Best Backpacking in North Carolina

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

  • #1 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 ...

  • #2 Silers Bald and Forney Creek

    2 Reviews

    Bryson City, NC

    It would be hard to pick a better two-night backpack than this one. You get to sleep in a backcountry shelter (everyone needs to experience it at least once) and at a backcountry campsite. You ...
    •  12 hours-Overnight
    •  20.4 miles
    •  Guide

    It would be hard to pick a better two-night backpack than this one. You get to sleep in a backcountry shelter (everyone needs ...

  • #3 Charlies Bunion and Bradley Fork

    0 Reviews

    Bryson City, NC

    This is a terrific three-day hike, encompassing much of what the Smokies have to offer. You spend half the time hiking on the high-elevation crest and the other half along headwater streams and ...
    •  2-3 days
    •  27.3 miles
    •  Guide

    This is a terrific three-day hike, encompassing much of what the Smokies have to offer. You spend half the time hiking on ...

  • #4 Shuckstack

    1 Reviews

    Fontana Dam, NC

    Shuckstack Tower is an old fire tower, one of few remaining in the park. At its base are the old tower-keeper’s cistern and the foundation and chimney of the cabin. For such a difficult and remote ...
    •  6 hours or Overnight
    •  11.9 miles
    •  Guide

    Shuckstack Tower is an old fire tower, one of few remaining in the park. At its base are the old tower-keeper’s cistern and ...

  • #5 Benton MacKaye Trail

    0 Reviews

    Waterville, NC

    Rapidly becoming a “classic trail,” the 290 miles of the Benton MacKaye are a bit much for a “classic hike,” yet hikers should know this relatively young trail is here and explore their own “classic” ...
    •  10-15 days
    •  290 miles
    •  Guide

    Rapidly becoming a “classic trail,” the 290 miles of the Benton MacKaye are a bit much for a “classic hike,” yet hikers should ...

  • #6 Indian Creek and Sunkota Ridge

    0 Reviews

    Bryson City, NC

    Start up the gravel road that continues from the road turnaround. In 0.2 mile you pass Tom Branch Falls on the right, dropping directly into Deep Creek on the opposite side. Only when the leaves ...
    •  6 hours or Overnight
    •  11.6 miles
    •  Guide

    Start up the gravel road that continues from the road turnaround. In 0.2 mile you pass Tom Branch Falls on the right, dropping ...

  • #7 Mayberry: Mount Airy and Pilot Mountain

    0 Reviews

    Mount Airy, NC

    On this day trip, you’re headed to Mayberry. The fictional TV town was fashioned after Mount Airy for The Andy Griffith Show. Griffith grew up in a small home here, and although the actor now ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    On this day trip, you’re headed to Mayberry. The fictional TV town was fashioned after Mount Airy for The Andy Griffith Show. ...

  • #8 Moravian Village Tour: Winston-Salem

    0 Reviews

    Winston-Salem, NC

    In 1874, Richard Joshua Reynolds arrived here on horseback from Virginia to start a tobacco factory, which later became the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. But more than a century before the ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    In 1874, Richard Joshua Reynolds arrived here on horseback from Virginia to start a tobacco factory, which later became the ...

  • #9 Crossroads of Furniture and Barbecue: Jamestown, High Point, Thomasville, and Lexington

    1 Reviews

    Thomasville, NC

    Southeast of Greensboro, High Point, Thomasville, and Lexington beckon the day visitor with their superlatives. What do we mean? Well, High Point claims the world’s largest chest of drawers. ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Southeast of Greensboro, High Point, Thomasville, and Lexington beckon the day visitor with their superlatives. What do we ...

  • #10 The Southern Part of Heaven: Chapel Hill

    0 Reviews

    Chapel Hill, NC

    The highway west takes you to the town that locals call the “Southern Part of Heaven.” Although Wolfpack and Blue Devil fans may beg to differ, a day trip to this destination gives you the chance ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    The highway west takes you to the town that locals call the “Southern Part of Heaven.” Although Wolfpack and Blue Devil fans ...

  • #11 Of Pirates and Pastimes: Beaufort

    1 Reviews

    Beaufort, NC

    Travel east past Morehead City to Beaufort, the “crown jewel of the Crystal Coast.” With homes dating back to the 1700s, Beaufort has lots of charm and history. It used to be little more than ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Travel east past Morehead City to Beaufort, the “crown jewel of the Crystal Coast.” With homes dating back to the 1700s, ...

  • #12 Island Hopping: Southport and Bald Head Island

    0 Reviews

    Southport, NC

    Situated amid graceful live oaks, Southport garnered praise from Rand McNally as one of the best places to retire. For visitors, Southport oozes coastal charm and boasts a rich maritime history. ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Situated amid graceful live oaks, Southport garnered praise from Rand McNally as one of the best places to retire. For visitors, ...

  • #13 Fun in the Sun: Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach

    0 Reviews

    Wilmington, NC

    This day trip, a straight shot from Raleigh-Durham east, mixes history, Hollywood, beaches, amusements, and great food. The area offers riverboat tours, plantation visits, and beaches only minutes ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    This day trip, a straight shot from Raleigh-Durham east, mixes history, Hollywood, beaches, amusements, and great food. The ...

  • #14 On Safari: Level Cross, Asheboro, and Seagrove

    0 Reviews

    Asheboro, NC

    This day trip could be called a transportation day trip, an animal lover’s day trip, or a pottery tour. That’s because the three towns you will visit on this outing from Raleigh-Durham give you ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    This day trip could be called a transportation day trip, an animal lover’s day trip, or a pottery tour. That’s because the ...

  • #15 Farm Living: Bailey, Kenly, Wilson, Farmville, Greenville, and Tarboro

    0 Reviews

    Greenville, NC

    For this day trip, head east toward Rocky Mount, taking the exit in the direction of Wilson, forty-five minutes from Raleigh. On the way, stop off in Bailey to visit the Country Doctor Museum, ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    For this day trip, head east toward Rocky Mount, taking the exit in the direction of Wilson, forty-five minutes from Raleigh. ...

  • #16 George Washington Slept Here: Washington, Bath, Aurora, and Edward

    0 Reviews

    Washington, NC

    Head east to the wide Pamlico River for this day trip to North Carolina’s oldest town. Here you’ll get a glimpse into the state’s past at North Carolina’s first church and the three historic ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Head east to the wide Pamlico River for this day trip to North Carolina’s oldest town. Here you’ll get a glimpse into the ...

  • #17 Triad Center: Greensboro, Julian, and Oak Ridge

    0 Reviews

    Greensboro, NC

    Travel back in time as you head west to Greensboro. This Triad city allows you to relive history from the Revolutionary War battle to the sit-ins that helped launch a national civil rights movement. ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Travel back in time as you head west to Greensboro. This Triad city allows you to relive history from the Revolutionary War ...

  • #18 Plantation Valley: Halifax and Murfreesboro

    0 Reviews

    Halifax, NC

    Colonists who found the valley’s fertile bottomlands ideal for large-scale farming settled the Roanoke River Valley of northeastern North Carolina in the early 1700s. By the late eighteenth century, ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Colonists who found the valley’s fertile bottomlands ideal for large-scale farming settled the Roanoke River Valley of northeastern ...

  • #19 Barbecue Highway: Smithfield, Selma, Goldsboro, and Kinston

    0 Reviews

    Smithfield, NC

    The road from Raleigh to Morehead City should be called the Barbecue Highway. That’s because the towns along the way boast some of the best barbecue in the state. Along this corridor from the ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    The road from Raleigh to Morehead City should be called the Barbecue Highway. That’s because the towns along the way boast ...

  • #20 Courthouse to Devil's Tramping Ground: Pittsboro and Bear Creek

    0 Reviews

    Pittsboro, NC

    Chatham County and its county seat, Pittsboro, were named for the first Earl of Chatham, William Pitt (1708–1778). The good Earl reportedly was a staunch defender of American independence, as ...
    •  One day to several days
    •  Guide

    Chatham County and its county seat, Pittsboro, were named for the first Earl of Chatham, William Pitt (1708–1778). The good ...