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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

    • Maggie Valley, North Carolina

      Soco Falls

      5.0
      0.09 mi / 0 ft gain
      This double waterfall is located a mile and half off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cherokee Indian Reservation. From the parking area, it's a short walk down a well-established trail to the viewing area of the falls. For an even closer view of the falls, you can follow a roped, steep path dow...
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    • Bryson City, North Carolina

      Hike Three Waterfalls Loop

      5.0
      2.4 mi / 450 ft gain
      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. Follow the trail across the bridge and up the bank. After about 300 feet take a right and follow Deep Creek Horse Trail towards Deep C...
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    • Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

      Catch a Sunset on Wrightsville Beach

      4.7
      The great part about this adventure is that you can start anywhere on the island at any time of day. The island is four miles long, running from Mason Inlet to the north down to Masonboro Inlet to the south.The best fishing can be found on the north end of the island from Public Access 1 to the J...
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    • Connelly Springs, North Carolina

      Chestnut Knob via River Trail

      4.0
      5.9 mi / 1115 ft gain
      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. After completing the trail, you will find yourself on the highest peak of the South Mountain chain, where there are breat...
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    • Cherokee, North Carolina

      Mingo Falls

      4.2
      0.22 mi / 148 ft gain
      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.  You will then find a 20 foot wide bridge which serves as the viewing platform of the falls.   If you care to advent...
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    • Wilmington, North Carolina

      Freeman Park (Carolina Beach)

      5.0
      Carolina Beach is a long and broad beach in North Carolina, just south of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington. Camping is allowed only in designated areas (there are 21 campsites). Reservations must be made in advance, camping is $50 per night. A daily access pass or season pass is also required to...
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    • Burnsville, North Carolina

      Mount Mitchell via the Old Mitchell Trail

      5.0
      3.74 mi / 1194 ft gain
      After arriving in the park off of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, park at the first parking lot you encounter on the righthand side of the road. There is a visitor's center there where you can inquire about the park and pick up a park map. Once you do that walk outside and look to the left of t...
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    • Traphill, North Carolina

      Hike to Wolf Rock and Cedar Rock

      5.0
      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. This hike can be combined with the Stone Mountain Loop hike for a 6.5 mile strenuous hike.From the parking lot, walk towards the strea...
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    • Burnsville, North Carolina

      Deep Gap Trail at Mt. Mitchell State Park

      5.0
      8.24 mi / 2310 ft gain
      I personally find this trail to be more difficult and have more rewarding views than the Mt. Mitchell summit trail. The Deep Gap Trail starts near the Mount Mitchell summit and heads into a forest of spruce and balsam fir trees. The trail then climbs along the ridgeline to neighboring summits. E...
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    • Barnardsville, North Carolina

      Douglas Falls

      5.0
      1.11 mi / 125 ft gain
      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. Overall the trail is very easy and is a slight descent all the way down. Around .3 miles into the trail you enter a forest of now-dead hemloc...
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    • Swansboro, North Carolina

      Kayak Hammocks Beach State Park Waterways

      4.8
      The number of routes one can take to kayak to Hammocks Beach State Park are endless. One quick look at google maps and you'll see the path from mainland to the island is scattered by a hodgepodge series of small islands (some only a few feet wide).First timers should launch from the dock off Hamm...
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    • Green Mountain, North Carolina

      Hike to Beauty Spot Gap

      5.0
      2.13 mi / 1277 ft gain
      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. This is a popular destination for hikers of the AT to set up camp and watch the sunset. From the Tennessee side, t...
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    • Linville, North Carolina

      Profile Trail to Calloway Peak

      5.0
      6.2 mi / 2300 ft gain
      If you're looking for a challenge and hoping to escape the crowds at Grandfather Mountain, this is the hike for you.  Climbing up the back side of the mountain (opposite the famed mile-high swinging bridge) this trail is fee-free and easy-to-access with its own parking lot.  The trail, marked w...
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    • Spruce Pine, North Carolina

      Grassy Creek Falls

      1.5 mi / 312 ft gain
      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. From Little Switzerland simply go under the Blue Ridge Parkway and the driveway is immediately on the right. You will park at the top of the...
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    • Balsam Grove, North Carolina

      Hike to Courthouse Falls

      4.7
      0.07 mi / 40 ft gain
      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. The trail begins just over the bridge that crosses Panther Branch Creek. Just over the bridge there is a pullout where you can park that should fit at least 3 cars. Th...
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    • Burnsville, North Carolina

      Camp at Snaggy Mountain

      Snaggy Mountain is privately owned land that offers a beautiful camping spot located just outside of the Pigsah National Forest. It's completely secluded by an Apple Orchard and is a great home base for several hiking adventures in the area. The location on the map will get you to the parking spo...
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