Best Hiking in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular hiking in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina hiking 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 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 ...

  • #3 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 ...

  • #4 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 ...

  • #5 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 ...

  • #6 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 ...

  • #7 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 ...

  • #8 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 ...

  • #9 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. ...

  • #10 Mount LeConte via The Boulevard

    4 Reviews

    Bryson City, NC

    If you have to choose only one hike in the Smokies, this would be a good choice. It gives you nearly everything the park is famous for, and by starting at an elevation of 5,046 feet and ending ...
    •  7 hours
    •  13.2 miles
    •  Guide

    If you have to choose only one hike in the Smokies, this would be a good choice. It gives you nearly everything the park ...

  • #11 Cat Gap Loop

    6 Reviews

    Ducktown, NC

    With a name like “Cat Gap,” this is a trail you just have to hike with your dog. Though cats are actually not likely to cross this path, the Cat Gap Loop is riddled with water in the form of ...
    •  3 hours
    •  5 miles
    •  Guide

    With a name like “Cat Gap,” this is a trail you just have to hike with your dog. Though cats are actually not likely to cross ...

  • #12 Morrow Mountain State Park

    3 Reviews

    Charlotte, NC

    Morrow Mountain State Park is a wooded, hilly area where more than 30 miles of trails wander over and between modest mountains. That means these forested summits give a pretty good shot at solitude. ...
    •  0.8-5.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Morrow Mountain State Park is a wooded, hilly area where more than 30 miles of trails wander over and between modest mountains. ...

  • #13 Chimney Rock State Park

    5 Reviews

    Asheville, NC

    Like the bulk of Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock State Park is a once-privately owned commercial natural area that has become a state park. The park’s historic “tourist attraction” area is ...
    •  0.7-1.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Like the bulk of Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock State Park is a once-privately owned commercial natural area that has ...

  • #14 Fontana Loop

    5 Reviews

    Fontana Dam, NC

    If you like a combination of mountains and lakes, this moderate hike is for you and any younger or inexperienced backpackers you may wish to bring along—though the mileages may be a bit challenging ...
    •  12 hours
    •  21.5 miles
    •  Guide

    If you like a combination of mountains and lakes, this moderate hike is for you and any younger or inexperienced backpackers ...

  • #15 Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

    10 Reviews

    Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

    Graveyard Fields Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 5,135 feet altitude. Traveling the entire ...
    •  1.1 miles

    Graveyard Fields Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 1.1 ...

  • #16 American Tobacco Trail

    4 Reviews

    Apex, NC

    If ever a trail could be described as being greater than the sum of its parts, it would be the American Tobacco Trail. The trail is one of many rails-to-trails projects nationwide—old rail lines ...
    •  2 to 3 hours
    •  5.75 miles
    •  Guide

    If ever a trail could be described as being greater than the sum of its parts, it would be the American Tobacco Trail. The ...

  • #17 Art Loeb Trail

    2 Reviews

    Pisgah Forest, NC

    Like ridgeline hiking? Then you’ll love the 30 mile Art Loeb Trail, all but about 5 miles of which follows a ridge. The trail begins at the popular Davidson River Campground, spends about twenty ...
    •  3 hours
    •  7.2 miles
    •  Guide

    Like ridgeline hiking? Then you’ll love the 30 mile Art Loeb Trail, all but about 5 miles of which follows a ridge. The trail ...

  • #18 Raven Rock State Park — Campbell Creek Loop Trail

    3 Reviews

    Mamers, NC

    Raven Rock State Park is best known for its namesake rock face, a massive bluff that towers 150 feet above the Cape Fear River. You won’t be going there, though, because that’s where everyone ...
    •  2 hours
    •  5.5 miles
    •  Guide

    Raven Rock State Park is best known for its namesake rock face, a massive bluff that towers 150 feet above the Cape Fear ...

  • #19 Appalachian Trail — Three Bald Hike

    4 Reviews

    Bakersville, NC

    What is it about a Southern Appalachian bald that is so alluring? Is it the mystery of how they came to be? Is it the fact that something so barren exists in land so otherwise lush? Or maybe ...
    •  2 to 3 hours
    •  4.8 miles
    •  Guide

    What is it about a Southern Appalachian bald that is so alluring? Is it the mystery of how they came to be? Is it the fact ...

  • #20 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

    5 Reviews

    Robbinsville, NC

    The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a 3,800-acre tract now combined with the Slickrock Wilderness to form a wild and wildly popular area in the extreme southwestern mountains of North Carolina ...
    •  1-2 miles
    •  Guide

    The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a 3,800-acre tract now combined with the Slickrock Wilderness to form a wild and wildly ...