One of the main reasons we decided on Asheville for our vacation this year is because hiking is one of our absolute favorite things to do together and we also knew we wanted to be active while on vacation.
Seth is awesome and did a ton of research on different hikes in the area so we could pick a about 5 we knew we wanted to take on. We started by deciding about how many miles we wanted to do per day, which for us was about 5-9mi. (that’s a huge range, but we weren’t camping and wanted to have a flexible schedule and not feel locked in to anything specific).
- Grassy Ridge Balds via Appalachian Trail: – Our first day, we did this hike because it looked so unique compared to your normal, through-the-woods-and-up-a-mountain hike.. and it totally was. A portion of the trail we did was actually on the AT, which made me feel a little Cheryl Strayed (yes, I know she hiked the PCT). The trail was along the spine of several mountains which made it totally unique.
2. Hawksbill Mountain Trail – We did this as a second hike on the first day since the trail was only a mile up and a mile back. The hike itself is ‘traditional’ in that it’s up the mountain, in the woods for the most part. The view at the top is TOTALLY worth it though as there are a ton of exposed rocks at the top. You really feel like you’re at the top of the world up there.
3. Mt. Mitchell Summit Train + Big Tom Gap Spur Trail via Black Mountain – We decided to drive up to near the top of Mt. Mitchell and then hike along the ridge line essentially. I definitely recommend checking out Mt. Mitchell, but it’s pretty touristy, so keep in mind not to expect solitude. After that we hit the Big Tom Gap Trail (we only did part of this trail due to a time constraint) and it was REALLY cool. Lots of terrain changes, climbing and great views.
4. Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail – It was really foggy the morning we did this hike, which didn’t make for great views, but DID make for a super unique experience. It was kind of creepy in a super cool way. As we hiked, we watched the clouds roll over the mountains which made it totally different from any hike we did while we were there.
5. Graveyard Fields Trail – This shorter hike takes you on a trail that’s actually down In a small valley. It’s relatively flat until the end at which you end up at a really cool waterfall. We stepped off the trail and climbed to the top of the waterfall.. a little muddy but totally worth it!
6. Lookout Mountain – This is a short hike that had a great view of the top. This one is over near Black Mountain, and I highly recommend stopping in the town of Black Mountain for a beer and pizza after.
7. High Falls and Triple Falls Tour – On our last day of hiking, we hit one hike that took us to High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls. Fun fact: The first Hunger Games movie filmed some scenes at Triple Falls. We ran into some locals there who said they’d never seen the falls running as heavily as they were while we were there.