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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

    • Elk Park, North Carolina

      Elk River Falls

      4.6
      0.35 mi / 62 ft gain
      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. At the far end of the parking lot is a sign that says Elk River Falls with an arrow pointing up the hill. From this point its about a .2 mile long walk to th...
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    • Highlands, North Carolina

      Explore Dry Falls, North Carolina

      4.6
      0.42 mi / 95 ft gain
      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. 64 is a two lane road which hugs the northern side of Cullasaja Gorge, which has been carved by the Cullasaja River. Besides Dry Falls, Hwy. 64 leads you past...
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    • Newland, North Carolina

      Beacon Heights Overlook

      5.0
      0.71 mi / 105 ft gain
      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. The last section being fairly steep and rocky. Once at the top, there are several rock outcroppings, but...
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    • Micaville, North Carolina

      Crabtree Falls

      4.9
      2.83 mi / 525 ft gain
      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. After crossing the paved road to the campground, the trail will come to a T-intersection. Take the trail to the right for the shortest way to the fal...
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    • Canton, North Carolina

      Graveyard Fields-Black Balsam Knob Circuit

      4.4
      9.83 mi / 1522 ft gain
      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. This hike can be done in one day, but with panoramic views at multiple points, you'll want to take your time along this link of trails. This ~10-mile l...
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    • Canton, North Carolina

      Tennent Mountain

      5.0
      3 mi / 285 ft gain
      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. Take this road until you get to Ivestor Gap and make a right onto the Art Loeb, try and time it so the sun is just about to rise here. Hike or trail run The Art Loeb ...
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    • Banner Elk, North Carolina

      Calloway Peak via Daniel Boone Scout Trail

      5.0
      6.31 mi / 1991 ft gain
      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. Begin at the trailhead for Tanawha Trail in the Boone Fork Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway....
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    • Connelly Springs, North Carolina

      High Shoals Falls

      4.6
      2.47 mi / 617 ft gain
      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'). If you choose to continue past the observation deck, High Shoals Falls Trail (blue circle) climbs up above the waterfall, crossing the river. Keep rig...
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    • Bryson City, North Carolina

      Andrews Bald

      5.0
      3.55 mi / 1200 ft gain
      The trail begins at the Clingmans Dome parking lot, just to the left of the paved walkway up to Clingmans Dome. You will start the hike at an elevation of 6130 feet which is only 334 feet less than Clingmans Dome which is the highest point in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the second...
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    • Lake Santeetlah, North Carolina

      Huckleberry Knob

      4.8
      1.77 mi / 295 ft gain
      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 2.4 miles roundtrip and begins at the parking lot between mile 8 and 9 up an old dirt road. You will go up the di...
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    • Traphill, North Carolina

      Hike the Stone Mountain Loop

      4.5
      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). From the lot, take the trail by the bathroom. Keep right at the first trail intersection, then left at the second trail intersection to stay ...
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    • Sylva, North Carolina

      Pinnacle in Pinnacle Park

      5.0
      5.98 mi / 2142 ft gain
      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. There are some flat parts between climbs, so be sure to catch your breath and get some water in during these times. Once you reach the fork, where you'...
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    • Fontana Dam, North Carolina

      Shuckstack Fire Tower

      5.0
      8.84 mi / 2605 ft gain
      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. This will be your last chance to fill up water bottles and use the restroom so take advantage. You can leave on foot from the dam and continue ...
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    • Otto, North Carolina

      Hike to and Climb Pickens Nose

      4.8
      1.5 mi / 200 ft gain
      From the parking area (fits about 6 cars) follow the trail on the same side of the road up the ridge through dense rhododendron. Several spur trails branch off of the main trail and lead to rock outcroppings with excellent views. Getting to the parking area is slow. The narrow gravel road winds...
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    • Marion, North Carolina

      Camp in the Linville Gorge via the Pinch In Trail

      1.5 mi
      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. We climbed down a steep 600+ feet after passing this ledge only to climb right back to it a third of a mile in. If we come up to an awesome spot, we somet...
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    • Canton, North Carolina

      Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields

      4.3
      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. The forest has been recovering ever since. The parking area for Graveyard Fields is located at milepost 41...
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