Outdoor Recreation

Find the Best Outdoor Recreation and Things to do in Asheville, NC

Asheville is located in western North Carolina along the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Pisgah National Forest, Chimney Rock State Park, and the DuPont State Forest. 

Asheville Blue Ridge Mountains

Offering more than a million acres of protected wilderness around the area, outdoor recreation is plentiful around Asheville. You’ll find opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, tubing, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting, zip-lining, and so much more. From the mountains to the streams to the lakes, Asheville is an outdoor oasis with something for everyone. 

 

Here are some of our favorite places to explore the outdoors in and around Asheville, NC. 

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile stretch of road along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains offering spots to stop along the way. There are five entrances to the Parkway in the Asheville area, and plenty of stops to enjoy a picnic, take in the scenic vista, go for a hike, chase waterfalls, and more. 

DuPont State Forest

The DuPont State Forest is a 10,473-acre forest with 86 miles of trails and many waterfalls. High Falls, Triple Falls, Hooker Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Wintergreen Falls are among the best waterfalls to visit in the area. 

Pisgah National Forest

Covering more than 500,000 acres, the Pisgah National Forest is home to old-growth forests and some of the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi. Go white water rafting, chase waterfalls, or hike on the trail system that spans hundreds of miles. Cool off at Elk Falls or hike the Looking Glass Rock Trail.

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock is about 25 miles from Asheville and is one of the state's most iconic sites. The 535-million-year-old monolith offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge. Hike the Outcroppings Trail and climb up the top to see for an estimated 75 miles. The state park features additional trails like Exclamation Point Trail, Great Woodland Adventure Trail, Hickory Nut Falls Trail, and Skyline Trail. 

Lake Lure

Coined as the "Crown Jewel of North Carolina," Lake Lure is a man-made lake about 27 miles from Asheville in the Hickory Nut Gorge. There's a beach, hiking and biking trails, and more. Lake Lure is not only a beautiful place to visit and explore, but it's also a Hollywood icon being in films like Dirty Dancing, the Last of the Mohicans, and Thunder Road, among others. There's even a Dirty Dancing Festival every year. 

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