North Carolina Hiking: Where Are The Best Spots

Best Hiking in North Carolina

North Carolina offers some of the biggest mountains east of the Mississippi.

For this reason, people who love to hike regard it as their number one option.

There is a lot to see while hiking in North Carolina. If you haven’t been there yet, now’s your time to add North Carolina to your bucket list.

In this short read, you will learn about the best hiking trails in North Carolina.

Make sure to take note of the information about them. Check out the best hiking in North Carolina below:

Grandfather Mountain Trail, Linville

If you are looking for challenging hiking in North Carolina, go straight to Grandfather Mountain Trail in Linville.

It is not the best option for beginners, so only experienced hikers should take this amazing trail.

Grandfather Mountain Trail is said to be the most challenging hike in the eastern part of the Mississippi.

Although you can hike it without using any climbing equipment, it is kind of difficult to complete because it has several spots with ladders and cables for scaling cliffs.

For this reason, people call it “chutes and ladders trail.”

Are you brave enough to try it? If you do, you will be rewarded with scenic views that you’ll be able to witness along the way.

Some of the picture-perfect spots you can see include Calloway Peak, MacRae Peak, and Attic Window.

Pisgah National Forest’s Looking Glass Rock Trail

The Looking Glass Rock Trail in Pisgah National Forest stands like a huge monolith at about 4,000 feet.

It is ideal only for professional rock climbers because it is quite challenging for beginners.

You can access this trail close to Breward, which will let you capture the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This amazing hike starts just after Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education on the way to the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.

Afterward, you’ll continue for three miles. Given that it doesn’t rise above 1,700 feet in length, this trail is considered a moderate hike.

However, it is also considered an easy-to-follow hike.

Troutman’s Lake Norman State Park

If you drive for about 30 minutes in the northern part of Lake Norman State Park, you will find an outdoor lover’s paradise that offers a lot of opportunities for a picnic, camping, boating, and fishing.

Mountain bikers and hikers can also enjoy an extensive connected trail with different levels of difficulty.

These trails feature beautiful views of the surrounding lake.

Unlike the mountains mentioned earlier, Lake Norman State Park is best for beginners.

Both hikers and beginners, including children, can enjoy the Dragonfly and Alder Trails.

Meanwhile, experienced hikers can go to Ituri Trail or Lake Shore Trail, which come with eight different views that have a distance of about one to ten miles.

Asheville’s Biltmore Estate

Back in North Carolina’s western part, Biltmore Estate’s expansive grounds in Asheville are a beautiful and glorious sight.

Nearly 22 acres of trails offer a variety of environments from open meadows to lush forests to the French Broad River’s soothing waters.

There are also several levels of difficulty, so you’ll find something suitable whether you’re looking for a challenge or just a chance to relax.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park In Nags Head

Visit Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head for a rare walking experience. It is the largest natural sand dune on the east coast.

You can climb the huge dune for breathtaking views of the coastal area or stroll along the Soundside Nature Trail or the Sand Trail, both of which will lead you through the nearby shrub thickets.

Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Botanical Garden

Located on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, the Botanical Garden of North Carolina features an expansive 88-acre area called the Piedmont Nature Trails.

The trails, consisting of two major loops, offer over two miles of walking through the wooded forest area, offering plenty of opportunities to see a variety of colorful trees and flowers along the way.

Stick to the Streamside Trail if you want a faster, more leisurely stroll. Choose the hillier Oak-Hickory Trail if you’re up for a little bit more.

Craggy Gardens

The Craggy Pinnacle Trail at Craggy Gardens is one of the easiest on this list.

It can be easily accomplished by anyone from children to seniors.

While the 1.5-mile hike may be a smooth journey, none of its beauty will diminish.

Craggy Gardens offers the experience of stepping into a magical forest.

Rhododendrons line the trail in late spring-like something out of a fairytale, while rare trees and plant life wind and swirl around the mountain scenery.

Mountain-to-Sea Trail

If you can’t choose from among the North Carolina hikes discussed earlier, here is another option.

The Mountain-to-Sea Trail spans about 1,200 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains’ Clingman’s Dome to Jockey’s Ridge beside the Outer Banks.

Clingman’s Dome may be one of the leading destinations for witnessing a solar eclipse, but it is also great as a beginning spot for an amazing adventure in North Carolina.

It passes through 37 counties as well as four national parks.

It climbs both the highest sand dune located on the east coast and the peak east of the Mississippi.


North Carolina has many things to offer. First, you can find several gigantic mountains where beginner and expert hikers can have an adventure.

Also, these hiking trails feature many scenic views that can help you relax and enjoy your hike.

If you are planning to hike in North Carolina, you should check out the mountains I mentioned earlier. Have a safe hike!

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