Lace up and get out there:
7 Best Hikes in Asheville During Spring
1. Rainbow Falls Trail, Gorges State Park
The mist spraying up off of the 125 foot falls of Horsepasture River catches the sunlight perfectly to create little rainbows on the water. On the hike to this magical spot, expect your feet to get wet; there are several streams you need to cross! About 20 minutes into your adventure, the trail switches from Gorges State Park to Pisgah National Forest. No biggie: just the same great trail with a different name. Be aware that it may get a little tricky in the dense hardwood area of the trail, but you will find your way to the falls by following alongside the river.
The site is beautiful, but the rocks are going to be slippery, so make sure to be careful and conscious about where you explore.
2. Pink Beds, Pisgah National Forest
This section of Pisgah National Forest, known as the “Cradle of American Forestry”, is one of the few places that offer the opportunity to see the rare “swamp pink” flower. This beauty doesn’t grow but in a few places in the southern Appalachians. Thick forests and trickling brookes bridged with beaver dams are also to be seen along this trail.
3. Douglas Falls, Big Ivy Area of Pisgah National Forest
The 70-foot Douglas Falls is tucked away in the Big Ivy area of Pisgah National Forest, surrounded by over 35 different types of wildflowers. There are two routes to get to the falls, one being a challenging hike, and the other a steep, unpaved drive up. Once you get there you can even walk behind the waterfall! Just be sure to watch your step on the slick rocks. If you are driving, look out for Walker Falls which cascades down by the road.
4. Craven Gap, Blue Ridge Parkway
A good introduction to the scenery in the Parkway, this trail is only 15 minutes from town. It is a stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea trail (MTS), and it offers a great taste of the forest. President and Mrs. Obama hiked here in their time on the Parkway! This stretch is one of the flattest in the MTS, with few short climbs it is one of the best trails to start on. It’s important to know that there is no mark letting you know the name of the trail at the start. The hike begins with a set of stairs from the parking lot, and is marked by a white blaze to make sure you stay on track.
5. Deep Creek Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Deep Creek Trail is one of many adventures to be found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three waterfalls and many types of gorgeous wildflowers line the path through the wilderness. Deep Creek is a great place to try tubing. You will find Juney Whank Falls, Toms Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls along the path, and if you decide to take a ride through the upper part of the creek, expect white water. A fast, thrilling ride will end with a gentle, soothing cruise down in the lower part of the creek. The tubing, along with fly fishing and mountain biking is all part of the gorgeous experience found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
6. Grandfather Mountain State Park
Grandfather Mountain State Park is home to many rare wildflowers. Park rangers offer annual walks to show off the flora, the season beginning in March with a gorgeous show including violets, bloodroot, serviceberry. April and May bring mountain magnolia, bluets, trout lily dwarf iris, and pink and yellow lady slippers. Grandfather Mountain State Park is easily one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse trails around.
7. Graveyard Fields, Blue Ridge Parkway
The Graveyard Fields Loop trail has something for everyone who hikes, blueberry picking, meadows, forests, and waterfalls. Not far into your hike, you will pass over a bridge that crosses Yellowstone Creek. Take the right side of the path after the bridge to find a popular swimming area that many people end their hike on.
If you aren't ready to stop your adventure, go back and take the left side of the trail where the loop really begins. In a high mountain meadow, you’ll find an area thick with blueberry bushes, you’ll pass a beautiful campground, and will eventually loop back around to the trail that takes you back to the parking lot, or to the swimming hole. This trail is the easiest to see the most of what Asheville hikes have to offer.
Cool Down and Relax After Your Hike
No matter what awesome Asheville hike you try, make sure to cool down, stretch, and treat yourself to a cool cocktail. At Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar, you’ll be able to relax, unwind, and get down to the best tunes in town. See you on the trails - and then at the show!