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  • North Carolina

    North Carolina is a great destination for outdoor activities and attractions. From the scenic trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks, there is something for everyone. For those looking for an outdoor adventure, the best trails and outdoor activities in and near the area include hiking, biking, kayaking, and camping. The Appalachian Trail, Linville Gorge, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore are all must-visit locations. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, the area also offers plenty of opportunities for bird watching, fishing, and picnicking. No matter what type of outdoor activities you’re looking for, North Carolina has something for everyone.

    Top Spots in and near North Carolina

    • Brevard, North Carolina

      Moore Cove Falls

      4.3
      1.28 mi / 223 ft gain
      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. This part of the Pisgah National Forest is filled with scenic hikes. Once you've parked your car, cross over the stream via a...
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    • Balsam Grove, North Carolina

      Devil's Courthouse

      4.7
      0.85 mi / 246 ft gain
      The Devil's Courthouse Overlook and Trail can be one of the best places to see the entire Blue Ridge countryside. Even though it is a short hike, there is a fairly steep incline halfway through, so be prepared to huff and puff a little. It takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes depending upon your ...
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    • Canton, North Carolina

      Shining Rock via Shining Creek Trail

      4.3
      8.69 mi / 2569 ft gain
      There are several ways to access the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, but go for the main trail head off of Hwy 276. The trail is split by the Pigeon River, providing a seemingly infinite combinations of trails and routes, keeping in mind that this area intersects often with the well known Art Lobe ...
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    • Little River, North Carolina

      High Falls & Triple Falls

      4.5
      2.38 mi / 502 ft gain
      Both falls provide ample open, flat rock right up next to the massive falls where you can picnic, take photos, or just lounge in the sun and mist. There are signs saying so, but be sure to be careful near the waters edge below the falls - swimming is not allowed as the current can be very strong....
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    • Walnut Cove, North Carolina

      Hike and Rock Climb Moore's Knob

      4.3
      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. Just North of Winston-Salem, Moore's Knob is one of the many wonders of the Sauratown Mountains. At 2579...
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    • Cherokee, North Carolina

      Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Southern Terminus

      5.0
      The pinpoint for this particular entrance starts just outside of Cherokee, North Carolina, following the Parkway North. They say the Blue Ridge Parkway is more than just a road, it's a beautiful journey. Start this journey and you will quickly find this to be true. This 469 mile gateway connects...
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    • Haywood County, North Carolina

      Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail

      5.0
      1.56 mi / 305 ft gain
      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. Along the way you will be walking almost entirely on the bald which is a very pleasant experience. You feel like you're ...
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    • Saluda, North Carolina

      Hike Bradley Falls

      4.8
      2.3 mi / 312 ft gain
      This is a really nice hike along Cove Creek that leads to a beautiful, 100 foot waterfall. While most of the trail is a relaxing stroll, the end of the hike provides a little adventure for those who feel up for it. Starting from the parking lot, follow the main trail into the woods. Early in the ...
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    • Black Mountain, North Carolina

      Craggy Pinnacle Trail

      4.8
      1.03 mi / 285 ft gain
      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. After about 30 minutes on the parkway, you will park at the Craggy Pinnacle parking lot Milepost 364.1. Fro...
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    • Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

      Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls in Gorges SP

      4.5
      3.91 mi / 778 ft gain
      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. The plume of mist at the bottom creates a distinct rainbow effect, giving the falls its name. Hike to Rainbow Falls ...
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    • Cashiers, North Carolina

      Explore Whitewater Falls

      4.0
      0.5 mi / 100 ft gain
      Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains with the upper falls alone dropping over 400 feet. The walk to the falls is very short and friendly for all ages and abilities - the path is paved so the falls are wheelchair accessible. The falls are beautiful in all seasons b...
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    • Newland, North Carolina

      Linville Falls Trail

      4.1
      0.98 mi / 177 ft gain
      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. There are about 4 total miles of trails meandering around and through the gorge and right up to the falls. There ar...
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    • Lake Lure, North Carolina

      Explore Chimney Rock

      4.0
      0.5 mi
      Chimney rock is a beautiful slab of weather granite that is visible from miles around. To get to this hike you'll want to head to Lake Lure in North Carolina, a beautiful lake located in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow the signs for Chimney Rock and take the switchback road up t...
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    • Canton, North Carolina

      Skinny Dip Falls

      4.8
      1.03 mi / 148 ft gain
      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). On the opposite side of the road you'll see a mile marker and a little trail to the left of the marker. Foll...
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    • Morganton, North Carolina

      Hike to the Summit of Table Rock Mountain

      4.6
      2.2 mi / 572 ft gain
      Off of Highway 181, the trailhead is very clearly marked with a large parking lot. Although the trail is fairly short, make sure you have your footing, because the trail does switch back and forth in addition to gaining elevation -- it's pretty steep in some places! It's all worth it when you get...
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    • Morganton, North Carolina

      Photograph Hawksbill Mountain at Sunrise or Sunset

      5.0
      1.5 mi / 860 ft gain
      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. This turn is an clearly marked turn with a sign for "Hawksbill Summit". The trail then becomes steeper and rocki...
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