Outdoor Guide for Western North Carolina: Things to do

Dated: June 22 2023

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The Great Outdoors of Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina is a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy the water, land or even the air, our area has the perfect escape for you to relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air. We’ve gathered a small sampling of what nature holds in our backyards, so read on to find out more!


HIKING & TRAILS BIKING: WNC boasts tons of options for road, gravel, and mountain biking. For the avid road cyclist, The Blue Ridge Cycling Club hosts rides throughout the week. Local bike shops also host their own rides. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular destination for many road cycling enthusiasts. Mountain Biking and Gravel cyclists can find miles upon miles of fun in Bent Creek Experimental Forest, the Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, just to name a few. McDowell and Burke County boasts the popular Fonta Flora State Trail, and there are future plans to connect this trail all the way to Asheville. If you’re connected to apps like Strava or Ride With GPS, you’ll find hundreds of route options for your given style of riding. Don’t forget about Kolo Bike Park and The Riveter - local bike parks that feature pump tracks, mountain bike trails, etc. for all ages.

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES HELICOPTER TOURS ROCK CLIMBING & BOULDERING: If you love the adrenaline rush of rock climbing and/or bouldering, the mountainous terrain of Western North Carolina has created the perfect playground for you. There are so many rock climbing locations, but here’s a few to check out:

  • Looking Glass Rock
  • Rumbling Bald & Chimney Rock
  • Pilot Mountain
  • Laurel Knob
  • Eagle Rock
  • Linville
  • Gorge Stone Mountain

WATERFALLS: Waterfalls are abundant throughout Western North Carolina with some visible from the convenience of your car, and others requiring lengthy hikes to see and appreciate. Here are a handful of waterfalls you can explore on your next outdoor adventure in WNC:

  • Looking Glass Falls
  • Dry Falls
  • Turtleback Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Hickory Nut Falls
  • Linville Falls
  • Moore Cove Falls Upper
  • Whitewater Falls
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Triple Falls

FISHING: Western North Carolina has some of the best resources for freshwater fishing. Whether you are an avid fly-fisher or prefer to cast a traditional line, you’re sure to find some great fishing in the many rivers and streams of WNC. Don’t forget to get your NC Fishing license before you set out. A few favorites to check out include:

  • North Toe, South Toe & Cane River in the Burnsville area
  • North Mills River in Mills River, NC
  • Davidson River in Pisgah Forest, NC
  • Tuckaseegee River in Jackson County, NC
  • Nolichucky River
  • Pigeon River
  • Rocky Broad River
  • French Broad River

GOLFING: For to avid golfer, you’re sure to enjoy the scenery when golfind in Western North Carolina. Many golf courses in our area boast expansive views and showcase some of our wildlife as well. Check out some of these courses to book your next tee time:

  • Grove Park Inn - Country Club
  • Reems Creek Golf Course
  • Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club
  • Broadmoor Golf Course
  • Lake Junaluska Golf Course
  • Springdale Waynesville Country Club
  • Bald Mountain Golf Course
  • Mt. Mitchell Golf Club

KAYAKING: Our waterways and lakes in the region are the perfect options to kayaking. Take a leisurely float down the French Broad River or launch your kayak from one of the lakes in our area. Keep in mind, some locations may require a permit, so check into that first!

SKIING: During the winter months (and sometimes spring months), some of the highest elevations in Western North Carolina are blanketed with snow. If you love to “shred the gnar” and want to check out the skiing and snowboarding scene, take a look at some of these resorts:

  • Cataloochee Ski Resort
  • Beech Mountain Ski Resort
  • Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
  • Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
  • Appalachian Ski Mountain


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Heather Radford

A native of Western North Carolina, Heather was born and raised in the Asheville area. Over the years she has worked in various roles within the home industry including working with several local home....

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Outdoor Guide for Western North Carolina: Things to do

The Great Outdoors of Western North CarolinaWestern North Carolina is a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy the water, land or even the air, our area has the perfect escape for you to

Read More