7 Of The Greatest Mountain Hiking Trails In North Carolina For Beginners
Hiking is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature and to feel a sense of accomplishment, no matter the length of the trail. But, let’s face it: we’re not all cut out for epic hikes that last for days and require you to tote a heavy backpack with all of your gear. And to that end, we’re not all hikers. For you, or that person in your life who may not be an avid, experienced hiker, there are trails perfect for beginners all throughout the mountains of North Carolina. Check out seven of them below and get ready for some wondrous adventures…
1. Craggy Pinnacle Trail
It's a mere 0.7-miles to the overlook at Craggy Pinnacle, and requires a bit of stamina to get there but the views from this Blue Ridge Parkway overlook are worthy of the effort! (We've front-loaded this list with the hardest hike of the bunch.) The climb is 223 feet straight up and the trail travels through some rhododendron tunnels that are astounding. Bring the novice hiker in your life and you may find they want to go hiking more often after this spectacular experience. Learn more from alltrails.com at
Address: 3641 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Barnardsville, NC, 28709
2. Max Patch Loop
Hike to the top of a bald for breathtaking 360-degree views looking down on the tops of other mountains. For most of the journey, the trail is relatively flat, except for 100 feet or so, when it climbs a set of stairs for the grand view. Max Patch is a 1.5-mile loop and is one of the most loved trails in the Tar Heel State and is located along the North Carolina/Tennessee state border. It's also perfect for the entire family — even the dog can come along. Get more information
Address: Max Patch Road, Hot Springs, TN, 28743
3. Mt. Mitchell Summit Trail
Even the most experienced of hikers will feel a great sense of pride in reaching the summit of the highest peak in America east of the Mississippi. From here, you'll feel on top of the world and the best part... ? It's only several hundred yards from the parking area on top of the mountain. The summit trail is paved and is all uphill but doable for all skill levels. Find more information
Address: 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC, 28714
4. Moore Cove Falls
You'll cover a total of 1.2 miles on this short and scenic hike in the mountains. At the end of the trail is a platform for viewing a 50-foot waterfall that spills over a rather large cove underneath. If you venture off the platform as most do, be sure to watch your footing as the ground can be muddy or slippery at times. The easy trek is ideal for novice hikers and children and has only a slight elevation gain of 154 feet. Learn more from
on alltrails.com. The parking area is located next to a stone bridge not far from another popular waterfall in North Carolina: Looking Glass Falls.
Address: US-276, Brevard, NC, 28712
5. Triple Falls Trail
A very easy and short hike for the beginning hiker in your life, Triple Falls Trail is found in the Dupont State Forest and is less than a half mile each way if you're seeking a view of North Carolina's famously popular Triple Falls. After, if you're feeling more adventurous, you can continue on to see two more waterfalls on the full 2.3-mile trail. Learn more from
Address: Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, NC, 28718
6. Flat Top Trail
This hike in Moses H Cone Memorial Park follows along the meadows surrounding Flat Top Manor near Blowing Rock. It's 2.4 miles each way and has little gain in elevation until the very end of the trail where you'll switchback for a bit before reaching a fire tower lookout. The parkway views along this trail in the spring and fall are simply gorgeous. Whether or not you hike the entire trail, this spot is ideal for that day you decide to take a drive on the parkway and need to stretch your legs.
(Worth noting: there is also a Flat Top "Mountain" Trail on the parkway, but that is found in Virginia.)
Find out more at
Address: 6570 Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, NC, 28605
7. Linville Falls
No list of beginner mountain hiking trails in North Carolina would be complete without the few trails that lead to overlooks for the upper and lower falls of Linville Falls. Carve out at least three hours to explore them all and come prepared to conquer more than a few sets of steps. There's even an overlook more then 50 feet above the main waterfall (as seen in this photo), so don't miss that one. Find more information on the trails found here at
Parking Area Access Road Address: 8160 Biggerstaff Avenue, Newland, NC, 28657
Practically anyone should be able to enjoy these easy trails in the mountains of North Carolina. Think you can go this weekend?
For more easy hikes in North Carolina, keep reading:
10 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List In North Carolina.
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