Explore the most popular trails near Arden with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


dogs on leash

nature trips

trail running




mountain biking


Arden, North Carolina Map
1 month ago

Fairly heavy traffic when I was out, so don't plan on escaping into natural solitary. Overall a fun hike on the strenuous end of moderate thanks to some steep climbs and scrabbling. I would recommend proper footwear for maximum enjoyment and safety, on a wet day like today I was grateful for the tread.

Nice trail with a solid leg warmer incline when you start near the Arboretum. Superb vistas in the fall. One of my local favs!

I started on the beach side. $2 to park there if the free lot is full. At the beach go right or left and follow the Homestead trail (orange). there are some crossings that aren't signed well so use this app to find the right way.

3 months ago

This is a go-to when I want to take my pooch for a hike near where we live.

I’ve been three times, and there’s been very little traffic any time. Nothing much as far as views (at least in the section from Arboretum to intersection at Blue Ridge Parkway). But if you like an uncrowded hike where you can let your dog off leash, this is very solid.

8 months ago

easy 2hr hike. good att cell service :). makes for a nice running trail, mostly groomed.

Have walked these trails numerous times while living in the Asheville area. Nice area to spend an afternoon.

9 months ago

The Shut-In Trail is actually about 17 miles long. It runs from the trail head shown on the map near the Arboretum by Bent Creek to the Mt. Pisgah parking lot. Today we did an out and back starting at the Mt. Pisgah end going about 5 miles before returning. We had over 2,500 feet of elevation change just in this section. It definitely has some steep and rocky parts but is a great hike. There are great views this time of year without the leaves on the trees and not as much traffic as earlier in the year. If you are looking for a heart pumper this is a good choice.

9 months ago

tough hike but a great one..we live here and love going on this hike with our trail hound!

This trail is more for mountain bikers. Much of the trail is gravel road.

10 months ago

Nice trail. GPS didn't take us to trail head so took some time to find. Only 400 yards away but once we found it the trail was fun.

11 months ago

Great moderate hike. Elevation is mild. Lots of the trails were wide and easy to walk on. Bikers use the trail but sharing safely was not a problem. Took 2.5 hours to do 6 miles. Lovely walk through the woods/forest.

Very few people, which is great. But nothing to make this trail too interesting- majority of the trail was a gravel road.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This is a fine running trail, but definitely does not feature the river. If you're looking, in winter, you can see it far away through the trees. Can be a bit buggy in summer.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Nice gravel road for biking or hiking

Friday, July 21, 2017

Got real thirsty on this one. Passed a group with their leader (who had dreads) and asked for a drink of water or some pop. They had some water, and I was appreciative. Thanks guys, if you are reading this. Other than that, trail was sloppy and ill-kempt.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

First mile is tough uphill. Nice trail. Views are not abundant.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Trail run from the back of Bent Creek lot. Its tough!

Frequent favorite of ours. Brought our little one here beginning around 4yrs old. Just be careful with the little ones around the small bridge, where they love to throw rocks and leaves into the stream below. It doesn't have any railings. Our kiddo took a header off the bridge & got four stitches.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Parking across the road from Horse camp entrance and trail head is right there to left of the entrance gate. Trail is blazed blue in trees at intersections. Starts to get a little steeper before you encounter the road. Turn right into road and it will bring you back down to the forest road, turn right again and it's about .25 mile or so back to trailhead. Nice, easy and very quiet. On the way back down on the road, there is a turn to the right that goes uphill, I did not explore where this leads but went up a little ways for some decent views. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I love the history of this trail. Only had enough time to cover four miles before I had to turn around. I would rate it as moderate but definitely broke a sweat on a cool day. Not a lot of views because of trees but I want to go back in the spring when the mountain laurel are in full bloom!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Great single track trail. Steep but good long trail

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I started hiking near the NC Arboretum and hiked for a few hours before returning to the car. The trail followed the road. The first few miles were a test of my conditioning. Very enjoyable half day hike.

Monday, June 06, 2016

I love this place

Friday, November 06, 2015

Hike was somewhat dampened by the weather and company, but definitely a spot worth checking out.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Shut-In trail is actually a much-longer trail than noted in the description. It starts at the entrance to the North Carolina Arboretum and pretty much parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the Pisgah Inn. That's about 12 or so miles total. There are trail heads pretty much at every overlook on the parkway so you can bite off as much or as little of it as you wish. I completed the entire length in a half-dozen out-and-backs.

Some of the sections are pretty easy...others are strenuous. The most-strenuous sections are right at the beginning and right at the end. In addition, the section that includes Ferrin Knob is a haul. But the trail condition is good-to-excellent throughout. And it's really tough to get lost, because every couple of miles you'll reach another overlook on the Parkway.

My most-favorite section of this trail is from Big Ridge Overlook heading west toward the Pisgah Inn (away from Asheville). Turn back when you reach the parkway...the trail crosses the road and then goes UP Little Pisgah Mountain. That's a killer -- truly a streuous section. But until then, it's absolutely gorgeous and a nice leg-stretcher. And I'm thinking it's probably the number one winter hike in the area -- I'll let you know.

This trail is pretty and has a lake that is open to the public during the summer months. There is also a small dam on one side of the lake that is pretty cool. Some of the trails are not marked and if you don't know the area it can be a bit confusing. This area is very popular for MTN biking in WNC.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Great winter views. Hiked to Sleepy Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway after an unintended extra mile or so of a forest service road/bike trail. Backtracked to the MTS/Shut In trail after realizing my error. On the way back to the Bent Creek area parking, I saw unexpected long range views of Biltmore Estate. Trail is maintained well too. Great local hiking for me and I will hike it again soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

We went for about 2.5 miles or so before we decided to turn around.. The dogs loved it. It was snowing so all of our views were pretty obstructed but all on all it's a nice little nature walk. When you enter the trail you are on the arboretums property but after about a half mile you end up on some old logging roads. It's worth the trip.

on Shut-In Trail

Monday, December 30, 2013

Steep and muddy on spots, you can hike this for 17 miles if you choose to. Nice rhododendrons, nice views in winter, I bet they would be obscured by leaves in summer!

mountain biking
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

OK trail for hiking or mountain biking.

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