10 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List In North Carolina
There is no excuse not to get out and get active in the gorgeous state of North Carolina. Luckily, from the mountains to the coast, there are plenty of amazing, breezy hiking trails worth exploring. The many easy hikes in North Carolina are perfect for a short and sweet trek through the great outdoors, and some are even ideal for exploring with little ones. Lace up your hiking boots and pack some water and bug spray, because you’re going to want to hit the trails after taking a virtual visit to these ten places:
1. Jomeokee Trail, Pilot Mountain
Pilot Mountain is a great place to get away in the Piedmont, and the 0.9 mile Jomeokee Trail is perfect for a little fitness and some incredible views! The trail leads you to and around the big pinnacle. All in all, Pilot Mountain has a peak that reaches 2,421 feet. It was originally called "Jomeokee" by the Saura peoples, a word meaning "great guide" in English.
2. Hickory Nut Falls Trail, Chimney Rock
Starting at cliffs along Hickory Nut Gorge, this moderate 1.5 mile hike leads to the breathtaking Hickory Nut Falls. It's also safe and fun for the whole family. Hickory Nut Falls, located in Chimney Rock State Park, trickles down 404 feet.
3. Erwin's View, Linville Falls
As one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina, there's plenty of trails to choose from. One of the best is Erwin's View, just a 1.9 mile hike that leads you to the most photographed view of the waterfall. The surrounding old growth forest is incredible to view from this scenic spot.
4. Moore's Wall Loop Trail, Hanging Rock State Park
For the perfect, beginner hike that still lets you explore all Hanging Rock has to offer, Moore's Wall takes you on a brisk, 4.3 mile journey where you're rewarded at the end with 360-degree views from a rocky platform. All in all, Hanging Rock State Park has 8,605 acres of landscape awaiting exploration. The views along the way, you'll find, are magnificent.
5. Whiteside Mountain, Jackson County
For such incredible beauty, and some mystery, it's hard to believe you can see this for yourself in just 2.5 miles. Your endpoint is a breathtaking 700ft. cliff, and not to mention fall is one of the best times for catching a glimpse at the enchanting 'shadow of the bear.' This mountain features the highest cliffs in the eastern reaches of the continent. If you're craving an incredible experience, this is
the place to be.
6. Craggy Gardens, Black Mountain
This easy, 1.4 mile hike rewards you with continuous, fairtyale-like beauty. Trees twirl through the trail and pile on one another in the dense forest. Once at the top, you'll reach a platform that gives you breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The jagged rocks of this landscape lend the area its name, but the true garden comes with the bloom of wildflowers in spring and summer months.
7. Sugarloaf Dune Trail, Carolina Beach State Park
While many associate hiking with the mountains, there's plenty to explore along the coast. The 2.8 mile hike takes you through a wide array of coastal terrain, and you might even spot a Venus fly trap along the way. Swing by the Visitor's Center after your hike to see fascinating exhibits.
8. Raven Rock Trail, Upper Little River
Centrally located between Sanford and Lillington, Raven Rock State Park offers plenty of gorgeous scenery outside of the mountains. The Raven Rock Trail is an easy 2.6 mile hike that will reward you with great views and serenity. In addition to being a beautiful spot to hike, the equestrian trails here also equally excellent.
9. Crabtree Falls Loop Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway
Crabtree Falls is magnificently beautiful, and the loop trail is a perfect way to experience it. The short trail only spans 2.5 miles can be somewhat strenuous at parts. You can't beat this endpoint, though! The Blue Ridge Parkway is a magnificent spot to pull over and take a hike.
10. Cloudland Trail, Roan Mountain
Roan Mountain is more a chain than a singular mountain, known as a massif. It's home to the unique, grassy balds - wide open fields on top of a mountain. For the best way to experience it, hike the Cloudland Trail. The 3-mile roundtrip hike leads you first through dense forest and finally to Roan Bluff, the second-highest peak on the massif at 6,286 ft.
There really is something for everyone, in every location, and for every type of hiker in North Carolina. Have you hiked these easy hikes in North Carolina before, or do you have any to add? Share your thoughts in the comments!
If you’re looking for more gorgeous views in North Carolina, check out these
8 breathtaking natural attractions.
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