Thanks to Audra at AVLToday.com for this awesome information!
📍Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 407.6 | Strenuous | 🧗3 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~45 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes, active dogs only. This hike is filled with some of the best views of the Asheville area. Bonus points if you can point out Biltmore Estate once you’re at the top. This trail is rocky so wear good shoes. Protip: Make the hike a day trip by taking the six-mile loop to Fryingpan Lookout Tower which is marked on the Pisgah trail (or drive to Milepost 408.5 to start the trail there).
📍Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Easy – Moderate | 🧗 2 – 7 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~ 35 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes, beware there are cows dogs must stay on leash. Bearwallow Mountain is a great year-round hike. With panoramic views all around, you can have a picnic + watch the sunset. (Just note that there are cows grazing this privately owned area that is protected by a land conservation easement, yes it is still OK to hike). The hike up the trail is kind of strenuous but one can take the service-road for an easier route.
📍3074 Catawba River Road, Old Fort, N.C. | Easy | 🧗 3 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~30 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes. Perfect for the whole fam, this 100-foot waterfall has an amazing view + is a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. For the best view: Upper Falls (for skilled hikers only) is a strenuous ½ mile hike that takes you up to a 50-foot waterfall above the Lower Falls.
📍Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 420.2 | Easy – Moderate | 🧗 0.5 – 5 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~ 1 hour from AVL | 🐶 yes. Say hello to some of the most gorgeous mountain balds in the Southern Appalachians. Black Balsam Knob is the 23rd highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6,000 ft (an elevation of 6,214 ft.). This hike is incredibly unique since you are hiking among the balds rather than a steep incline. Protip: The best time for this hike + camp is late April–October. This part of the Parkway is closed during winter.
🌲Looking Glass Falls
📍US-276, Brevard, NC 28712 | Easy | 🧗 0.25 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~45 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes. Looking Glass Falls really isn’t much of a hike itself, but it is a definite #MustDo here in WNC. While the trail to the 60-foot waterfall is only a quarter of a mile round-trip, there are plenty of smaller trails nearby that you can make this an all-day adventure. Protip: Take this trip in the summer and swim in the water hole.
📍89 Buck Forest Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718 | Easy – Moderate | 🧗 3.5 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~ 1 hour from AVL | 🐶 yes. Don’t go chasing waterfalls…well you should this time. DuPont is 10,000-acre outdoor playground near Brevard that is full of trails, picnic areas + you guessed it – waterfalls. This round-trip hike is a little under 4 miles and depending on how you map your day out you can venture to High Falls, Triple Falls + Hooker Falls. DYK: Scenes from The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans were filmed there.
📍Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 418.8 | Easy | 🧗 4 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~ 45 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes. Graveyard Fields holds a lot of environmental history. With trees once destroyed by wind + a fire in 1925 that burned some of the logged area, this trail has made a slow recovery giving it an cryptic yet still enchanting vibe. The hike itself is pretty easy and you even have the pleasure of walking along a boardwalk for some of it. Protip: During the summer months plan to cool down at Skinny Dip Falls (less than 2 miles away).
📍Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 316.4 | Easy – Strenuous | 🧗 4 miles (round-trip) | 🚘 ~ 1 hour and 15 minutes from AVL | 🐶 yes. Located in Burke County, Linville Falls is one of the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina. In this four mile hike, you can have access to all five viewpoints of the falls. There is also a picnic and camping area. Bonus: There is an alternate + shorter route during the winter months.