Hiking in Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Appalachian mountain region of Western North Carolina - a haven in the Land of Sky for enthusiasts of outdoor recreation!

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. And 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!

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Have questions, comments, criticisms, suggestions, trail info, or errors to report? Contact us and we'll be back in touch with you! Or use one of these other ways to get in touch.

WNCOutdoors.info Blog

On This Site


The Trails section of our site is the gateway to information about individual trails in Western North Carolina. Search for a trail by name; each trail has its own page with all the details, a map (where available), and a place to leave ratings and comments.

Featured Trails: Estatoe, Elk Knob, Commissary, Harper Creek...


Our Trailheads are hubs where several trails and hikes are clustered together or in a network. Each represents an area where you could spend a day or more hiking, without driving too far - or at all!.

Featured Trailheads: Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, DuPont State Forest, Catawba Falls (New!)...

Best Hikes

Your guide to the Best Hikes in Western North Carolina, combining individual trails into a fully guided experience. We feel like these trips are most representative of the great hiking that Western North Carolina has to offer!

Featured Hikes: Toms Creek Falls, DuPont State Recreational Forest Waterfalls Tour, Rattlesnake Lodge, Mount Mitchell...


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.

Featured Maps: Interactive Map of Trailheads, USGS Topographic Maps, Nat. Geo Trails Illustrated™ Series...

Photo Gallery

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.

Featured Galleries: Looking Glass Rock, Sam Knob, Whiteside Mountain, Panthertown Valley, Crabtree Falls...

Area Information

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.

Area Information Pages: General Considerations, Camping/Lodging, Hiking Outfitters, Weather/Climate, Clubs and Organizations...

Spring green and wildflowers on Grandfather Mountain.
Current Inspiration: Spring green and wildflowers on Grandfather Mountain.

Site Updates & News

Trip Report: Lover’s Leap Ridge and Pump Gap Loop

Notice 4/22/15: A large wildfire has spread through the area described by this hike, and the trails are currently closed. We’ll update when they re-open, and hopefully go back for a visit to see what it looks like after it’s out. Update 5/2/15: All trails in the Silver Mine area  Read more »

Posted on March 12, 2016 11:30 am

Trip Report: Pisgah Water Everywhere, and Much of it Falling

For the 10 days leading up to New Year’s Eve, we’d had a lot of rain in the southern Appalachians. Really, it was a tremendous stretch of wet weather. So, I just had to get out and look for some waterfalls once the clouds finally parted. My destination was the  Read more »

Posted on January 6, 2016 12:11 am

Trip Report: Lower Trace Ridge Reroute

The lower portion of the Trace Ridge Trail, located in the North Mills River area of Pisgah National Forest, has recently been re-routed. It was a years-long project spearheaded by Pisgah Area SORBA, and one of the first volunteer-built sections of significant new trail in these parts of Pisgah National  Read more »

Posted on December 21, 2015 12:15 pm

Trip Report: Another Waterfall in Shope Creek

Ever since the Shope Creek area opened up to visitors a few years ago, I’ve been exploring it and poring over the maps to see what might be worth a visit up there. I’ve “found” a few un-documented waterfalls (so to speak) in other areas in the past by looking  Read more »

Posted on December 6, 2015 1:54 pm

Trip Report: Upper Pilot Rock and Laurel Mountain Loop

On Sunday, September 6, I took Darla the Trail Dog out for a hike in the Pisgah National Forest near the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were looking for a moderate-length hike due to time restrictions, and since the relentless heat we’d been experiencing in late summer  Read more »

Posted on November 26, 2015 11:51 am

Courthouse Creek Road Bridge Project Delayed

Courthouse Creek Road (FS 140), which leads to Courthouse Falls among other attractions in the Pisgah Ranger District off Hwy. 215, has been closed for a while now due to a bridge replacement project. It was originally scheduled to reopen this month, but the Forest Service has announced a delay  Read more »

Posted on November 22, 2015 11:54 am

Panthertown’s Cold Mountain Trailhead to be Closed, Expanded

Edit: As of August 7, the parking area is finished and open again. Enjoy! Panthertown Valley’s Cold Mountain trailhead, providing the best access to some of the area’s favorite features such as Schoolhouse Falls, will close on Monday morning for construction. When it reopens? A proper parking area! Until now,  Read more »

Posted on August 1, 2015 10:59 am

Archived news and more articles are on the WNCOutdoors.info Blog.

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