We’ve all heard the phrase “go take a hike,” but how many of us actually do it?
Believe it or not, it can be good for you.
Hiking has many benefits including increased stamina, increased muscle tone, and increased heart strength.
It also improves your psychological health–helping with everything from depression to anxiety.
Luckily, beautiful hiking spots reside throughout the US–particularly in North Carolina.
From the Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains to the Pisgah National Forest, the hiking in North Carolina won’t disappoint you.
Let’s take a look at five of the best trails, so you can start planning your next trip.
Camp Alice Trail
Located in Mount Mitchell State Park 30 miles north of Asheville, the Camp Alice trail is ideal for beginners or family groups.
It’s also excellent for Walden fans, as it is one of the lesser used trails in the park.
The hike takes you 3.6 miles through old gravel roads, meadows, and ends at Commissary Hill at the base of Mount Mitchell.
Along the way, you’ll go over high elevations with breathtaking views.
You’ll walk through forests of majestic spruce and fir trees.
You’ll even have the chance to pick some blueberries at Camp Alice.
Craggy Pinnacle Overlook
This next one takes you up into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Craggy Pinnacle is a short 1.4-mile trip.
But the rewards are some of the best hiking in North Carolina has to offer.
At the summit, you’ll see an amazing 360-degree panoramic view.
To the west are Tennessee and I-26.
To the east is the water reservoir, North Fork.
To the south are the Craggy Gardens and the visitor picnic area.
To the north is Mount Mitchell.
The best time to take this hike is in June when the rhododendrons are in full bloom.
If you’re feeling romantic, you can also head up the ridge in the early morning and watch the sunrise.
Want to see the biggest waterfall in the Blue Ridge?
Then this is the hike for you.
Located near the town of Boone, this two-mile walk offers several different views of the Linville Falls.
But take caution.
This trail can be strenuous to the casual hiker, so bring plenty of snacks and bottled water.
The first part of the trail is the Upper Falls.
It starts at the visitor’s center and crosses the Linville River into an open meadow.
You’ll see plenty of Hemlock and White Pine trees as well as a lovely view of the Upper Falls.
However, to get a full look, you need to proceed to Erwin’s View and Chimney View further up the hill.
Pink Beds Loop
Hiking in North Carolina doesn’t get better than the Pisgah National Forest.
Here at the Pink Beds Loop, it’s all about the water.
You’ll hike through swamps and wetlands, and you might spot a beaver building a dam if you’re lucky.
This trail also contains some rare, endangered plant life such as the Swamp Pink.
One of the most challenging spots for hiking in North Carolina, Grandfather’s Profile takes you on a 7-mile journey to the top of Calloway’s Peak.
Don’t worry, though.
There are plenty of rest stops along the way.
You’ll see beautiful ferns while crossing over the Watauga River, in addition to breathtaking mountaintop views of the eponymous profile.
Go Hiking in North Carolina Today
Hiking is an excellent pastime that gets you outside.
It’s good for you and you can enjoy the wonders of nature.
Want to learn about more hiking spots around the country?
Check out the rest of the site.