The high country is home to some of the most majestic views in the country. This is a list of the top hiking trails located in western North Carolina. There are beautiful waterfalls, gorges, and panoramic views along these trails. Whether you are looking for an easy afternoon hike as a family or looking for a little more adventure the high country has a perfect trail to fit your needs.
Cascades Trail (Easy)
This trail runs along side of Cascades Falls which is located in E.B. Jeffress Park. The trail is a self-guiding loop that is only a half mile and is great hiking spot for families.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 272 – The trail is in E.B. Jeffress Park.
Craggy Pinnacle Trail (Easy)
The Craggy Pinnacle Trail is little less than mile and is a quick hike to the top which has magnificent panoramic view of the mountains. The trail is full of beautiful mountain laurel and rhododendron. During the summer wild blueberries can even be found along the trail.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 365 – There is an upper parking lot where the trail will begin.
Price Lake Loop Trail (Easy)
The Price Lake Loop Trail offers beautiful views of a mountain lake and hikers can also rent canoes to take out on the lake. It is easy hour hike on flat terrain and 2.4 mile round trip.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 297 – There is parking lot at the mile marker and the trail leads out of both sides of the parking lot.
Linville Falls and Gorge Trail (Easy)
The Linville Gorge is located in Pisgah National Forest and encloses about 12 miles of the Linville River. The gorge’s terrain is rugged and steep but the trail offers easy access to this majestic part of North Carolina. The trail offers many levels and outcroppings to view Linville Falls and is well worth the short hike to make it to the top outlook over the gorge.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 316 – There is a large parking lot at the base of the trail and the trails are well-maintained and mapped.
Beacon Heights Trail (Easy)
This is great hike for families and is easy for all ages. At the top of the trail there is large rock face which looks out over the Blue Ridge Mountains and is excellent spot for a picnic. The hike is only a quarter of a mile and takes about 10 minutes.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 305 – The trail is directly behind the parking lot is easily visible.
Rough Ridge Trail (Moderate)
Rough Ridge is a moderate uphill hike that overlooks the Linn Cove Viaduct. The trail has beautiful rock outcroppings that hikers can walk out on view down into the valleys and hills. The trail is about 2 miles long and is well maintained except some of the brush that grows up in the spring which makes parts of the path a little narrow.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 303 – The trail will be to the left of the parking lot.
Crabtree Falls Loop Trail (Moderate)
Crabtree Falls is a 70 foot cascading waterfall located on the Big Crabtree Creek. In the springtime there is an enormous amount of pretty foliage and wild flowers. Parts of the path are little rugged but manageable. The trail is only 2 miles round trip and can make for nice little afternoon escape.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 339 – The trail is easily found by the parking lot near the Crabtree campground.
Lower Pond Creek Trail (Moderate)
For a hiking apart from the parkway, Beech Mountain has numerous hiking trails. Lower Pond Creek is one of their best offering a wide variety of terrain and a number of waterfalls located along the trail.
This trail can be found off Lakeledge Rd. in Beech Mountain, NC near Coffey Lake.
Daniel Boone Scout Trail to Calloway Peak (Strenuous)
As one of the more difficult trails in the area, the Daniel Boone Scout Trail takes hikers almost 2,500 feet in approximately 6.5 miles. The hike takes about 4 hours but offers one of the best mountain views from Calloway Peak which is the highest peak of Grandfather Mountain at an elevation of 5,496 feet.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 300 – Park at the Boone Fork parking lot and follow the Tanawha trail. Take a left over a bridge which will lead to the Daniel Boone Scout Trailhead.
Profile Trail (Strenuous)
This trail has some nice scenery as it passes over the Watauga River with lots of wild rhododendron and seasonal flowers. The trail is an easy hike during the first section and becomes more strenuous the closer it gets to the view of Grandfather Mountain’s profile.
The trail is accessed on Highway 105 about a mile north of Highway 184.