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Hiking and Scenic Drives
​off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway  For more information 

Blue Ridge Parkway MapFor more information
A drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway is meant to be slow paced and

relaxing. A stop at almost any overlook or trail will reveal much of the

natural and cultural history here. The Parkway meanders 469 miles between

Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, so explore ​the many

communities along the way that make our region so special. Enjoy the view,

but watch the road!

Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks For more information

      Tunnels     Waterfalls    Hiking​     Parkway Maps     

Crabtree Meadows Recreation Area: Milepost 339.5.

Crabtree Falls (70 ft.), 4-mile roundtrip hike. 

Trail Map

Blue Ridge Parkway vacation guide: This site has a lot of great information. For more information

Mt. Mitchell State Park For more information
There are a few places in the world that still stand apart from the ordinary. Rising more than a mile high,
surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary

places. In the crest of the timeworn Black Mountains lies the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point

east of the Mississippi. 

Linville Caverns, Falls & Gorge   828-756-4171 or 800-419-0540  For more information
Located at the base of Humpback Mountain, these limestone caverns offer many interesting stalagmite &
stalactites formations. This is great fun for the entire family.  Open from MAR – NOV.

Duggers Creek Falls Trail: Off the main parking area for Linville Falls

The Orchard at Altapass   888-765-9531 For more information
The Orchard at Altapass is an Appalachian cultural and historical center celebrating the people, music, art, and

natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina. Built by the Clinchfield Railroad over 100 years ago,

the Orchard sits right on the Parkway providing some of the most amazing scenery in the Appalachian Mountains.  

High Shoals Falls   828-433-4772 For more information
The hike to High Shoals Falls is one of the most scenic in western North Carolina. It's located in 
South Mountains State Park, south of Morganton (about 70 miles east of Asheville). You have two
options: hike one mile to the 60-foot waterfall and return (for two miles total). Or hike the 2.7-mile
​loop which includes a short section of stair climbing.  

Grandfather Mountain   800-468-7325  For more information
Named for the line of its ridge, which resembles the profile of a grandfatherly man, visitors come here for a variety of attractions besides the beautiful scenery. Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain range and the only private park in the world designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. Marvel at 360-degree views of mountain ridge after mountain ridge retreating to the horizon and discover sanctuary for the human spirit.

Plumtree Canopy Tours   800-451-9972  For more information
Experience a real canopy tour and zipline adventure that takes you into the trees with Plumtree Canopy Tours.
​More than just a 3 hour zipline experience, enjoy 11 zips and 4 sky bridges.  

Hikes near Little Switzerland

Check out all the local trailsFor more information

Armstrong Creek Trail: A primitive hiking trails on an old logging road, this easy to moderate trail totals

6 miles. Take NC 226A to Armstrong Fish Hatchery Rd. Trail head begins past hatchery parking lot.

Bad Fork Trail: A primitive trail that connects Woods Mountain & Armstrong Creek Trails. It is an 8-mile,

moderate trail. Take NC 226A to Armstrong Fish Hatchery Rd. Drive 3 miles to trail head on left side at confluence

of Bad Fork with Armstrong Creek.

Tom’s Creek Falls Trail: Take NC 226A toward Marion, go right on 221/226S. Look for Woodlawn Motel,

just after motel is Hutchinson Branch Rd., go right. Take this road for 1.3 miles. On right is a small gravel parking

spot and the entrance to the trail to the falls. The trail is about 1/2 mile of easy hiking. 

Woodlawn Fitness Trail: Workout outdoors. This fitness trail consists of seven stations, two exercises

per station, on a ¼-mile jogging path. 1.25 mile trail located behind picnic area. 6 miles north of Marion on 221.

Table Rock Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge Table Rock Mountain's distinctive summit above Linville Gorge can be seen easily from many parts of the North Carolina mountains and foothills.  For more information

Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Parkway  For more information

Other Recreation Areas

Lake James   828-295-7851  For more information
Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State Park. Here, nature offers scenic vistas of the Appalachian Mountains and beckons to those with an appetite for recreation.  More info

Chimney Rock Park   800-277-9611  For more information
The stone entrance to this park lies in Chimney Rock Village, one of the state’s smallest incorporated villages. The highest elevation in the park is Exclamation Point at 2480 feet. Once at the top, you have a 75-mile view in any direction. Trails for all skill levels are available. A nature center, picnic areas and a café with a view are also on site. Admission fee. 

Lake Lure   828-625-9983   For more information
Below Chimney Rock Mountain lay the waters of 700-acre Lake Lure, a man-made lake whose depths reach 110 feet at the dam.  The lake offers visitors access to water sports, boating, fishing and local wildlife, a public beach and picnic area. The town of Lake Lure also provides visitors a taste of small town life.

Blowing Rock   
828-295-7851  For more information​
This quaint, mountain town is known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge”. This town is a fun place to shop for unique gifts and arts& crafts.

More hiking information and photo gallery 

Mountain Biking Trails

Top 40 area hikes  

Top 25 North Carolina Waterfalls 

High Shoals Falls Trail

Tom’s Creek Falls Trail

Tanawha Trail on the BRP

Things to do