Asheville Great Outdoors Guide
Easy Activities, Great for Kids!
Asheville Urban Trail – If you love art and history, you don’t want to miss walking Asheville’s Urban Trail, a 1.7 mile walking tour through the streets of downtown Asheville. Asheville’s history and past are told through 30 stops, each with public sculpture which function as landmarks along the Urban Trail.
UNC Botanical Gardens – Looking for a beautiful spot for a leisurely stroll to enjoy nature in the middle of the city? Go to the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located just two miles from downtown, located at the University of North Carolina in Asheville.
WNC Arboretum – (828) 665-2492 – Whether you enjoy strolling through gardens, exploring exhibits, enriching your mind or hiking and biking, the Arboretum offers activities for all ages $12 per car
Sliding Rock – a 60′ natural rock slide with a 6-7 foot deep pool at the base – perfect for you folks looking for a waterfall to slide down.
Looking Glass Falls – Kid friendly and wheelchair accessible to the upper view. If you are in the area and only have time for 1 quickie waterfall, this would be the one to go to
Hickory Nut Gap Farm – (828)628-1027- You can purchase meat, picnic by the creek, and pick your own organic berries while enjoying great views on the farm
WNC Nature Center – (828) 298-5600 – Exhibiting over 60 species of animals native to Southern Appalachia. Exhibits include: Appalachian Station – which highlights the diversity of the Smoky Mountains; Appalachian Predators – Life on the Edge which features red and gray wolves, bobcats, cougars and coyotes; The North Carolina Farm – featuring domestic animals commonly found on Appalachian Farms; and the popular Life Underground exhibit Adults – $8 Children – $4
Craggy Pinnacle (Seasonal) -Easy (1.6 Mile Round Trip) take a short hike with huge rewards of the best mountain views. It’s only a 1.6-mile roundtrip hike to the top of the 5,892-foot summit at Craggy Gardens. The exceptional panoramic 360-degree views are hard to beat in Western North Carolina’s
Dupont State Forest Waterfalls Tour Hike –Easy (From .6 to 6 Miles) On this hike, you’ll visit up to 5 of the 6 major waterfalls in Dupont State Forest. It starts as an easy path to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the area: Hooker, Triple, and High Falls. Covered picnic shelters with views of the falls make for excellent family outing possibilities. If you wish to continue to Grassy Creek and Bridal Veil Falls, this will become a moderate hike. You’ll cross the big covered bridge and pass a beautiful mountain lake on the way – well worth the extra effort!
Black Balsam Knob/Shining Rock Wilderness (Seasonal) – (Jordan’s Favorite, 1.2 Miles to first peak, with options to go 10+ miles) Blue Ridge Parkway, Mile 420. Hike across spectacular mountain balds. These treeless mountaintops in the Pisgah National Forest, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, offer sweeping views and alpine-like appearance. Hike out three miles without dropping back into the trees.
Looking Glass Rock– Moderate/strenuous trail climbing 1700 ft over 3.1 miles to its peak where panoramic views can be seen. Amazing views at the top that you will not want to miss!
Navitat Zipline Adventures – (828) 626-3700 – “Zipline adventures high above the ground are serious fun, but they’re serious business, too! Get to know Navitat, and discover what it’s like to hang out (literally!) with an experienced company whose sole focus is tree-based adventure.”
Green River Adventures – (828) 749-2800 – whitewater adventures, guided hikes, Waterfall rappelling and canyoneering trips for the entire family in the beautiful Green River Gorge near Saluda, North Carolina.
No Taste Like Home – (828) 209-8599 -“ Join us “off the eaten path” for some wild foods lookin’ n’ cookin’ as we uncover the Garden of Eden all around us. On your woodland shopping spree, an expert guide will take you through field and forest, showing you how to safely identify, appreciate, and maybe even eat wild plants, mushrooms, and other “extreme cuisine.” Then you get to eat what you’ve found! Enjoy your catch of the day with us, take it home with you, or have it prepared at one of Asheville’s award-winning restaurants for no extra charge.”
Sandy Bottom Trail Rides – (828) 649-3464 – Fresh mountain air, breath-taking scenery and an old fashioned down-home friendliness greet you when you visit family-owned Sandy Bottom Trail Rides. Includes the option to visit the “Little Pine Gem Mine” where you may dig, gather, and keep as many garnets as you can carry
Kolo Bike Park (828)707-4876 – Mountain bike park and bicycle rental outfitter near the center of downtown Asheville. Bring your own bike and check out the Kolo Flow on our purpose-built flow trails. Also rent a bike for use at Kolo Bike Park or for your own cycling adventure in our Western North Carolina mountains.
Asheville Anglers – (828)768-0474 – “Based out of Asheville North Carolina, we are blessed with 4000 miles of public trout water. We specialize in float trips and wade trips on the Watauga River, South Holston River, Tuckasegge River and the Laurel River in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.”
Treetop Adventures – (877)247-5539 -“ Asheville Treetops Adventure Park is a new Asheville Attraction comprised of 50 unique climbing, zipping, walking, jumping, swinging, and rappelling challenges anchored to over 30 trees and towering poles tucked into a wooded park just minutes from downtown Asheville. Great fun for families!”
Sequoya National Golf Club – (828)497-3000 – “Located 45 minutes west of Asheville, North Carolina and nestled among the oak, fir and flowered valleys in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains resides Sequoyah National Golf Club. Owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, this Robert Trent Jones II design offers golfers an idyllic 18 hole journey, filled with scenic vistas, beautiful landscapes and challenging golf.”