10 Amazing North Carolina Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love

Summertime is officially on the horizon and what pairs better with summer than a beautiful hike in gorgeous North Carolina scenery? While some hikes can be somewhat intense, and even span a day or two, if you’re looking to hop in the car for some ‘semi’ instant gratification and adventure, these easy but amazing hikes are a must-add to your summer bucket list and are some of the best hikes in North Carolina!

How beautiful are those hikes? They are perfect for a quick adventure or accompaniment to a weekend-long outing. Which hikes have you done before? Any you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Speaking of short but amazing hikes, this 0.50-mile trail leads you to a beautiful mountain-fed swimming hole and is one of the best hikes in North Carolina!

Address: Jomeokee Campground, 1140 Paces Place Rd #8373, Pinnacle, NC 27043, USA
Address: Flat Laurel Creek, North Carolina, USA
Address: Sugarloaf Mountain Road, Sugarloaf Mountain Rd, North Carolina 28792, USA
Address: Whiteside Mountain, North Carolina 28741, USA
Address: Linville Falls, NC 28752, USA
Address: Raven Rock Road, Lillington, North Carolina, USA
Address: Crabtree Boulevard, Crabtree Blvd, Raleigh, NC, USA
Address: Hickory Nut Falls, North Carolina 28746, USA
Address: Lower Cascade Falls, North Carolina 27052, USA
Address: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Mountain, NC, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

Best Hikes in North Carolina

June 03, 2022

What’s the most beautiful lake hike in North Carolina?

Lake Phelps

There are over four miles of trails at Lake Phelps, making it the most beautiful lake hike in North Carolina! At Lake Phelps, you can find The Moccasin Trail and the Bee Tree Trail. The Moccasin Trail is a 2.8-mile hike that takes you over a 350-foot boardwalk. Here, you will receive incredible views from Moccasin Overlook. The Bee Tree Trail brings you through the Lake Phelps Campgrounds and the Somerset Place Cemetery to an incredible overlook of the lake at the Bee Tree Overlook!

What is the most popular hike in North Carolina?

Lake Junaluska Trail 

Lake Junaluska Trail in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, may be the most popular hike in the entire state! This 3.7-mile trail will take you around the entirety of Lake Junaluska, where you can admire the view of the lake, the lakefront houses, and the wildflowers blooming. This is an easy hike, which makes it popular when people are looking for a quick walk to get outside for some exercise and some fresh air!

What is the most scenic waterfall hike in North Carolina?

Linville Falls

If you are looking for the most scenic waterfall hike in North Carolina, look no further! Linville Falls takes the cake, and for a good reason — it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. This four-mile trail isn’t the easiest trail, but the view is well worth it. From Erwin’s View, you can look out over the 90-foot tall waterfall from above! And from the base, you can get up close to see how big Linville Falls really is! In the fall, the leaves change to colors of vibrant orange, red, yellow, and green, and create a breathtaking view surrounding the waterfall.

Address: Jomeokee Campground, 1140 Paces Place Rd #8373, Pinnacle, NC 27043, USA
Address: Flat Laurel Creek, North Carolina, USA
Address: Sugarloaf Mountain Road, Sugarloaf Mountain Rd, North Carolina 28792, USA
Address: Whiteside Mountain, North Carolina 28741, USA
Address: Linville Falls, NC 28752, USA
Address: Raven Rock Road, Lillington, North Carolina, USA
Address: Crabtree Boulevard, Crabtree Blvd, Raleigh, NC, USA
Address: Hickory Nut Falls, North Carolina 28746, USA
Address: Lower Cascade Falls, North Carolina 27052, USA
Address: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Mountain, NC, USA