain

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hannah Barry image source

Photo by Hannah Barry image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Distance from Asheville: 65 miles
Hike Distance + Duration: 1.5 miles roundtrip
Hike Difficulty: moderate
Pet Friendly? Yes, leashed
Things to Know: On a clear day, you can even see Charlotte that's 90 miles away! We actually hiked it in misty rain the entire way, and then when we reached the summit, we watched a storm come and go with the end result being absolute clarity. It was amazing. The photos above were were taken during the storm passing.


Hike in Montreat:

 Lookout Mountain Trail

Photo via my instagram image source

Photo via my instagram image source

Distance from Asheville: 25 minutes
Hike Distance + Duration: 1.1 miles total (in and out); 45 minutes
Hike Difficulty: moderate with difficult sections near the summit
Pet Friendly? Yes, leashed preferred
Things to Know: Great hike for groups of people as the trail is quite wide at the beginning; Porter love, loved the rock climbing/"difficult" part towards the end - as you can tell in the photo above, he is absolutely wiped.


Hike at Craggy Gardens:

Craggy Pinnacle Trail

Distance from Asheville: 20 miles
Hike Distance + Duration: 1.4 miles roundtrip
Hike Difficulty: easy
Pet Friendly? Yes, leashed
How to Find It: Drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway until you see Milepost 364


Favorite Spot on the Appalachian Trail:

Max Patch

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Photo by Hobbs Maker image source

Distance from Asheville: an hour to 1.15 hours
Hike Distance + Duration: 1.4 or 2.4 mile round trip depending on trail; 20-30 minutes
Hike Difficulty: easy
Pet Friendly? Yes, and they're usually fine off-leash if you're comfortable with that
Things to Know: This is the PERFECT spot for a picnic or star gazing.

For more detailed descriptions of the trails as well as driving directions, be sure to check out Romantic Asheville and Hike WNC.

Happy Hiking,
Mary Frances