Hiking Trails in North Carolina

The Best Hiking in North Carolina is in the Western Counties

The hardest part about hiking North Carolina is choosing a trail. Western North Carolina is home to the Nantahala National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Appalachian Trail, Joyce Kilmer National Forest, and The Mountains-to-Sea Trail. There are so many amazing parks and hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina that you could spend a whole lifetime exploring this area and never see it all. But by all means, please try. Experts and novices alike will love hiking North Carolina trails. We have trails ranging from epic, week-long expeditions to casual day hikes, to handicap accessible trails.

Hundreds of miles of trail winds through thousands of acres of pristine wilderness in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The rewards of hiking North Carolina are many: heart-stopping views, swimming holes and everyone’s favorite, waterfalls. Several waterfalls are also handicap accessible including Nantahala Forest’s Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls, and the Cullasaja Falls are viewable from the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.

Legendary Hiking: North Carolina’s World Famous Trails

Natural wonders abound every season of the year in Western North Carolina. Hiking North Carolina gives you a chance to slow down and appreciate the beauty of this region, one step at a time.

The Appalachian Trail draws hikers from around the globe. See the incredible views from Charlie’s Bunion and Wesser Bald, two unforgettable sections of AT hiking in North Carolina.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Trail is an easy two-mile loop through an ancient forest. Hike past 400-year-old trees in the last stand of old growth forest in the Southern Appalachians. This particular forest memorializes the poet Joyce Kilmer who penned, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree” in his masterwork, Trees. If you want to take children hiking in North Carolina or have older family members in your party, don’t miss this trail.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been called the most biologically diverse place on earth. The park itself encompasses 200,000 acres of virgin forest, crisscrossed by 800 miles of hiking trails. Hiking North Carolina is not complete without visiting the Great Smokies.

Let Us Help You Plan An Amazing Vacation Hiking North Carolina

Smoky Mountain Host of North Carolina can help you plan the perfect vacation hiking North Carolina. There is so much more to see and do in addition to hiking in North Carolina, that you’ll want a guide to the best of what our region has to offer. Order our travel planner online or call 1-800-432-4678 to request one.

Our travel planner can help you find where to stay, where to play and where to eat a well deserved meal after hiking North Carolina’s spectacular trails.

Escape the city and get away to mountain majesty, come stay in your very own charming mountain cabin - at a refreshing 4,000 feet. Your secluded vacation cabin has a fireplace, 2 BR's/1 Bath, some have mountain views. Plus, there's a picnic area outside with a gas grill to cook those fresh mountain trout you just caught in the lake on "your" 200 acre estate. Arrowmont Stables has one of the best horse ride programs in the SE, maybe even the country. Before every trail ride, you are given a live demonstration or shown a video describing how the horses have been trained, a little about their personality and some about safety. Then you are given an opportunity to try your horse in the ring before going on the trail. This way your horse can be changed if needed before leaving for the trail. This takes about 30-45 minutes and is free of charge. We believe it is important.Your entire family can have fun going on a hayride. Tour this beautiful mountain for about an hour. Plus, stop for a refreshing drink of some apple cider on your way back to the stables.There's plenty to do to keep you busy...horse rides, trout fishing, hiking, camping, hay rides, vacation cabins and those ever popular campfire stories or just relax and enjoy the views!CALL (800)682-1092 TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPECIAL TIME!!
276 Arrowmont Trail Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828) 743-2762 www.arrowmont.com Get Directions
Cataloochee Ranch, located a mile high above Maggie Valley at an elevation of 5,000 feet, offers a 1,000 acre ranch bording the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. A full service resort with meals, tennis, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, etc. Since 1939 the Cataloochee family has been sharing their Southern warmth and hospitality with their guests. Family style cooking, daily hayrides, cookouts, bonfires, volleyball, horseshoes, croquet, entertainment and a 20-foot heated swim spa. The lodge features 6 units, accommodating 25 people, 12 cabins accommodating 2 to 8 people, 4 romance cabins, & the Main Ranch House with 6 sleep rooms. Each with private baths, fireplaces, furnishings featuring handmade quilts, primitive or classic antiques, and porches with rocking chairs to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding mountains.
119 Ranch Drive Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (828) 926-1401 www.cataloocheeranch.com Get Directions
Year-round fun. Excitement for all experience levels. National forest trails. Varying terrain and length.
1306 Hot House Road Hayesville, NC 28904 (828) 389-4175 chunkygalstables.com Get Directions
Authorized NPS Concessioner offering guided horseback riding within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
135 Smokemont Riding Stable Road (off US 441) Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-2373 www.smokemontridingstable.com Get Directions