Scenic Drives and Hikes Through Asheville, NC

    Asheville, NC has arguably some of the most picturesque landscapes and scenic settings in the state of North Carolina. This time of year is especially beautiful. Residents and visitors have the opportunity to view everything from the changing colors of local foliage to stunningly gorgeous sunsets over Mt. Mitchell and surrounding ridges.

    As November rolls on, with many parts of the east experiencing higher temperatures than normal, there’s still more than enough time to hitch a ride, hit the road or even take a hike through scenic Asheville. Here are some ways how:

    Drives

    1. Hickory Nut Gorge/Black Mountain – 2570 Memorial Hwy – Lake Lure, NC 28746 – (828) 625-4683

    Below is an excerpt taken from exploreasheville.com in regards to Hickory Nut Gorge:

    “From Asheville follow I-26 South to US 64 East and into Hickory Nut Gorge. Continue on to Chimney Rock Park, the setting for the movie “Last of the Mohicans.” Take in the views of Lake Lure, where Patrick Swayze danced in the film “Dirty Dancing.” Head back to Bat Cave and pick up NC 9, a true mountain road with spectacular views of the cliffs around the Lake. Wind your way to Black Mountain and explore the many galleries and artisan boutiques that make this small town worth the stop.”

    2. North Carolina Arboretum – 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way – Asheville, NC 28806 – (828) 665-2492

    Found just south of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the North Carolina Arboretum is one of the most beautiful and opportune spots to witness the changing of the leaves in mid-to-late fall.

    via romanticasheville.com

    3. North Asheville

    This drive along Kimberly Avenue offers fantastic scenery. Head just a few miles north out of downtown Asheville and you’ll have the opportunity to take in views from the Grove Park Inn as well as Beaverdam Valley.

    Hikes

    1. Chimney Rock State Park – 431 Main Street – Chimney Rock, NC 28720 – (828) 625-9611

    One of the newer state parks in NC, Chimney Rock boasts a 75-mile wide view of the surrounding landscape. There are guided rock climbing tours and live-animal education programs for both adults and children to participate in. There are hiking trails available for every skill level as well as picnic and camping areas. Group discounts are available and the majority of the park is pet friendly

    2. Asheville Urban Trail – 2 N Pack Square – Asheville, NC 28801 – (828) 257-4500

    Also known as the “museum without walls”, the Asheville Urban serves as both a city-wide hiking trail/greenway and an instructional setting for students attending nearby schools. The 1.7-mile trail, which takes approximately two hours to complete, gives hikers a tutorial of the revitalization processes of many parts of the downtown Asheville area.

    Along the trail, you’ll run across a series of bronze sculptures equipped with educational plaques explaining the city’s recent evolution. You’ll also receive an in-depth education of the overall history of Asheville.

    3. Craggy Gardens – Milepost 364.6 – Ivy Township, NC 28778 – (828) 298-0398

    Festooned with native flora and fauna from around the state, Craggy Gardens is a beautiful and natural park that’s mere miles from both Mt. Mitchell and the Pigsah National Forest.

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