The Best Outdoor Activities in North Carolina

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Hike To Paradise Falls

North Carolina / Paradise Falls Parking Lot

To the north of Panthertown lies a chain of dammed lakes that are some of the most peaceful waters in Western North Carolina. These make up the headwaters of the East Fork of the Tuckasegee River.

Rob Giersch
1021 Saves

Hike and Camp the Sam Knob Loop

North Carolina / Sam Knob Trailhead

This is one of my favorite quick "getaway" loops in the Pisgah Ranger District.

Steve Yocom
862 Saves

Catch a Sunset On Green Knob

North Carolina / Mountain to Sea Trail Parking Lot

Although not as popular as neighboring Shining Rock Wilderness, the Middle Prong Wilderness is equally as beautiful and typically half as crowded.

Steve Yocom
775 Saves

Hike to Grassy Ridge Bald in the Roan Highlands

North Carolina / Carvers Gap

Once you've parked at Carver's Gap (5500'), the trailhead is pretty easy to find. Simply cross the highway and jump onto the Appalachian Trail, right on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Steve Yocom
665 Saves

Explore Looking Glass Falls

North Carolina / Looking Glass Falls

This is one of the most popular and scenic waterfalls in the area. If you've come to visit it on a warmer day, remember to pack your bathing suit.

Steve Yocom
650 Saves

Hike to Catawba Falls

North Carolina / Catawba Falls Trail

This quick and relatively easy hike is located close to Asheville, NC. If you're looking to have the trail to yourself, it can be a little tough.

Justin Costner
639 Saves

Hike the Art Loeb Trail

North Carolina / Davidson River Campground

Start at The Davidson River Campground just outside of Brevard, NC (276 Pisgah Ranger District). Have a shuttle car or a friend waiting at the Daniel Boone Boy Scout camp for the finish line.

Steve Yocom
574 Saves

Camp on Hawksbill Mountain

North Carolina / Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead, NC

Hidden far above the beautiful Linville Gorge stands Hawksbill Mountain, among many other fantastic hikes. The roughly 1.7 mile hike from the dusty gravel parking lot is steep but worth every step.

John Stephens
573 Saves

Hike to Clingmans Dome

North Carolina / Clingmans Dome Trailhead

The drive to Clingmans Dome is miles of scenic overlooks that provide endless views of ridges and valleys. Clingmans Dome Road comes to a parking lot from which you follow a .

Spenser Reid
567 Saves

Hike Looking Glass Rock

North Carolina / Looking Glass Rock Trail

This is a really nice, moderately difficult hike along a cascading creek, up switchbacks, and through wildflower fields.

Justin Costner
562 Saves

Cool Off at Sliding Rock Falls

North Carolina / Sliding Rock Falls

This natural mountain waterfall and slide in the Pisgah National Forest is a local favorite to cool off in and have a little fun during the warmer months.

Hike Rough Ridge

North Carolina / Rough Ridge Trailhead

The trailhead for Rough Ridge will be on your righthand side when driving the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone, NC.

McKenzie Roers
548 Saves

Hike to the Summit of Shortoff Mountain

North Carolina / Shortoff Mountain Trailhead

Start your hike from the Shortoff Mountain Trail off of Wolf Pit Road at the base of Lake James.

Justin Costner
524 Saves

Hike Charlies Bunion

North Carolina / Newfound Gap Trailhead

From the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, drive approximately 13 miles south on Newfound Gap Road to reach the Newfound Gap Parking Area (it'll be on your left.

Tiffany Edmiston
483 Saves

Backpack the Roan Highlands (A.T.)

North Carolina / Carvers Gap

The Roan highlands, possibly one of the best sections of the Appalachian Trail, is a section of grassy balds that range from 5000-6000 feet following the A.T.

Steve Yocom
445 Saves

Hike to the Wesser Bald Fire Tower

North Carolina / Appalachian Trail - Wesser Bald Fire Tower

The road leading to the trailhead is rough the last mile, but doable in any car. Just make sure to take it easy going up and be careful, especially if there has been any rain or snow.

Nathan Szwarc
442 Saves

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina / Blue Ridge Pkwy, NC

The pinpoint for this particular entrance starts just outside of Cherokee, North Carolina, following the Parkway North.

Tiffany Edmiston
438 Saves

Explore Whitewater Falls

North Carolina / Upper Whitewater Falls

Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains with the upper falls alone dropping over 400 feet.

Edward Day
430 Saves

Hike to Lower Cascade Falls

North Carolina / Lower Cascade Falls Parking Area

A beautiful hike through the forest of Hanging Rock State Park. Trail meanders through pines and hardwoods filled with boulders, mountain laurel, scenic views, and the occasional deer or turkey.

Melissa Willard
421 Saves

Hike to Rainbow Falls in Gorges SP

North Carolina / Rainbow Falls Trailhead

Rainbow Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. The Horsepasture River swells in the rainy season, dumping a cascade of water 150 feet.

Edward Day
419 Saves

Explore the Treasures of Shining Rock

North Carolina / Shining Rock Trailhead

There are several ways to access the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, but go for the main trail head off of Hwy 276.

Hike to High Falls & Triple Falls

North Carolina / Triple Falls Trailhead

Just an hour south of Asheville, the hike to High Falls and Triple Falls is perfect for a day trip and friendly for all ages and abilities.

Explore the Devil's Courthouse

North Carolina / Devils Courthouse

The Devil's Courthouse Overlook and Trail can be one of the best places to see the entire Blue Ridge countryside.

Alyssa Ramirez
408 Saves

Hike and Rock Climb Moore's Knob

North Carolina / Moore's Knob Trailhead

Looking for a shorter hike with stunning views, or a place to rappel with a backdrop like no other on the East Coast? Look no further than Moore's Knob, located within Hanging Rock State Park.

Hailey Carter
398 Saves

Hike to Moore Cove Falls

North Carolina / Moore Cove Falls Trail

The hike relatively quick and has minimal elevation gain, making it a great hike for the family or a quick stop off if you're planning to do another hike in the same day.

Hike Bradley Falls

North Carolina / Bradley Falls Trailhead

This is a really nice hike along Cove Creek that leads to a beautiful, 100 foot waterfall.

Hike to Linville Falls

North Carolina / Linville Falls Visitor Center

Linville falls is one of North Carolina's treasures and perhaps the most photographed water fall in the state. Bring the whole family out and explore the area surrounding the falls.

Elyse Clark
365 Saves

Summit Views on Table Rock Mountain

North Carolina / Table Rock Summit Trail

Off of Highway 181, the trailhead is very clearly marked with a large parking lot.

Photograph Hawksbill Mountain at Sunrise or Sunset

North Carolina / Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead, NC

The trail to the summit of Hawksbill begins on an unpaved road for the Pigsah National Forest. In about a half a mile the trail turns left just before reaching the Jonas Ridge Trail.

Christin Healey
326 Saves

Hike to Janes Bald

North Carolina / Carver's Gap Trailhead

This journey begins at Carvers Gap, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. At a beginning elevation of 5512 ft.

Tommy White
324 Saves

Camp in the Linville Gorge via the Pinch In Trail

North Carolina / Pinch In Trail

We are pretty notorious for passing up a good campsite but we are learning our lessons. We got a late but interesting start on Pinch-In trail.

Mason Boring
319 Saves

Summit Calloway Peak in Grandfather Mountain SP

North Carolina / Boone Fork Parking Area

At 5,946 feet, Calloway Peak provides hikers with perhaps the best view of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. You'll have to earn this view - it is a tough climb up, although not terribly long.

Justin Costner
302 Saves

Hike from Max Patch to Hot Springs, N.C.

North Carolina / Max Patch Road

Make a weekend trip from Max Patch to Hot Springs N.C.

Steve Yocom
297 Saves

Hike the Stone Mountain Loop

North Carolina / Stone Mountain Loop Trail

This is a strenuous 4.5 mile hike beginning from the Lower Parking Lot in Stone Mountain State Park (for a 5.2 mile hike, begin at the Upper Parking Lot).

Elyse Clark
296 Saves

Explore Chimney Rock

North Carolina / Chimney Rock Parking Area

Chimney rock is a beautiful slab of weather granite that is visible from miles around.

Robbie O'Donnell
281 Saves

Hike to Huckleberry Knob

North Carolina / Huckleberry Knob

Huckleberry Knob is the highest point in the Cheoah Ranger District at 5,560 feet, and it offers expansive views of the surrounding Cherokee and Natahala National Forest. The hike is 2.

Nathan Szwarc
280 Saves

Hike to High Shoals Falls

North Carolina / Jacob Fork Parking Area

From the Jacob Fork parking area in South Mountains State Park, it is a short 1 mile walk over the Jacob River to the High Shoals Waterfall (80').

Explore Beacon Heights on the Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina / Beacon Heights Parking Area

Beacon Heights is the perfect hike when you're on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville and Grandfather Mountain, Milepost 305.2. The trail is a steady climb uphill for less than a half mile.

Tommy White
276 Saves

Hike to Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail

North Carolina / Black Balsam Knob Road

The parking area for Black Balsam Knob is at mile marker 420.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's free to hike here. Take the Art Loeb Trail a half mile until you reach the knob.

Alyssa Ramirez
266 Saves

Camp on Shortoff Mountain in the Linville Gorge

North Carolina / Shortoff Mountain Trailhead

The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the wildest, most rugged gorges in the eastern United States.

Samuel Martin
258 Saves

Hike to the Pinnacle in Pinnacle Park

North Carolina / Pinnacle Trail, Sylva

Heading out from the parking area, head north on this challenging hike. For the majority of the hike, you'll have a pretty steady uphill charge.

Steve Yocom
257 Saves

Hike the Craggy Pinnacle Trail

North Carolina / Pinnacle Gap Parking Area

I usually spend the day visiting restaurants and breweries around Asheville. Before it gets late, so you can enjoy the views, head to the Blue Ridge Parkway located right outside the city.

Michael Sommers
255 Saves

Explore Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields

North Carolina / Graveyard Fields

Graveyard Fields got it's name years ago from wind-thrown tree trunks that gave the appearance of a graveyard, until 1925 when an intense fire swept through the area, destroying the stumps.

Tiffany Edmiston
250 Saves

Hike Tennent Mountain

North Carolina / Black Balsam Knob Road

Park at the Lot at the end of Black Balsam road, and start your morning in the dark, down the old dirt road at the end of the lot.

Steve Yocom
249 Saves

Explore Dry Falls, North Carolina

North Carolina / Dry Falls North Carolina

Dry Falls is located off of Hwy. 64, which has been designated as the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, and the road does not disappoint. Hwy.

Matthew Koehnemann
247 Saves

Camp and Paddle at Price Lake

North Carolina / Price Lake, NC

This campground is all kinds of amazing, and if you get one of the sites in the A loop, you will have lakefront property (just be warned, if I see you there, I'll have to crash with you ;-).

Christin Healey
239 Saves

Day Hike to Hemphill Bald

North Carolina / Hemphill Bald Trailhead

Hemphill Bald is a quintessential Smoky Mountains vantage point and this moderate loop trail leading to it takes you through beautiful forest and rolling hills.

Steve Yocom
237 Saves

Hike Andrews Bald

North Carolina / Clingmans Dome Trailhead

The trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking lot, just to the left of the paved walkway up to Clingmans Dome.

Nathan Szwarc
233 Saves

Hike to Shuckstack Fire Tower

North Carolina / Fontana Dam Trailhead

Your Shuckstack adventure starts at the Fontana Dam outside of Bryson City, NC. As the highest dam East of the Rocky Mountains, it's a sight on its own.

Bradley Burgess
225 Saves

Hike to Hanging Rock

North Carolina / Hanging Rock Visitor Center

Park in the main parking lot for Hanging Rock State Park, and the trailhead can easily be found in the upper parking lot (furthest away from the main building), and is clearly marked.

Kenton Steryous
219 Saves

Hike to Mt. Sterling's Fire Tower

North Carolina / Baxter Creek Trailhead

On your way in, stop at the ranger station parking lot to use the outhouses and grab a map for $1. Once at the Baxter Creek trailhead you have two options: 1. The Out and Back (12.2 miles) 2.

Brendon Pierson
214 Saves

Explore Cataloochee Valley

North Carolina / Cataloochee Valley

History, solitude and wildlife abound in this quiet corner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but getting here is not easy. Take the scenic route via Cove Creek Road from Cosby, TN.

Robin Pfeifer
206 Saves

Camp at Round Bald

North Carolina / Carvers Gap

This super easy hike to the campsites near Round Bald is the perfect intro to backpacking for kids or newbies, but serves just as well for the more experienced backpackers who can't squeeze a longer .

Steve Yocom
206 Saves

Hike to and Climb Pickens Nose

North Carolina / Pickens Nose Parking Area

From the parking area (fits about 6 cars) follow the trail on the same side of the road up the ridge through dense rhododendron.

Dwayne Parton
202 Saves

Backpack Graveyard Fields-Black Balsam Knob Circuit

North Carolina / Graveyard Fields

When the weather is in your favor, these treeless mountain tops will have your jaw on the floor with layers upon layers of Blue Ridge Mountains.

Clare Healy
197 Saves

Backpack through Nantahala National Forest via the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina / Winding Stair Gap

Winding Stair Gap on Highway 64 is the starting point for this spectacular backpacking trip through the Nantahala National Forest.

Bradley Burgess
196 Saves

Camp at Davidson River Campground in the Pisgah National Forest

North Carolina / Davidson River Campground

Pisgah National Forest, in my opinion, is one of the best national forests in the United States.

Robbie O'Donnell
196 Saves

Catch a Sunset on Wrightsville Beach

North Carolina / Crystal Pier, NC

The great part about this adventure is that you can start anywhere on the island at any time of day.

Robbie O'Donnell
194 Saves

Hiking the South Mountains' Jacob Fork

North Carolina / Jacob Fork River Trailhead

The journey begins at the Cicero Branch Parking Area along South Mountain Road, following Jacob Fork River Trail. The trail runs along the Fork before ascending Chestnut Knob.

Holden LeCroy
191 Saves

Explore Boone Fork Creek

North Carolina / Boone Fork Parking Area

Boone Fork Bridge and creek is situated at the base of Grandfather Mountain, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, milepost 299.9. Elevation 3905'.

Tommy White
187 Saves

Hiking from Carver's Gap to Hwy. 19 on the AT

North Carolina / Carver's Gap Trailhead

The AT from Carver's Gap to HWY 19 is about 14.5 miles, but with side adventures, it could be roughly 20 miles. The trail crosses the road and continues up about a 400 ft.

Jess Fischer
183 Saves

Camp at Freeman Park (Carolina Beach)

North Carolina / Freeman Park

Carolina Beach is a long and broad beach in North Carolina, just south of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington.

Robbie O'Donnell
177 Saves

Hike to Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock

North Carolina / Stone Mountain Loop Trail

This easy 3.0 mile hike begins at the Lower Trailhead Parking Lot at Stone Mountain State Park and includes a 400' ascent to two granite outcrops with nice views.

Elyse Clark
174 Saves

Taking in Soco Falls

North Carolina / Soco Falls

This double waterfall is located a mile and half off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

Steve Yocom
174 Saves

Kayak Hammocks Beach State Park Waterways

North Carolina / Hammocks Beach State Park Entrace

The number of routes one can take to kayak to Hammocks Beach State Park are endless.

Nathan Eckman
172 Saves

Backpack the Dutchman's Creek Trail, Uwharrie NF

North Carolina / Dutchman's Creek Trailhead

This hike starts with mellow terrain changes allowing you to get a feel for the trail. For the first 5 miles you will have one or two steep inclines that take a toll on the calf muscles.

Conrad Mcgill
167 Saves

Hike to Skinny Dip Falls

North Carolina / Looking Glass Falls Overlook Parking Area

Park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. After enjoying the view of Looking Glass Rock, gear up and head to the right side of the parking area (right side if your back is to the overlook).

Jess Fischer
165 Saves

Hike the Lake Shore Trail at Lake Norman

North Carolina / Lake Norman Lake Shore Trail

From the Cove Picnic area in Lake Norman State Park, you immediately begin hiking along the lakeshore. If you don't want to take the full lake loop, use Short Turn Trail for a 2.5 mile hike.

Backpack the Forney Creek Loop

North Carolina / Forney Ridge Trailhead

This is an overnight loop hike that is built around one night in the back country. It can be done as an ambitious day hike.

Haresh Soorma
161 Saves

Swim in Elk River Falls

North Carolina / Elk River Falls Parking, NC

The coordinates for the parking area are 36.198288, -81.970137. You'll see a parking area that's dirt/gravel on the right side of the road.

Jess Fischer
158 Saves

Camp at Snaggy Mountain

North Carolina / Snaggy Mountain

Snaggy Mountain is privately owned land that offers a beautiful camping spot located just outside of the Pigsah National Forest.

Korey Taylor
153 Saves

Photograph Mingo Falls

North Carolina / Mingo Falls Trailhead

Although it is not much of a hike at just 0.3 miles, it is accessible to people of all fitness levels.  A climb up a series of stairs leads you to a trail overlooking Mingo creek.

Christian Murillo
152 Saves

Hike to Grassy Creek Falls

North Carolina / Grassy Creek Falls Trailhead

Grassy Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall that lies on private property just north of Little Switzerland's downtown area. The trailhead is easy to find.

Alan Maxcy
147 Saves

Hike Ledbetter Creek

North Carolina / Ledbetter Creek

Leaving the Nantahala Outdoor Center, drive upriver for 6.5 miles until you see a pull off on the right.

Bradley Burgess
140 Saves

Explore Wiseman's View

North Carolina / Wiseman's View Scenic Overlook Parkinglot

From the parking area, head towards a paved road that leads you to the overlook. The walk to reach the overlook is much shorter than the drive and once you arrive, you'll see that it was all worth it.

Jen Donggur
138 Saves

Hike Fort Fisher's Basin Trail

North Carolina / Basin Trailhead, Fort Fisher

If you're ever in Wilmington, you have got to make time to stop by Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach. You can either get there by driving and you can also take a ferry to it.

Jen Donggur
134 Saves

Hike Three Waterfalls Loop

North Carolina / Deep Creek Ranger Station

Start the loop by hiking the Juney Whank Falls Trail to Juney Whank Falls. The footbridge across the creek makes an excellent place to rest and take in the falls.

Johnathan Duncan
134 Saves

Hike to Party Rock

North Carolina / Party Rock Trailhead

This hike is a strenuous 2.4 miles that takes about 1.5 hours to complete.

Kelley Dodge
118 Saves

Hike to Crabtree Falls

North Carolina / Crabtree Meadows Campground

Starting from the old store parking area at MP 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, follow the trail through a meadow past the campground amphitheater.

Elyse Clark
118 Saves

Explore Old 288 and the Lands Creek Bridge

North Carolina / Fontana Lake - Old NC 288 Boat Ramp

NC 288 was constructed in the 1920's, but did not last long with the construction of the Fontana Dam as the resulting lake covered the highway. The U.S.

Johnathan Duncan
117 Saves

Hike to Mouse Creek Falls

North Carolina / Big Creek/Mouse Creek Trailhead

Follow Big Creek Trail on a moderate climb to this 45-foot waterfall. Around 1.

Joshua Contois
114 Saves

Hike to Little Hump Mountain

North Carolina / Little Hump Mountain Trailhead

Just before reaching Yellow Gap, note a Forest Service Road to your left. This takes you to the "Barn", an old barn that has been converted into an Appalachian Trail shelter.

Hike The Hollow Rock Trail at Rocky Face Mountain

North Carolina / Hollow Rock Trailhead

From the parking lot, head northwest to find the trailhead for Buzzard Roost Loop. Follow that and stay left to meet up with the Hollow Rock Trail.

Hike & Swim at the Eno Quarry

North Carolina / Eno River State Park

Escape the NC heat at the quarry at Eno River State Park. Access the Eno Quarry via Cabe Lands Access Point (parking lot off of Howe Street).

Kelley Dodge
107 Saves

Backpack the Clingmans Dome Loop

North Carolina / Clingmans Dome Trailhead

The first day of the hike is either 12.3 miles or 10.5 miles (depending on the campsite) almost all downhill, and the second half of the loop is 13.3 miles or 11.

Fletcher Chapin
107 Saves

Watch the Green Race

North Carolina / The Green Race

On the first Saturday of November the best creek boaters in the world gather at the Green River in North Carolina to see who can storm the Narrows and claim the top title (at least for the next year!.

Rob Giersch
106 Saves

Hike to Waterrock Knob

North Carolina / Waterrock Knob Trailhead

The trail begins paved and quickly climbs up into a heavily forested area.

Nathan Szwarc
105 Saves

Drive the Scenic Lake Tahoma

North Carolina / Pleasant Gardens

This scenic drive is along NC 80 between a small town called Pleasant Gardens and Micaville.

Korey Taylor
104 Saves

Day Trip to Lake Crabtree

North Carolina / Lake Crabtree Parking Area

Lake Crabtree is a 215 acre park that sits right next to a 520 acre flood control lake, known as Lake Crabtree. The park is open year round and offers a plethora of different activities.

Johnathan Duncan
103 Saves

Hike the Deep Creek Loop

North Carolina / Deep Creek Trailhead

After parking in the Deep Creek Campground parking lot follow the signs for the Deep Creek Trailhead. The Tom Branch waterfall is just .3 miles on the right side. Hike another .

Brian Whitener
99 Saves

Mountain Biking Bent Creek

North Carolina / Hard Times Trailhead

Bent Creek is my favorite Mountain Biking spot in the Southeast, and epitomizes the fun and beauty to be found biking in the North Carolina mountains.

Rob Giersch
97 Saves

Hiking and Fishing the Big East Fork Trail

North Carolina / Big East Fork Trail

Park at the big east fork and fish your way up through wild fish country and scenic waterfalls.

Steve Yocom
96 Saves

Camp on Ocracoke Island, NC

North Carolina / Hatteras Ferry Terminal

Camping on Ocracoke is allowed at the National Park Service Ocracoke Campground. Ocracoke Island is accessible via the North Carolina Ferry System.

Angie Stidham
91 Saves

Hike to Courthouse Falls

North Carolina / Summey Cove Trail

First off, I want to say although the road is gravel it is accessible for 2WD cars you do not need a 4WD car to access this hike.

Nathan Szwarc
89 Saves

Hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook

North Carolina / Noland Divide Trail Trailhead

To start the hike to Lonesome Pine Overlook begin from the Noland Divide Trailhead in Deep Creek. The trail is a steady climb with an average gain of 700 ft. every mile.

Johnathan Duncan
88 Saves

Paddling The Slab and Eternity Hole

North Carolina / The Slab and Eternity Hole Put In

The Slab and Eternity hole, located on the East Fork of the Tuckasegee River, are two of Western, NC's best play spots for kayakers of all levels.

Rob Giersch
86 Saves

Boulder at Rumbling Bald

North Carolina / Rumbling Bald Parking

Located off of Boys Camp Rd. in Lake Lure, North Carolina, Rumbling Bald is a huge boulder yard that has been in use since the 1970's and has begun to flourish.

Blake Rouse
84 Saves

Backpack the Standing Indian Loop on the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina / Standing Indian Campground

Begins at the parking lot for the Standing Indian Campground. (No permits are needed to park here) For the first 3.

Kelsey Willis
82 Saves

Hike to Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls

North Carolina / Deep Creek Trail, GSMNP

From the Deep Creek Trailhead, you can hike to both waterfalls heading up the Deep Creek Trail. You will come across Tom Branch Falls quickly, after 0.2 miles.

Joshua Contois
81 Saves

Hike Deep Gap Trail at Mt. Mitchell State Park

North Carolina / Deep Gap Trailhead, Mount Mitchell State Park

I personally find this trail to be more difficult and have more rewarding views than the Mt. Mitchell summit trail.

Kelley Dodge
76 Saves

Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

North Carolina / Carvers Gap

Starting from the Carver Gap Parking area (do not leave belongings visible in your vehicle) head North on the Appalachian Trail (cross the road and head up the hill past the kiosk).

Jess Fischer
73 Saves

Hike to Alarka Falls

North Carolina / Alarka Falls Trailhead

To visit the falls, take US-74 west from Bryson City to exit 64 . Take a left at the exit and drive on Alarka Road for about 10 miles.

Johnathan Duncan
73 Saves

Hike the Juney Whank Falls Loop

North Carolina / Deep Creek Trailhead

Starting at the Deep Creek Trailhead, take a short walk until the trail meets up with Juney Whank Falls Trail. From here, hang a left and head onto the Juney Whank Falls Trail.

Joshua Contois
68 Saves

Hike to Douglas Falls

North Carolina / Douglas Falls Trailhead

The trail begins at the back of the parking area, and is marked by a trail sign. Once on the trail it is a straight shot to the waterfall with no turnoffs.

Nathan Szwarc
67 Saves

Hike the Iron Mountain Gap to Hughes Gap

North Carolina / Iron Mountain Gap Trailhead

You will start this hike at a small parking area at the state line (~3700 feet). From here the first thing you'll see is the view of Pinnacle Mountain and Unaka Mountain to the west.

Hike Big East Fork Shining Rock Loop

North Carolina / Shining Rock Trailhead

We began this trip by camping overnight in Graveyard Fields. Those camp sites are .5 miles from the car, so we kept our food there over night.

Alicia Yancey
64 Saves

Hike the Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain

North Carolina / Grandfather Mountain Profile Trailhead

If you're looking for a challenge and hoping to escape the crowds at Grandfather Mountain, this is the hike for you.

Kelley Dodge
61 Saves

Explore River Road Park

North Carolina / River Road Park

At the end of River Road Park Rd. there is a small pier to fish off of or to just lounge on. On both the right and left side of the pier there are trails in the forest to wander through.

Conrad Mcgill
58 Saves

Hike the Jomeokee Trail at Pilot Mountain SP

North Carolina / Pilot Knob Parking Area

This unique peak, also known as the Big Pinnacle, is in Pilot Mountain State Park.

Elyse Clark
57 Saves

Hike to Chimney Top

North Carolina / Chimney Top Mountain Trailhead

Upon entering High Hampton Inn, follow the entrance road past the registration building, cart shed and parking lot. Take a right down a gravel road that follows alongside Hampton Lake.

Cody Hager
56 Saves

Camp at Jordan Lake State Park

North Carolina / Jordan Lake State Park, Crosswinds Campground

We passed by Jordan Lake on the way home from a soccer match, and the kids asked if we could camp there before summer's end.

Joshua West
53 Saves

Paddle The Cheoah River

North Carolina / Cheoah Put-In

The Cheoah River is a dam controlled section of whitewater that has become one of the "bucket runs" for Western, North Carolina.

Rob Giersch
52 Saves

Hike Crowders Mountain

North Carolina / Crowders Mountain Visitor Center

Crowders Mountain State Park is the closest green space to downtown Charlotte and it will not disappoint. There are two peaks worth checking out: The Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain.

Sarah Levant
49 Saves

Hike the Kephart Prong Trail, Great Smoky Mountains NP

North Carolina / Kephart Prong Trail

Kephart Prong is a pretty easy hike in close proximity to the Visitor Center on the North Carolina Side of GSMNP.

Joshua Contois
43 Saves

Explore Green Swamp Nature Preserve

North Carolina / Green Swamp Trailhead

Green Swamp Nature Preserve is a coastal forest and swamp about 45 minutes outside of Wilmington, NC in the town of Supply, NC.

Robbie O'Donnell
38 Saves

Hike to Rough Ridge on the Tanawha Trail from Beacon Heights

North Carolina / Beacon Heights Parking Area

If you're feeling frisky, set your alarm for the early am and park at the Beacon Heights Parking area about 30 minutes before dawn.

Kat Dellinger
36 Saves

Photograph Bodie Island Lighthouse

North Carolina / Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse is one of five lighthouses located on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Located just 10 miles south of Nags Head, NC.

Brandon Dewey
35 Saves

Climb Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower

North Carolina / Fryingpan Tower Parking Area

This is an extremely easy trail with a minimal incline. The tower, built in 1941, standing 70 feet above the summit, can be nerve wracking, even for those who aren't scared of heights.

Emily Darnell
33 Saves

Hike to Beauty Spot Gap

North Carolina / Beauty Spot Gap

Beauty Spot Gap is located on the Appalachian Trail on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. The bald offers a panoramic view of Cherokee National Forest and the city of Erwin.

Merritt McKinney
33 Saves

Hike Lookout Mountain, Montreat

North Carolina / Lookout Trail Trailhead

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Montreat, North Carolina. Just down the road from Asheville, it neighbors Black Mountain and doesn't disappoint for views.

Edward Webb
28 Saves

Climb to the Top of The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

North Carolina / Cape Hatteras

Add Cape Hatteras to your summer plans! The cape is isolated and never too crowded. The opportunities for adventure are endless on the cape.

Alex Anderson
28 Saves

Hike the Bluff Mountain Trail

North Carolina / Doughton Park

Before you head out, check the status of the Blue Ridge Parkway (it periodically closes during the winter).  The entire Bluff Mountain Trail is a 7.

Elyse Clark
27 Saves

Hike the Trombatore Trail to Blue Ridge Pastures

North Carolina / Trombatore Trailhead

Park along the road at Bearwallow Gap - this is also the parking area for Bearwallow Mountain.

Kat Dellinger
25 Saves

Visit Murray's Mill

North Carolina / Murray's Mill

The Murray's Mill Historic District features Murray's Mill (constructed in 1913) with its 28 ft.

Elyse Clark
24 Saves

Hike to Schoolhouse Falls and Little Green

North Carolina / Panthertown Trailhead

Trail signs in Panthertown Valley are limited. Be sure to bring a map! Starting at the Cold Mountain parking lot, hike to Schoolhouse Falls. This is a nice waterfall with a pool at the bottom.

Paris Robinson
24 Saves

Backpack the Southern Smokies: Fontana Lake to Clingman's Dome

North Carolina / Noland Creek Trail

This is a strenuous (though not technical) hike that really showcases the forests, creeks, and (eventually) the highest point of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Andrew Todd
24 Saves

Hike to Raven Rock Falls

North Carolina / Raven Rock Falls Trailhead

If you want to see a great waterfall without hiking all day, this is the perfect trail for you.

Paris Robinson
24 Saves

Fish the Haw River in Great Bend Park

North Carolina / Great Bend Park

After parking at Great Bend Park, follow the trail about 100 yards to a bridge which provides you access to a 5-acre island that overlooks the dam's waterfall.

Kelley Dodge
24 Saves

Hike the Conley Cove Trail into Linville Gorge

North Carolina / Rockjock Trailhead to Conley Cove Trailhead

Follow the gravel old 105 to the parking lot at the Rock Jock Trailhead. Follow this trail a short distance until it splits to the left for Conley Cove. The Conley Cove trail descends over 1,200 ft.

Emily White
22 Saves

Hike to Big Hump Mountain along the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina / Yellow Mountain Gap Trailhead

Towering over Little Hump Mountain, Big Hump Mountain offers one of the clearest views on the Appalachian Trail. Big Hump Mountain is located in the Roan Highlands North of Bradley Gap.

Merritt McKinney
17 Saves

Take in the View at the Chestoa View Overlook

North Carolina / Chestoa View Overlook

Chestoa View Overlook is an extremely short hike located down a pull-off at milepost 320 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Merritt McKinney
17 Saves

Hike to Bradley Gap along the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina / Yellow Mountain Gap Trailhead

Bradley Gap rests along the Appalachian Trail overlooking North Carolina and Tennessee mountains. Part of the Roan Highlands, Bradley Gap can be accessed via Yellow Mountain Gap Trailhead.

Merritt McKinney
16 Saves

Hike along Basin Creek in Doughton Park

North Carolina / Basin Creek Trailhead

A treasure in North Carolina that doesn't get as much attention as it should, Doughton Park has some of the best trails around.

Kat Dellinger
16 Saves

Hike the Elk Knob Summit Trail

North Carolina / Elk Knob State Park

There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, so if needed, drive a little past it to the park bathrooms on the left. Park at the summit trailhead and start your hike on the new gravel path.

Kat Dellinger
16 Saves

Hike the Toxaway River Trail

North Carolina / Toxaway River Trailhead

This easy 1.25 mile hike is located within the Lake Toxaway community. The trail itself follows a small creek as it winds through the valley. Be warned - there are numerous stream crossings.

Paris Robinson
16 Saves

Hike the Flat Rock Trail (NC)

North Carolina / Flat Rock Trail (North Carolina)

Flat Rock Trail is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 308. There is a pull-off from the Parkway with a sign designating the location.

Merritt McKinney
12 Saves

Hike to Hawksbill Mountain

North Carolina / Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead

Starting at the Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead, which is clearly marked start hiking up! The trail starts out with some easy uphill switchbacks and leads you to the first lookout point.

Sophie Lamarche
10 Saves

Hike Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Loop

North Carolina / Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

The beauty of this trail starts at the parking lot. Before you start the trail, you will find a picnic table near the parking lot and go down to the edge of the rolling stream.

Alexis Triana
4 Saves