Best Trails of North Carolina

This list represents the most popular trails in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina outdoor trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

  • #1 Linville Falls Trail

    29 Reviews

    Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

    Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 3,182 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is ...
    •  0.9 miles

    Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles ...

  • #2 Black Mountain Campground

    4 Reviews

    Burnsville, NC

    Black Mountain Campground has been around a long time. Over the years it has been well maintained. Now it is like an antique, treasured by families that have been returning to Black Mountain ...
    •  Guide

    Black Mountain Campground has been around a long time. Over the years it has been well maintained. Now it is like an antique, ...

  • #3 Uwharrie National Forest

    11 Reviews

    Troy, NC

    Wonderful, woodsy circuit hikes are possible in Uwharrie National Forest, some of substantial length. Uwharrie and Dutchman’s Creek Trails form a figure eight that, when linked with forest roads ...
    •  several options miles
    •  Guide

    Wonderful, woodsy circuit hikes are possible in Uwharrie National Forest, some of substantial length. Uwharrie and Dutchman’s ...

  • #4 Lake James — Shortoff Mountain Trail

    10 Reviews

    Linville, NC

    Psst! Put down that trail guide telling you that the way to get to the best view of Linville Gorge is via a strenuous 11.2-mile march. I’ve got a shortcut that’ll get you there in about 2 miles. ...
    •  1.5 to 2.5 hours
    •  4.4 miles
    •  Guide

    Psst! Put down that trail guide telling you that the way to get to the best view of Linville Gorge is via a strenuous 11.2-mile ...

  • #5 Rocky Bluff Campground

    3 Reviews

    Hot Springs, NC

    While heading into the Rocky Bluff Recreation Area, I found it hard to believe there was a campground down there. The road dipped into very hilly terrain, with nary a flat spot to be found. But ...
    •  Guide

    While heading into the Rocky Bluff Recreation Area, I found it hard to believe there was a campground down there. The road ...

  • #6 Lake James State Park

    3 Reviews

    Lake James, NC

    Lake James, fed by the fine waters of the Pisgah River, is one of the cleanest, clearest lakes in the Carolinas. It also has some of the best views, as the high mountains of the Pisgah National ...
    •  Guide

    Lake James, fed by the fine waters of the Pisgah River, is one of the cleanest, clearest lakes in the Carolinas. It also ...

  • #7 Gregory Bald Overnight Loop

    10 Reviews

    Fontana Dam, NC

    This hike combines the best that the high and low country have to offer. First, you'll travel up the Twentymile Trail past Twentymile Cascades to the Upper Flats streamside camp. Then an arduous ...
    •  3 days
    •  15.7 miles
    •  Guide

    This hike combines the best that the high and low country have to offer. First, you'll travel up the Twentymile Trail past ...

  • #8 Grandfather Mountain State Park and Attraction

    8 Reviews

    Blowing Rock, NC

    Grandfather Mountain’s public image has evolved over the years. Once almost exclusively seen as a tourist attraction owned by noted North Carolinian Hugh Morton, Grandfather has become synonymous ...
    •  1.8-7 miles
    •  Guide

    Grandfather Mountain’s public image has evolved over the years. Once almost exclusively seen as a tourist attraction owned ...

  • #9 Carolina Beach State Park

    0 Reviews

    Carolina Beach, NC

    This area of the Carolinas certainly has some amazing natural attributes, but the most unusual of all may be the Venus flytrap. Perhaps you have heard of it. The modified leaves of this plant ...
    •  Guide

    This area of the Carolinas certainly has some amazing natural attributes, but the most unusual of all may be the Venus flytrap. ...

  • #10 Badin Lake Campground

    3 Reviews

    Badin Lake, NC

    Depending on where you’re coming from, there are several ways to reach Badin Lake Campground. Most of them take a lot of twists and turns, but the drive is worth it. This lakeside campground ...
    •  Guide

    Depending on where you’re coming from, there are several ways to reach Badin Lake Campground. Most of them take a lot of ...

  • #11 Umstead Park

    6 Reviews

    Raleigh, NC

    If you want to get outside, be surrounded by trees, and just spin, then this is your place. Umstead Park offers clear, well-maintained gravel Forest Service roads throughout this thick patch ...
    •  1.5 to 2.5 hours
    •  16.6 miles
    •  Guide

    If you want to get outside, be surrounded by trees, and just spin, then this is your place. Umstead Park offers clear, well-maintained ...

  • #12 Yadkin River

    2 Reviews

    Wilkesboro, NC

    The Yadkin River begins at an elevation above 3,600 feet near Blowing Rock, on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It flows southeast toward Lenoir, but near Patterson and Happy Valley ...
    •  147.3 miles
    •  Guide

    The Yadkin River begins at an elevation above 3,600 feet near Blowing Rock, on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. ...

  • #13 Lake Powhatan Campground

    1 Reviews

    Asheville, NC

    Fake Powhatan is a nicely developed, well-maintained recreation destination. While it is a great destination in its own right, being so close to Asheville adds the possibility of visiting tourist ...
    •  Guide

    Fake Powhatan is a nicely developed, well-maintained recreation destination. While it is a great destination in its own right, ...

  • #14 Camping on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    1 Reviews

    Buxton, NC

    Camping is the logical extension of any outdoor experience, and it’s the best way to get deeper into the nature of the Outer Banks. Sleeping on the soft barrier island sand, feeling the constant ...
    •  Guide

    Camping is the logical extension of any outdoor experience, and it’s the best way to get deeper into the nature of the Outer ...

  • #15 Mount Mitchell Trail

    13 Reviews

    Mount Mitchell State Park, NC

    Mount Mitchell Trail is a hiking trail in Yancey County, North Carolina. It is within Mount Mitchell State Park. It is 5.1 miles long and begins at 6,630 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail ...
    •  5.1 miles

    Mount Mitchell Trail is a hiking trail in Yancey County, North Carolina. It is within Mount Mitchell State Park. It is 5.1 ...

  • #16 Grandfather Mountain-Mileposts 299.9-305.1

    3 Reviews

    Linville, NC

    Grandfather Mountain’s public image has evolved over the years. Once almost exclusively seen as a tourist attraction, Grandfather has become synonymous with its spectacular backcountry. The Mile-High ...
    •  1.8-7 miles
    •  Guide

    Grandfather Mountain’s public image has evolved over the years. Once almost exclusively seen as a tourist attraction, Grandfather ...

  • #17 Pilot Mountain State Park

    3 Reviews

    Pinnacle, NC

    New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock may have the gall to claim the name, but Pilot Mountain is the definitive monadnock in this state or any other. Pilot is an outlier of the Sauratown Mountains ...
    •  0.3-6.6 miles
    •  Guide

    New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock may have the gall to claim the name, but Pilot Mountain is the definitive monadnock in this ...

  • #18 Cape Fear River

    1 Reviews

    Wilmington, NC

    The Cape Fear River is formed by the confluence of the Haw and Deep Rivers, near Moncure and Haywood, 10 miles northeast of Sanford. It flows through Lillington, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown, ...
    •  170.5 miles
    •  Guide

    The Cape Fear River is formed by the confluence of the Haw and Deep Rivers, near Moncure and Haywood, 10 miles northeast ...

  • #19 Duke Forest

    3 Reviews

    Durham, NC

    In the 1920s, Duke Forest was formed from farms and woods to buffer the developing campus of Duke University. Clarence F. Korstian led the establishment of the university’s School of Forestry ...
    •  1-5 miles
    •  Guide

    In the 1920s, Duke Forest was formed from farms and woods to buffer the developing campus of Duke University. Clarence F. ...

  • #20 Lake Powhatan Campground

    4 Reviews

    Asheville, NC

    Lake Powhatan is a nicely developed, well-maintained recreation destination. While it is a great destination in its own right, its proximity to Asheville adds the possibilities of visiting tourist ...
    •  Guide

    Lake Powhatan is a nicely developed, well-maintained recreation destination. While it is a great destination in its own right, ...