Western North Carolina Trailheads
Looking for a place to start exploring the outdoors in WNC? Look no further than our Trailheads.
What's a Trailhead?
HikeWNC's Trailheads are hubs, or areas, where several trails are convenient to one another or joined in a network.
More than Wikipedia's definition of a Trailhead as "the point at which a trail starts", a Trailhead here could be a campground, a parking area where several trails start, a stream basin, an isolated park, a town, or simply an area with a group of trails convenient to one another. Historically, cities located near the starting point for major paths were also called Trailheads.
The US Forest Service has been referring to these as Trail Complexes in its recent Trail Strategy process.
For this site, a Trailhead can be any of these, but represents a way for us to group information about a place where you can spend a day or more exploring hiking trails without having to drive too far - or at all!
Choose a Trailhead from the list or map below to see all the details that we have on each one.
Map of Trailheads
Here's a map of the trailhead areas we cover. Roll over a "TH" symbol to see its name, zoom in near one to see the area's outline, and click or tap for more information about that trailhead area.
Download GPS Data
Click on a route, trail, or point on the map and select the GPS Data tab to download its data.
KML (Google Earth)
KML is the main file type used by Google Earth. If you have Google Earth installed, clicking the KML link should open the trail or point directly in Google Earth for viewing. This is the native file format used by Google Earth, but many other map applications can use and understand KML as well, so if you're not sure which one to download, KML is a good bet.
The GPX format stands for GPS Exchange - a free, open, XML format for exchanging GPS and map data. GPX is compatible with Google Earth, many other mapping programs, and most GPS devices (such as Garmin). Load the file directly into your GPS to help find your way on your next trip!
GeoJSON is a newer, lightweight data exchange format which can be used to quickly share map data and may have a smaller size than KML or GPX. Many professional mapping and GIS applications support the GeoJSON format.
About the Map
Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. Base layers may not be available at all times due to system maintenance or outages.
WNCOutdoors Base Layer
The WNCOutdoors Base layer is provided by WNCOutdoors.info. It is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.
Trail and Marker Overlays
Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from government agencies, and field observations. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the Open Database License - you are free to copy and use it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary).
- Hover over a trail to see it highlighted. Helps to see start and end points for an individual trail.
- Scroll and zoom the map before printing, and that view will persist into the printed image.
- Click a trail for more details and to download it individually.
List of Trailheads
Here's a list of the trailhead areas we cover, grouped by the type of ownership over the lands: Federal, State, City/County (and other public lands), and private property open to visitors.
- Pisgah National Forest
- Appalachian Ranger District
- Grandfather Ranger District
- Pisgah Ranger District
- Nantahala National Forest
- Cheoah Ranger District
- Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
- Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness
- Snowbird Backcountry Area
- Nantahala Ranger District
- Tusquitee Ranger District
- Jackrabbit Mountain
- Fires Creek Recreation Area
- Hanging Dog Recreation Area
- Cheoah Ranger District
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Section 1 (VA State Line, MP 217 to Jumpingoff Rocks, MP 261)
- Section 2 (Jumpingoff Rocks, MP 261 to Beacon Heights, MP 305)
- Section 3 (Beacon Heights, MP 305 to NC Hwy 80, MP 344)
- Section 4 (NC Hwy 80, MP 344 to Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384)
- Section 5 (Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384 to NC Hwy 215, MP 423)
- Section 6 (NC Hwy 215, MP 423 to US 441/Great Smoky Mountains, MP 469)
- Short Hikes Near Asheville (Sections 4 and 5)
- Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Chimney Rock State Park
- Elk Knob State Park
- Lake James State Park
- Crowders Mountain State Park
- Dupont State Forest
- Gorges State Park
- Grandfather Mountain State Park
- Hanging Rock State Park
- Headwaters State Forest
- Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
- Mount Mitchell State Park
- New River State Park
- Pilot Mountain State Park
- Stone Mountain State Park
- South Mountains State Park
- Mountains to Sea Trail
- Buncombe County
- County Parks
- Collier Cove Nature Preserve
- City of Asheville
- Asheville Urban Trail
- Richmond Hill Park
- Western North Carolina Nature Center
- Town of Blowing Rock
- Town of Canton
- Town of Lake Lure
- Town of Seven Devils
- (Otter Falls)(http://sevendevils.net/nature-trails)
- Town of Sylva
- Beech Mountain
- Hickory Nut Gorge
- Linville Caverns
- Seven Devils
- Otter Falls Trail
- Sugar Mountain
Long Distance Trails
These trails may span multiple landowners, districts, or even multiple states.