Hiking in Western North Carolina
The mountain region of Western North Carolina is a haven for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
Some of the highest peaks in the East, surrounded by vast areas of wilderness and miles and miles of trails, invite visitors from all over the world. But even locals looking for an easy day hike find the area irresistible. Why take an expensive vacation thousands of miles away when a world-renowned outdoor playground is right next door?
HikeWNC.info is your on-line hiking guide for North Carolina's Appalachian mountain region, containing all of the information you need to make your next trip complete. We aim to provide guidebook quality information that you can use in your outdoor persuits. Have fun browsing and hiking!
On This Site
The new Trails section is dedicated to the individual trails in Western North Carolina. Use this section to search for a trail if you know its name. Each trail has its own page with all the details, a map (where available), and a place to leave ratings and comments.
HikeWNC's Trailheads are hubs or larger areas where several trails are clustered together or in a network. Each represents a place where you can spend a day or more exploring hiking trails without driving too far (or at all!).
The Best Hikes combine the individual trails from the Trailheads above into a fully guided experience. We feel like these trips are most representative of the great hiking that Western North Carolina has to offer!
This section covers all of the maps we have available for you to view, download, and purchase, including maps of the Trailheads and Best Hikes above, and interactive Google Maps with downloadable GPS data.
Browse through photos of the trails, views, waterfalls, and mountains in the region. Links to these galleries are provided from Trailheads and Hikes as well.
Get general area information to round out your trip, including things to consider when planning a hike, information about places to stay and outfitters, and ways to get involved in the area's hiking community.
Site Updates & News
The Forest Service has announced repairs and improvements to the parking area at Max Patch Mountain after vandals had their way with it earlier this year. It was a shame to see this beautiful place destroyed the way it was, but with a construction contract and the help of volunteers, Read more »
Posted on May 13, 2013 10:51 pm
Due to the 5% decrease in the Park Service’s budget this year, the Crabtree Falls campground will remain closed throughout the 2013 season. This is in addition to several other closures along the road, and the cancellation of all of the Park’s normal seasonal interpretive programs. The Balsam Mountain campground, Read more »
Posted on March 15, 2013 10:34 pm
Hikers on the Appalachian Trail in the Standing Indian area of the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin, NC have a new trail shelter to enjoy. Located at the head of the Long Branch drainage, the new, sturdy structure replaces the old, dilapidated Big Springs Gap shelter nearby. Official Forest Service Read more »
Posted on December 21, 2012 2:28 pm
The National Forests in NC just announced a camping ban, until further notice, in the Shining Rock Wilderness and Graveyard Fields areas, due to bear activity (trying to get food inside campers’ tents). The news release is below: Date(s): Oct 17, 2012 Pisgah Forest, N.C. — The U.S. Forest Service Read more »
Posted on October 17, 2012 12:36 pm
The Forest Service has announced that Dry Falls, along US 64 near Highlands, NC will reopen Saturday, September 22. The area has been closed since April while the trail leading behind the falls was rehabbed Just in time for the busy fall color season! Image attribution: Wikipedia user Zhans33
Posted on September 20, 2012 7:30 pm
After a great hike there in the cooler weather on Sunday, we’ve added a GPS map of Chimney Rock State Park, including the Hickory Nut Falls hike. We only have a few more maps to make before we have them for all the Best Hikes on the site. Keep watching Read more »
Posted on September 11, 2012 11:16 am
We’ve added the Catawba Falls Trailhead page, which is a part of Pisgah National Forest’s Grandfather Ranger District near Old Fort, NC. Now that the parking area is officially open, this becomes one of the highly recommended waterfalls in the region for locals and out-of-town visitors alike. With the current Read more »
Posted on July 3, 2012 10:49 pm
Archived news and more articles are on the WNCOutdoors.info Blog.