Explore Appalachian Trail: North Carolina: Best Day Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the #AppalachianTrail, which passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. . With so many access points along its approximate 2,190-mile route, this trail is not only an excellent option for thru-hikers and section-hikers, but also day-hikers and those looking to escape into nature for a few hours. . To honor the Appalachian Trail, we have compiled a list state by state of some of our favorite day hikes along the AT. Check out this list for North Carolina and help us celebrate the legacy and natural wonder of this trail!

Appalachian Trail: North Carolina: Best Day Hikes Map
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Nice easy scenic hike.

backpacking
11 days ago

Had a really fun time with my 9 year old and my dog here. Climbing to the lookout point gave us a sense of accomplishment.

I love the view in the winter

VERY cold day to be up there today! It was about 6 degrees with 40mph gusts at the top of Grassy Ridge. We started off in Carver's Gap when it was still snowing, but it cleared by the time we got to the top. The 2-3 foot drifts made it a slog, but we had the right gear to stay warm. It's hard to rate the difficulty of the hike due to the weather and trail conditions today, but I look forward to an overnight camping trip up there in nicer weather. One minor complaints is that the trail gets a bit narrow as it passes through the thick brush, and I hope it gets trimmed back before the busy seasons starts. It wasn't a big deal today, but people would get pretty scratched-up walking through there with exposed skin. All in all, a great hike!

Great day hike!!

This is a great trail - defined not 10 year old friendly. Beautiful views with lots of snow.

Hard to find, not marked with orange blazes. Started on AT and took Lover’s Leap Loop back to parking lot. Amazing views and cool rocky outcroppings.

Fairly moderate hike but it’s absolutely spectacular. We started about an hour and a half before sunrise and got to the top to see one of the best views I’ve ever seen in my life. It was January when we went so it was brutally cold. And we were lucky to go on a less than normal windy day but you can tell this area gets blasted with wind. A ton of ice on the trails which wasn’t terrible to tackle but just slowed things down. If your looking for a western NC hike, this is it. Just dress appropriately. Enjoy!

Awesome views

The Sound of Music will be what you are thinking of when you get up on the balds. Spectacular! I hike a small section of this in the summer. Going back this fall to camp. Prepare to be WOW'D!

An extremely gorgeous hike! If you're able to start the trail early you can easily complete the whole trek in one day.

nice trail. lot of switchbacks going up. Just past the sign for Lover's Leap #308 (going up), there is a huge nest of yellowjackets on the trail. we got stung really bad, so be careful!

One of the more scenic hikes I have ever been on. We shuttled up from Mountain Harbor and hiked to Overmountain Shelter on day 1. We heard weather was going to move in the next day, so we hiked the remaining portion on Day 2. Not a bad hike on day 2, until you get to Doll Flats and then the remaining 3-4 miles is a pretty steep drop. We were glad to get out on Day 2, because the next day it snowed!! The views from the balds are well worth the hike.

Nice group activity hike since the uphills aren’t bad and the views are as good as it gets (in the East)! There are plenty of great spots to stop and snack or take a picture.
While there are are a pretty good number of people on this trail in nice weather, they thin out the farther one gets from the parking lot.
One last thing and very important - this trail is very muddy (even in good weather).

Dad and I #OptOutside for Black Friday. It was a beautiful day on the trail. Muddy from frost/ice melt, but worth the views on the crisp clear day.

I completed this section with my wife and with my 10 years old daughter. We stayed overnight and came back next morning to Hot Springs campground.

You will hike one mile next to the river...

Was our pleasure to meet two Appalachian thru Hikers... great stories and good motivation!!!

I rate this section Hard.

Views = good ( different points to stop and take some pics)

Hiking shoes highly recommended. I saw some people with running shoes having a hard time...

Terrific views. Worth hiking all the way to Grassy Ridge Bald for 360-degree views. This is a mountaintop trail but doesn’t have any steep drop offs or cliffs, so never feels treacherous. Trail is rocky; good shoes/boots recommended. I took my kids ages 9 & 10. Lots of hikers had dogs with them. Trail was fairly busy on a sunny day in Nov, so I can imagine it gets crowded in summer.

Pros: I hike for a view, and for that reason, this trail became an instantaneous favorite. The views are spectacular. Also, the drive from I-40 is fun - nice roads through a cute town and some pretty views along the way. Cons: I prefer a harder climb, so if you're looking for work, this probably isn't your trail. That being said, a hike is what you make of it, and it is the AT, so you have the option to continue for as many miles as you choose. There are a few short fun climbs. Also, this trail is extremely popular, and tends to be busy. However, it seems that many people only go to the first peak, fewer to the second, and hardly anyone all the way to the third. Overall, definitely worth a visit. Best option is to come on a clear day during the week.

Max patch is a nice hike. You get great 360 degree views. Sunsets are brilliant. This is a popular place so don't expect any privacy or solitude unless you walk down the AT to the woods. Sadly there were pieces of toilet paper and trash everywhere.

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