We spent one glorious month in Asheville, North Carolina trying to see if it was the right place for us to move. What did we do most of the time we were there? We hiked. A lot. Yes, Asheville is a glorious place for eating and the urban areas of Downtown Asheville and the River Arts District are hip and creative, but let’s admit it, the nature of Asheville is really what makes it such an extraordinary place.
We visited in the Fall, arguably the most beautiful time of the year in Asheville. Here’s 10 soul-stirring nature photos of our time in Asheville to awaken your forest loving hippie heart.
1. Triple Falls Loop
Triple Falls Loop in Dupont State Park is a great family friendly hike near Asheville. It’s a relatively easy hike, 2-3 miles depending on how many of the three waterfalls you choose to see.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway Views
New England gets all the fanfare for having extraordinary fall colors, but Asheville needs to be on your list for best places to visit in the Fall. Driving down the famous Blue Ridge Parkway during peak color time rewards you with brilliant displays of Autumn hues.
3. Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell, accessed along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is the highest point east of the Mississipi. You can take a scenic hike along the ample fir trees or walk up to the easily accessible look out deck.
4. Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock is a 60 foot natural water slide open to the public. Safe and fun, you slide into an eight feet deep pool of extremely frigid water, 50-60 degrees depending on the season. You can read more about Sliding Rock in our guide to 36 Hours in Asheville.
5. Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest is 5000 acres of wild natural beauty. What makes it even better? The closest entrance from Asheville is a mere 1o minutes away. Ten minutes and you have access to world class hiking, epic waterfalls, mountain vistas, and my personal favorite … meandering creeks that go on forever.
6. Devil’s Courthouse
The Devil’s Courthouse, accessed along the Blue Ridge parkway, is a short but uphill 1/2 mile climb to glorious mountain views. According to Cherokee lore, the cave is the dancing chamber and home of the ominous creature, Judaculla.
7. Max Patch Mountain
Max Patch Hike is part of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail and a popular stop for nature lovers looking for a trail close to Asheville. It’s a relatively easy 2 mile loop that takes you to a summit with extraordinary views of the Great Smoky Mountains and The Black Mountains.
8. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site was the home to late poet Carl Sandburg. You can visit the beautiful home that he lived in along with his family. It’s a stark contrast to the sprawling Biltmore Estate, Asheville’s number one tourist attraction. Along with the home, you can tour the farm area that includes goats and take a few beautiful hikes along the property lines.
9. Apple Farms in Hendersonville
Hendersonville, NC is home to numerous farms that invite you to pick your own fruit. While you can pick peaches and berries when they are in season, the real treat is picking apples in the Fall. Read more about apple picking near Asheville here.
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