Hiking Trails

Hiking is one of the most popular and enjoyable activities you can do in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is nothing like taking a short day hike through the woods or even an overnight hike to make you forget about the pressures of the modern world and remind you about what is truly important about our lives.  

Hiking is a great way to stay fit and be outdoors at the same time as well.

Fortunately, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia have nearly 5,000 miles of hiking trails.   3,000 of those being in Western North Carolina.  The biggest problem is choosing which ones to hike, and finding a good trail for you, based on your experience and physical fitness.

Below is a list of our top hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and ones that we've personally hiked.  Each listing links out to a detailed guide, write-up on the trail, photos, and often video as well.

Our guides provide lots of photos, directions, tips, and information to help you decide which trails are right for you!  All of these trails require basic day hiking gear, but nothing out of the ordinary, such as climbing gear.

Top Hiking Trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains

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Alum Bluff Trail to Mount LeConte
Alum Bluff trail is nearly the perfect trail, with creekside hiking, caves, bridges, scenic views, with the peak being Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn More »
Avery Creek Falls
Avery Creek Falls is a small but pretty waterfall, that is good for families due to the shallow pool below. Learn More »
Big Bradley Falls
Big Bradley Falls is a 75 foot tall waterfall, located in a gorge near Saluda NC. While beautiful, the waterfall is difficult to reach, but viewable from an overlook in the gorge. The falls is about 30 minutes from Lake Lure, NC. Learn More »
Big Creek Trail
Big Creek Trail, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one our personal favorite trails. Within a 5.5 mile roundtrip hike, you get to hike through a heavily wooded forest, alongside one of the largest and fastest flowing creeks in the park, visit 2 waterfalls. Learn More »
Black Balsam Knob
A fantastic and scenic hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This out and back hike will take you to the peak of the 6000 foot Black Balsam Knob. Some of the most beautiful scenery on the Parkway. Learn More »
Boogerman Trail
This is nearly 8 mile roundtrip and moderate - strenuous hike is full of history, creeks, dense old hardwood forest, and some of the largest trees you'll see in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn More »
Cedar Rock Falls
Cedar Rock Falls is a 20' tall and beautiful waterfall, located in the Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. The hike to the falls is moderate, and 1.8 miles roundtrip. Dog and kid friendly! Learn More »
Chasteen Creek Cascade
Chasteen Creek Cascade is a 30' tall waterfall, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The waterfall is accessible via an easy 3.6 mile roundtrip hike. Learn More »
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is one of the highest points east of the Mississippi at 6,643 and the tallest mountain in Tennessee. Clingmans Dome Trail will take you to the top and observation tower for incredible 360 degree views. Learn More »
Courthouse Falls
Courthouse Falls is a gorgeous, and remote 50 foot waterfall surrounded on three sides by cliffs. The water plunges into a dark pool below the falls, and then continues down the creek. The hike to this falls is short, and easy at 1.4 miles roundtrip. The falls is located in Pisgah National Forest, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Learn More »
Cove Creek Loop Trail
A really nice remote trail that takes you through some beautiful deep forest and includes a nice waterfall. Located in Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard NC. Learn More »
Craggy Gardens Pinnacle Trail
The most popular, and beautiful trail at Craggy Gardens, this short but somewhat steep hike offers tremendous 360 degree views of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains. Learn More »
Deep Creek Loop Trail
This moderate loop trail is a 4.6 mile hike that will take you through the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and to three separate waterfalls. An amazing hike, especially in the Spring and Fall. Learn More »
Dill Falls
Dill Falls is a very remote and beautiful waterfall, located in the Nantahala National Forest near Highway 215 in NC and The Blue Ridge Parkway. The fall is accessible via a short trail and easy trail. Learn More »
Flat Creek Trail
An amazingly beautiful 5.2 mile moderate round trip hike located just off The Blue Ridge Parkway, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Full of wildflowers in the spring. Learn More »
Flat Laurel Creek Trail to Wildcat Falls
Wildcat Falls is located in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. The falls are a short hike from Highway 215 and close to The Blue Ridge Parkway. Very nice easy-moderate hike and waterfall. Great family hike. Learn More »
Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls
Gabes Mountain Trail is an easy to moderate hike that begins at the Cosby Campground in Tennessee and takes you down to the 90 foot tall Hen Wallow Falls. Learn More »
Grogan Creek Falls
Grogran Creek Falls is a stunning 20' gentle and wide cascade in the Ranger District of Pisgah National Park. It is one of four waterfalls viewable along a 5.5 mile roundtrip and moderate hike from Cat Gap Trailhead. Learn More »
Hike the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch
This 1.5 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail provides stunning and long range 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The grass covered fields at the top provide a wonderful location for picnics, playing, and kite flying. Learn More »
Kephart Prong Trail
Kephart Prong is a very pretty out and back trail that takes you alongside creeks, through an old Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and out to Kephart Shelter. Lots of Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron, and wildflowers. Learn More »
Linville Falls NC
Linville Falls is a very popular 90' waterfall that plunges into Linville Gorge. The falls are right of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and offer multiple hiking trails and viewpoints. Learn More »
Little Bradley Falls
Little Bradley Falls is an exceptionally beautiful 50 foot multi-tiered waterfall near Saluda, North Carolina. This gorgeous waterfall is at the end of an easy and almost two mile roundtrip hike. Learn More »
Little Cataloochee Trail
Little Cataloochee Trail is a beautiful and historic trail, full of scenic forest, creeks, and historic structures. The highlight of the hike is Little Cataloochee Baptist Church. This is is a moderate hike. The hike is beautiful year around, but exceptional in the Fall. Learn More »
Little River Trail
Little River Trail, located in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National is a fun trail full of interesting history, and has an optional loop hike, and small waterfall. Learn More »
Lower Bubbling Springs Creek Falls
A nice waterfall, located on a .5 mile roundtrip hike, just off Highway 215 and near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Learn More »
Lower Falls Graveyard Fields
Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is a very beautiful and photogenic waterfall, that is also a popular summer swimming hole. The waterfall is viewable from the Parkway, and accessible via short hike. Learn More »
Lower Sam Branch Falls
Lower Sam Branch Falls is located off Highway 215 in NC, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Falls is one of three waterfalls, very close to each other. The hike out is only .5 miles roundtrip. Learn More »
Mingo Falls
Mingo Falls is a beautiful 120 foot tall waterfall, near Cherokee NC. The falls are accessed by a short wooden walkway, but the walkway is mostly all stairs going up. The Falls are well worth it, and there is a nice observation deck at the base of the falls. Learn More »
Moore Cove Falls
Moore Cove Falls is a beautiful 50' waterfall that you can get in and go behind. The trail to the falls is very nice and short as well. The waterfall is located on Highway 276 in North Carolina, near the popular Looking Glass Falls. Learn More »
Porters Creek Trail
Porters Creek Trail is a 4 mile round trip hike out to Fern Branch Falls and back. The trail is famous for an abundance of wild flowers that literally blanket the forest floor all around the trail in early April. The Trail is easy-moderate and located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn More »
Purchase Knob
The hike to Purchase Knob is a real hidden gem, located near Maggie Valley NC. Purchase Knob features high elevation views, historic buildings, and access to a number of other fantastic trails and views. One of the best scenic hikes in the ar Learn More »
Rainbow Falls Trail
Rainbow Falls Trail located in Gorges State Park, NC is a really nice deep woods hike, that begins in Gorges State Park and ends in Pisgah National Forest at either Rainbow Falls or Turtleback Falls. Learn More »
Road to Nowhere
Drive along and hike through the abandoned tunnel at the Road to Nowhere! This short but fun hike is located just a few miles from Bryson City. Bring a flashlight! Learn More »
Rough Fork Trail
This 4-mile roundtrip wooded hike in Cataloochee Valley takes you up to the historic Woody House. A very nice easy-moderate trail, that is great for families. Learn More »
Sam's Knob to Flat Laurel Creek Trail Loop Hike
This moderate 3.5-mile roundtrip loop hike provides scenic views, creeks, and wildflowers. Sam's Knob, which provides stunning views is just a short excursion off the hike as well. Learn More »
Skinny Dip Falls
Skinny Dip Falls is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, at Milepost 417. Accessing the Falls requires a moderate 1 mile roundtrip hike. The falls are gorgeous, and a popular summer swimming hole with locals. Learn More »
Twin Falls on Henry Branch
This is wonderful 4-mile roundtrip hike through Pisgah National Forest where you see three waterfalls, two of which are called Twin Falls, as they are very close to each other. This hike is especially pretty during the spring, due to the abundance of wildflowers. Learn More »
Upper Bubbling Spring Branch Falls
This pretty 30' cascade is one of two waterfalls accessible via short .5 mile hike off Highway 215 in North Carolina. Learn More »
Upper Cedar Rock Falls
Upper Cedar Rock Falls is a small (only 10' tall) waterfall, but still very pretty. The falls has a nice gentle cascade, that flows into a wading pool. Upper Cedar Rock Falls is accessible via a 2 mile roundtrip and moderate hike, and is one of four viewable waterfalls. Learn More »
Upper Falls Graveyard Fields
Upper Falls is a 40 foot tall waterfall, located in the Graveyard Fields area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, in North Carolina. The trail to the falls is about 1.3 miles. Learn More »
Wash Hollow Falls
Wash Hollow Falls is very pretty and photogenic 50' waterfall, located along a short hike off Highway 215 in North Carolina. Learn More »
Waterfalls Trail - Dupont State Forest
This out and back trail takes you to 4 of the 6 waterfalls in Dupont State Forest if you do the entire 8-mile roundtrip hike. But you can tailor the hike to your needs and adjust the length. This is a very nice hike with beautiful waterfalls, some featured in major motion pictures. Learn More »
Waterrock Knob
Waterrock Knob Trail is a short, but strenuous trail that takes you to the peak of this 6,000+ elevation mountain. The trail offers stunning views of the mountains, and of Maggie Valley NC. Learn More »
Whitewater Falls NC
Whitewater Falls near Sapphire NC is a 411 foot and stunning waterfall. The paved trail to the waterfall is easy and handicap accessible. Whitewater Falls is the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Learn More »
Pretty Hollow Gap Trail
Pretty Hollow Gap Trail is a 8 mile round trip out and back trail, that follows along side Palmer Creek and Pretty Hollow Creek to Pretty Hollow Gap in Cataloochee Valley. The trail ends and runs into Mount Sterling Ridge Trail and Benton MacKaye Trail, a nearly 300 mile long trail.

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