5 Best Mountains to Visit Around North Carolina
North Carolina is well-known for its stunning mountain ranges that sprawl across the state. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed walk, a rigorous hike, or to simply sit back and enjoy the views, North Carolina has destinations for everyone. North Carolina is home to the Appalachian mountain range, which is further divided into the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ve listed our five favorite spots to visit in these beautiful ranges to help you start planning your next outdoor adventure.
Grandfather Mountain is located near the city of Banner Elk, which is a popular destination on its own thanks to its thriving restaurant culture and the Banner Elk Winery. Grandfather Mountain boasts one of the highest peaks in the region and, for the brave, the highest suspension bridge in the country.
The mountain has 11 miles of trails to explore that vary in difficulty, from flat meadow walks to hikes up to the peak of the mountain. As with any hike, bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes. There’s plenty of wildlife in the area, including black bears, squirrels, deer, cougars, and bald eagles. Plus, the Grandfather Mountain and its surrounding meadows have spectacular wildflower blooms in the spring.
Just want to kick back and take in the beauty of the mountains without climbing them? Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has fantastic shopping and dining, not to mention close proximity to the stunning Biltmore Estate. Enjoy a delicious glass of local wine and gaze out over the mountains that surround this charming town.
The Emerald Outback is a multi-use trail bark located on Beech Mountain. There are seven trails that cover about five miles of varying terrain, from rocky outcroppings to calm meadows to lush forests. The trails range in difficulty, and there are options for easy strolls as well as vigorous, steep climbs.
Bikers are welcome to use the trails, as well as walkers and hikers. The entire park is well-maintained and the trails are clearly marked for ease of use.
The hike to Charlies Bunion is a part of the Appalachian Trail and takes hikers to a stunning overlook of the valley below and surrounding mountains. It is a 4-mile one-way hike, so bring plenty of water and a snack or two if you know you’ll get hungry.
The trail climbs around 1,600 feet but isn’t particularly steep. The trail is well packed which makes for easier hiking, but it is still a moderately strenuous trip. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera along to take pictures when you reach the world-famous outcrop.
Chimney Tops is one of the most popular destinations in the Smoky Mountains thanks to the breathtaking views at the summit of the hike. The trail climbs 1,400 feet over 2 miles, which makes for a steep climb, so be sure to be prepared before you undertake this trip.
These five mountain destinations are some of the best ways to see North Carolina’s natural beauty. Please make sure to check weather conditions before you set out, and enjoy the fantastic views.