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Off the Beaten Path Hiking Trails in Asheville

Off the Beaten Path Hiking Trails in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina is well-known for its iconic hiking routes and natural wonders. While these hikes aren't as well-known, they do provide an opportunity to get off the beaten path on less-traveled trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains near downtown Asheville. 

If you’ve already explored Chimney Rock, Mount Pisgah, and Black Mountain and want to do something a little more secluded, we’ve got some of the best hiking trails for you. Here are several lesser-known hikes in the Asheville area that will get you outside and appreciating nature in no time. 

Secret Asheville Trails

1. Rattlesnake Lodge

Rattlesnake Lodge is a nice place to go for a relaxing, calm walk through the woods. The area is a part of the Mountains of Sea trail, and on your hike, you’ll see the ruins of Dr. Ambler's vacation residence and an information board about the area's history. 

This hidden loop is only 3.4 miles long, so you can stop by for an afternoon stroll or wake up early and hike before breakfast.

2. Douglas Falls Near Craggy Gardens

Asheville has plenty of waterfalls and swimming holes spread around the city. On a hot summer day, many people want to get outside but also find somewhere to cool down. Fortunately, we know of a location that is a little more difficult to reach and far more private than other waterfalls. 

The 10-mile round trip climb to Douglas Falls features multiple stream crossings and a magnificent waterfall, making it the perfect trail for a hot afternoon hike. 

Stay at Bent Creek Lodge to get a head start on the day and to be close to the best hiking trails and wildlife sighting locations in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Return to this small log cabin's traditional comfy rooms after your hike to relax and plan for tomorrow. Take a wander around the inn's beautifully landscaped grounds if you don't feel like going for a hike.

3. Heartbreak Ridge

Heartbreak Ridge is a calm 9.7-mile roundtrip climb. It starts slowly and quickly progresses to a series of switchbacks that leads to the ridge. Take frequent rest while hiking to enjoy the scenery, rehydrate, and catch your breath. A breathtaking outlook near the turnaround point is perfect for a picnic. 

If you're staying for a couple of days, The Princess Anne Hotel is a hidden gem and historic hotel. Before heading downtown for supper, enjoy afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvre.

4. Fontana Lake Trail

Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, Fontana Lake is a popular swimming hole. Many visitors come for the day to enjoy boating or relax on the beaches, but there is a great lakeside trail that is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. 

The Lakeshore Trail begins near the dam and follows the lake for 32 miles, allowing you to go as far or as short as you like. About a mile in, you can explore a secluded area with abandoned cars and cool yourself in the lake after your hike.

5. Noland Creek Trail

If you drive to the end of Fontana Lake, you’ll find a plethora of trails at Lakeshore. One trail is the Noland Creek Trail, which connects to the Fontana Lake Trail. This trail descends to Fontana Lake before following Noland Creek for 18 miles into the wilderness. 

The trail is pretty flat in general, making it a fantastic easy hike. While you're here, check out the tunnel at the end of the road and learn about the area's fascinating history.

Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Bar

Whether you want to spend a day outdoors, go bird watching in a less populated area, or simply enjoy some peace in the afternoon, hit one of these off-the-beaten-path hiking trails in Asheville. Afterward, head downtown to Off The Wagon for excellent entertainment and delicious beverages. We are a dueling piano bar that delivers a fun-filled evening unlike any other.

Sing and dance to all your favorite songs while two talented musicians face one other, singing different genres and styles. But music isn't the only thing going on at Off The Wagon. 

We serve some of the best cocktails in Asheville and provide exceptional service. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or want to enjoy a night out, Off The Wagon is the place to go for a great time. For more information about our piano shows, visit our website.