Wildberry Lodge, LLC

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Best Hikes in Western NC

Updated: April 2022. One of the reasons that guests love to visit us at Wildberry Lodge is our total connection to the outdoors. We have created an atmosphere of peace and freedom. So, of course, we want to help you enjoy being outside. One fun way to do this is by hiking. Here are what we think are the best hikes in Western NC.

The idea of hiking may seem overwhelming to some, but it shouldn’t. Hiking is really just walking! The difficulty of a hike is measured by the distance and/or the elevation (hilliness). If you are thinking about an outing for just a couple of hours, there is no need for lots of technical equipment. You just need a bit of a plan. If even that seems daunting, we can help!

Here are the things to think about:

  • What is your current physical ability and comfort level?
  • What is the current weather forecast? if there is a chance of a thunderstorm, you may want to choose another activity.
  • Do you have proper footwear? This is less important if you are on a paved or a well-maintained gravel path, but if it is going to be a rocky or uneven landscape, you will want to protect your ankles with supportive shoes.
  • What will you take? Don’t overpack; everything gets increasingly heavier the longer you carry it.
  • Should you bring a first aid kit? Yes, it’s always good to be prepared for unexpected injuries.
  • Do you have a map? Don’t rely on your phone’s GPS, you may not have service. So, yes, that means a physical paper-in-hand map…just in case.
  • Do you have a full water bottle ready? Stay hydrated! Always bring water, especially if you are going to higher elevations.

What hikes can be considered easy, moderate, or difficult? First of all, it’s best to gauge them according to your individual level of fitness. However, here are some other things to identify the different levels of a trail.

  • EASY: Mostly flat, with very little change in elevation. There are no steep hills, loose gravel, or roots that would cause uneven or unstable footing. Easy hikes are also generally under 3 miles in total length.
  • MODERATE: A step up from easy, being longer and more difficult. There are more inclines while still being doable for someone who is moderately active. Hikes could be under 3 miles yet have steeper hills, loose gravel, or root-covered paths. Any hike over 3 miles is generally considered a moderate level, even with flat terrain. You may want to consider using hiking poles on these trails.
  • DIFFICULT: A difficult trail has many inclines or steep hills; a long, steady climb; many steps or stairs; and roots, slippery rocks, or other difficult terrains. Footing is usually very irregular, uneven, or otherwise more unpredictable. Sturdy shoes with tread are recommended and again, hiking poles may be helpful. Also, difficult hikes are generally longer than 4 miles.

So now you’re ready to head out! Here are some suggestions; if these trails don’t appeal to you, just ask us. We are happy to help!

Trails at Wildberry Lodge

Right here on our 44-acre property, we have created 7 hiking trails in partnership with Long Cane Trails. They range from .75 miles up to 1.5 miles. You can choose to hike them individually or link them together. We can provide maps that are marked for easy navigation.

Bearwallow Mountain Trail

Type: Out & back  |  Length: 1 mile  |  Duration: 25-30 minutes each way

If you’re looking for a little exercise with a light lunch, you will certainly enjoy this trail. There’s a beautiful open meadow that’s great for picnic lunches (make sure you ask us about our cheese and charcuterie picnic basket). This trail offers colorful wildflowers in the spring, lush green grasses in the summer, and stunning foliage colors in the fall.

Craggy Pinnacle Trail

Type: Out & back  |  Length: 1.2 miles  |  Duration: Approx. 40 minutes round trip

This is certainly one of our more picturesque trails. From the gorgeous rhododendron thickets to the breath-taking sunset views, your photo trigger finger will be working overtime. If you’re an early riser, you’ll get to witness the magical morning mist over the mountains. The stillness is tranquil and otherworldly.

Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

Type: Loop  |  Length: 4 miles  |  Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours

If you love waterfalls, you won’t want to pass up this trail. The Daniel Ridge Falls, a 15-foot cascading waterfall, is worth the trek. Parts of the trail may be a bit rough with rocks and roots. However, you’ll also move through a forest and several meadows. You also have the option to hike directly to the falls, which is only about a half-mile.

Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower Hike

Type: Out & back  |  Length: 1.5 miles  |  Duration: 1 hour

Don’t you just love the name of this trail? There are some amazing views…for those who aren’t afraid of heights. Atop the historic Fryingpan Tower, you will have a beautiful panoramic view of Pisgah National Forest and landmarks such as Cold Mountain and Looking Glass Rock. It’s a fairly easy hike but you’ll have a steep climb up five stories to enjoy the view.

Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

Type: Loop  |  Length: 3.5 miles  |  Duration: 2.5 hours

This family-friendly trail provides enjoyment for everyone. Rhododendrons, waterfalls, meadows, forests, and even blueberry picking are some of the things you’ll experience. If it is summertime, there is also a waterhole for swimming!

John Rock Trail

Type: Loop  |  Length: 5.7 miles  |  Duration: 4 hours

This trail is bound to be on any hiker’s bucket list. The Pisgah National Forest has over 400 miles of trails and is considered a “world-class hiking destination.” Forests and waterfalls and some amazing hiking—how can it get any better?

Mountains-To-Sea-Trail at Craven Gap

Type: Out & back  |  Length: 4.8 miles  |  Duration: 2 hours

This is another family-friendly hiking trail. It’s a great way to start enjoying the mountain scenery. Many of our locals will walk or run this trail as it is very close to residential areas. It is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a section of the Mountain-to-Sea Trail that crosses North Carolina. There is not much signage on this trail but you will have a “blaze” (white painted circle) on trees to help guide you.

Roan Mountain Hike on the Appalachian Trail

Type: Out & back  |  Length: 5 miles  |  Duration: 3-4 hours

The Roan Mountain Hike provides something unique—the “balds.” Three grassy hilltops (thus, they’re bald) provide views of the most scenic part of the Appalachian Trail. There’s Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald. You move through a forested area to break through to the meadow grassy hilltops. (“bald” hilltops…OK, that’s just too funny!) If you take the trail up to Grassy Ridge Bald, you’ll walk through a rhododendron tunnel out to an open meadow that’s great for a picnic lunch.

 

With all that hiking you’ll want to settle down for a cozy, relaxing evening and a luxurious night’s rest. Which of the best hikes near Asheville NC was your favorite? Come out to the spa deck with a hot tub to relax your weary bones, or sit around the firepit to swap stories about the adventures of the day. Start the day with a hearty appetite; our breakfast will fuel you for any hiking distance. Book your stay today, to secure your room!

 

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