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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Reviews (2210)
Photos (5885)
Vlad Pch
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Hiking

Decent hike not all that much views a few campsites on the trail

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Helen Turner
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HikingGreat!

This hike was super fun, with amazing views the entire way. We battled fog in the morning, but it finally cleared up and was beautiful. Highly suggest going all the way to Grassy Ridge Bald. This was a fairly easy hike with just a couple steep climbs. Trail was well marked and in excellent condition.

Erin Lewis
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Hiking

Beautiful hike. Berry bushes everywhere (not ripe unfortunately). Some of the path went through shaded areas. At the top it is spectacular. Can turn completely around and see for miles. Pretty easy hike. We took our time and were finished in about an hour. The driving to get here took longer, but it was worth it.

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Erin Lewis
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HikingRocky

Rocky. Lovely start walking next to the French Broad. Found blueberries growing a few places, which was fun. Pretty warm and humid. Not like the hikes at higher altitudes.

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Thyra Schwab
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Hiking

Short, moderate hike. Pretty views and some fun, narrow rocky ledge switchbacks on the way up tracing the French Broad. Glad we started the loop along the river.

Kirsti Graybeal
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HikingRocky
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Jen Fox
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Hiking

Really great hike with amazing scenery. Very well maintained trail making it easy for all levels of hikers!

Rachel Summers
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HikingRocky

Uphill all the way out. Downhill all the way back. Wear sunscreen! Only a bit is covered by trees.

Alex Halfmann
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Hiking

Parking was tricky and confusing. There is a small lot at the end of the road where you can park, maybe 500’ past the trailhead. The raft company does tow cars if you park where you’d block their busses. On to the hike, we started along the French Broad River. Though the flat trail continues, for this loop take the first left following the white markings. You’ll have a relatively short, but steep climb that will burn your legs if you aren’t used to hills. Use poles if you have them. Beautiful views near the top. The way back down is clearly marked and easier if you go this direction. I can see how people going the other direction could get confused on the second half of the loop, but if you read the sign at the trailheads you’ll be fine.

Trina Sneed
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HikingBlowdownMuddyOff trailRocky

This was a great trail. Not sure I was ready for it though. Coming back out about killed me! Somehow I made the trail longer than it was listed for

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Chris Luedtke
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A great hike! Arrived at 5pm on a holiday weekend and found a parking spot, but it was nearly full and people were parking in questionable spots. My 8 month 50lb doodle did fine, other than being scared of fireworks in the distance.

Jenny Skehan
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Hiking

A quick steep rocky incline to the top. Beautiful views. Easy more gradual decline back down.

Colton Marshall
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MuddyRockyWashed out

literally my #1 favorite trail. theres a lot of traffic passing the other balds, but usually it's much less crowded when you make it to grassy ridge. the rewards are well worth the hike. a great choice even if visibility is low

Colton Marshall
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Bugs

easily the most rewarding trail for amount of effort you will ever find. I would go as far as saying anyone that can walk, can make this hike. enjoy the 360 views and a grassy bald to relax on

Tami Rumfelt
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HikingBugsGreat!MuddyRocky

This is a great trail with lots of different types of landcscapes to enjoy along the way. Didn't make it all the way to Grassy Ridge, we stopped at Jane Bald and headed back. I'm not in great shape and this was a challenging hike for me. I would rate it as hard, but, again, seasoned hikers would not agree I'm sure. But, overall, it's a great hike with lots of rewarding views and friendly people along the way.

Lora Cobb
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Absolutely beautiful!

Peter Rhyne
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Hiking

Absolutely stunning 360-degree views from a well-maintained trail. Highly recommend!

John Zenger
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HikingBugs

I love this hike flowers mostly gone. Lots of folks camping on the top of Grassy Ridge Bald this weekend.....I love this hike its amazing.

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Carrie Washington
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Highly recommend. Beautiful trail rated appropriately as moderate. a few tips. 1. get there early. I arrived at 8 am on a weekend. It was a great hike going up. Going down was way too crowded for my liking. I would arrive no later than 7 if you like peace and solitude like I do. 2. wear a hat and sunscreen. There is very little shade and I imagine one could get badly burned without sun protection. 3. bring a picnic for the top. 4. have fun!

Beth Qualls
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Hiking

Forever my favorite trail :) Get there early if you want to have a parking space. The sunrises are stunning. 360 degree views the majority of the hike. Bring bug spray for sure, and dress in layers. Starts out cool, but the balds get hot as the day goes on with no shelter from the sun. Happy hiking!

Alexis Petrak-Bolling
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HikingRocky
Haley Queen
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Hiking

beautiful trail!!

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