Living in Western North Carolina has many advantages. Whether it’s the delicious smokiness of 12 Bones blueberry chipotle ribs, or the crisp refreshment of a Highland Brewing seasonal beer, mountain life is delicious. It’s easy to get caught up enjoying the decadent foods that Asheville has to offer, but in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to burn some of those delightful calories off.
In a part of the country steeped in beautiful mountain terrain, Asheville is also one of the easiest places to get outside and be active.
Here are my Top 10 Asheville Outdoor Activities to stay fit, healthy, and to help make room for the next Curate small plate:
Hike Black Balsam Knob
- Attracting thousands of visitors from across the Southeast, Black Balsam Knob is one of the most beautiful hikes in Western North Carolina. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, Black Balsam Knob provides guests with miles of trails and spectacular views of the Southern Appalachians. Be sure to visit in the early fall to witness the famous changing of the leaves.
Stand Up Paddleboard on Beaver Dam Lake
- Conveniently located in North Asheville only 10 minutes from downtown, Beaver Dam lake is a perfect getaway for paddle boarding. With no large boats allowed on the water, you are free to paddle worry-free.
Run the Blue Ridge Parkway “Mountains to Sea” Trail
- Look out for locals on one of the best kept running secrets in Asheville! Stretching from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, this famous trail is challenging, yet entertaining. Pack your trail shoes!
Discover the Biltmore Estate
- You can’t mention Asheville without mentioning the Biltmore Estate. Outside of being the largest private residence in the United States, the Biltmore has an extensive network of walking, hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that zig zag across the 7,000 acres of rolling hills. Enjoy touring the house in the morning, then head over to Antler Village for a bike rental to complete your afternoon exploration.
Explore the North Carolina Arboretum by Foot
- Summer flowers are in full bloom and the North Carolina Arboretum is a fantastic way to kick up your step count. Make sure to check out their website before visiting for information on seasonal exhibits and events like the 2017 Summer Lights Show.
Kayak the French Broad River
- If water activities are your forte, Asheville has you covered! Rent all sorts of equipment from the French Broad Outfitters and take a relaxing (or adventurous) trip down the French Broad River.
Mountain Bike on the Bent Creek Trails
- With miles of trails suited for riders of various skill levels, the Bent Creek trails are a great local biking destination. Advanced riders will enjoy the technical sections of the trails, while intermediate riders will appreciate the moderate ascents and descents.
Visit the French Broad River Greenway
- The French Broad River Greenway offers nearly 3 miles of paved sidewalks for biking, running, or walking along the French Broad river. The greenway conveniently connects three of Asheville’s most well-known parks: Hominy Creek, Carrier, and French Broad River. Once you’re done with your workout, check out the close-by River Arts District to experience Asheville’s artistic flare.
Stroll through Graveyard Fields’ Waterfalls
- Located 45 minutes from Asheville, Graveyard Fields is a popular hiking destination for locals and visitors alike. With two waterfalls, Upper Falls and Lower Falls having direct trail access, Graveyard Fields is a fantastic way to exercise and take in the beautiful mountain scenery.
Learn the Rich History of Asheville by Taking a Walking Tour
- Originally established in 1784, Asheville has a rich history. Check out Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s website for a free downtown walking tour map. If you would rather hear the history from a local guide, check out Asheville By Foot Tours for a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening out.
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, is right on the money by naming Asheville “The Top U.S. Destination of 2017”. Come check out the city we proudly call home, and start your adventure with these 10 outdoor activities!
See you soon!