Asheville is home to some of the oldest and most biodiverse ranges in the world. Located alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail, Asheville is surrounded by some of the best hiking in the country.
Asheville, North Carolina is an outdoor lover’s playground. Settled into the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s no shortage of hikes in and around Asheville.
Though the mountains surrounding Asheville lack the snow-covered, rock-faced peaks that define the west, they are some of the oldest and most biodiverse ranges in the world.
The magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains may take a little more time to discover, but these best hikes in Asheville will introduce you to the most stunning scenery, plants and wildlife Western North Carolina has to offer.
1. Max Patch
Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Location: Max Patch Road, Hot Springs, NC.From Asheville, take 1-40 W to the Harmon’s Den exit (exit 7). Turn right on Cold Springs Road for 6.2 miles then take a left on Max Patch Road (SR-1182). In about 1.5 miles the parking area will be on your right. Note that the road to Max Patch is gravel and 4WD is recommended in snowy or wet weather.
GPS coordinates: 35.7970° N, 82.9568° W.
When to go: This easy hike is accessible year-round and wows in all seasons. Surely one of the best hikes in Asheville.
One of Asheville’s most popular hikes, the summit of Max Patch can be reached by a short trail that begins in the Max Patch parking area. In the warmer months, the top is a popular place to pitch a tent.
Whether you’re spending the night or just coming for the day, Max Patch’s 360-degree views are something to behold. To extend your hike, head out on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail, which runs right across Max Patch’s grassy bald.
If you want to refuel after your time on the trail, check out the coffee shops and restaurants in the nearby town of Hot Springs, less than an hour away.