Top Attractions In Asheville, North Carolina
Jan 03, 2023 By Juliana Daniel

You'll find most of the city's best outdoor attractions in Asheville. Before reaching the open road on the Blue Ridge Parkway, visitors may get a taste of the high life at Biltmore. If you're seeking to get even more exercise while breathing in the fresh air, you may swim in a swimming hole in Pisgah National Forest or climb a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Some of the top whitewater rafting trips in the state begin in Asheville. Those looking to unwind can visit the area's breweries or the River Arts District's shops and galleries.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, which spans 469 miles, begins in Virginia and winds its way over around 250 miles of western North Carolina. The roadway allows for stops at scenic vistas, picturesque mountain communities, and bicycling and hiking trails and has a peak speed of 45 miles per hour. You'll see increasingly large milepost markings as you go south along the parkway.

In Asheville, at milepost 384, you'll find the administrative offices and primary tourist centre. There, visitors may learn more about the parkway's outdoor activities and the region's natural and cultural heritage.

The Pisgah Forest, or National Forest, in North Carolina

Pisgah National Forest, located roughly 30 miles southwest of downtown Asheville, features over 500,000 acres of terrain teeming with activities and stunning landscapes. Plenty of chances to take in nature's splendour can be found in this forest, as it features hundreds of kilometres of paths and various waterfalls and swimming holes.

Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River, and the first forestry school in the United States are both located in this park, which was established in part with the property that had belonged to the Biltmore Estate.

Craggy Gardens

Without a doubt, Craggy Gardens is the greatest site to view wildflowers along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Craggy Gardens, found at milepost 364, is well-known for its stunning rhododendron blooms and other wildflowers. A visit to Craggy Gardens in June is well worth it since the evergreen foliage is completely overrun by gorgeous pink and purple blooms.

Violets, blackberries, May apples, and Turk's cap lilies are some of the other blooms that may be found here. The abundant flowers of Craggy Gardens are worth the effort required to reach them on foot. Craggy Gardens Trail, the shortest at less than a mile, is the most beginner-friendly. It winds through woodland and a wildflower meadow on its way to a vantage point over the Black Mountain Range.

The irregularly shaped trees are the main attraction in the Craggy Gardens forest. The extreme weather conditions seen at higher elevations have caused the roots and branches of these trees to become twisted and gnarled.

The Appalachian Path

The Appalachian Trail is a long footpath stretching 2,190 miles from Maine to Georgia through 14 states. North Carolina contains around 323 of those miles. Many of the Appalachian Trail's tallest peaks, including many above 6,000 feet, may be found in North Carolina. When planning a multi-day or week-long walk, remember that camping and hiking permits are required in some regions, notably within the Great Smoky Mountains.

Sliding Rock

Located in Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock is an excellent example. Sliding Boulder is a 60-foot long, sloping, somewhat flat rock that is one of the forest's most interesting features.

Although it appears like a waterfall, the water here flows smoothly down the rock before emptying into a pool 7 feet below, making it ideal for water sliding. Many people travel to Pisgah National Forest just to wait in line to enjoy this natural attraction. Recent tourists who braved the waters at Sliding Rock praised the experience.

Located at Mount Mitchell State Park

Mount Mitchell State Park is the place to begin your mountain explorations. Mount Mitchell State Park is a must-see for parkway visitors since it has the tallest peak in the continental United States, located east of the Mississippi River.

At the summit, 6,684 feet above sea level, you may park your car and walk to the observation platform for a few minutes, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking views in every direction. Furthermore, the view from the peak might extend as far as 85 miles.

There are a few routes of varying degrees of difficulty and intensity that you may take to get a taste of Mount Mitchell's beauty on foot. Even though it's less than a mile long, the Balsam Nature Trail is rated as intermediate. A little stream flows down this trail; it's the eastern United States' highest spring.