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

This trail never gets old. Within the last twenty-five years I guess I've ran, walked and plodded Hardtimes on a weekly basis.

Absolutely beautiful even with a lot of people around you still can find those solitude spots for awhile

Dogs had a blast and there are so many trails to turn off on and explore.

Great even I the rain.

Nice walk in the woods.. followed the bent stream... serene in April

A nice place for a stroll with the dogs.

Nice walk

Fun and an easy place to run!

Trails themselves were cool and you can get to an awesome tunnel and railroad track. But they were marked terribly so we never knew what trail we were on and had to guess how to get back.

WARNING-Don't leave anything of value in the car. Our car window was broken and my wife's purse was stolen. This hike is close to town and this is why we chose it but comes at a price. There is also a frisbee golf course here and spoke to a few of the locals who frequent the park and said the homeless has been responsible for multiple break ins.
Hike was decent but break in put a damper on our trip.

trail running
6 months ago

Nice run but encountered too many dogs that were not on a leash.

Nice easy walk through the forest , have walked this trail many times with my dogs.

Nice trail. No great mountain views, but a nice walk.

easy nice trail. only went 20 minutes out because of park closing. free for vets on veterans day!

8 months ago

Wonderful scenery, great for dogs, some bikers, great parking area

Lovely hike. Trails were partially marked.

9 months ago

Great trail for beginners. The Carolina Trail by itself is super easy. Small hill on Running Cedar Rd but still easy. Definitely make your way to Bent Creek Trail. It’s also easy but has the best scenery by the creek and provides benches if you want to rest and take it all in.

trail running
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I would recommend running on this trail. It is very nice with convenient connections to both Bent Creek Road and the Gardens at the arboretum, because of this it is a really convenient way to connect to longer trails such as Hard Times Road.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

All skill levels can do this hike. It's well shaded with places to stop for rest or food. There are several paths that aren't well marked so it would be easy to back-track and many trails are narrow and not well cleared. Some sections are very quiet and good for birding. This hike does not have "great views" but overall the hike is okay and easy to access.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nice easy road but if you're hiking watch out for the bikers!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I highly recommend this trail for anyone wanting a moderate hiking trail with a beautiful destination. The well maintained trail winds through the woods and leads to the NC Arboretum.

mountain biking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

This is an excellent trail for hiking, biking, and fishing since the trail follows the river. Park at the main lot for Hard Times Road and begin down the gravel road. If you turn right at the first intersection it leads to Lake Powhatan. Turn left and it eventually leads to the NC Arboretum. There are places to stop and enjoy the flowers and river.

trail running
Sunday, April 09, 2017

If you follow the hiking trail rather than the hiking one, make see you take the immediate left ten after the trail head starts. If not, you end up either taking a left at the t-junction and having a very short loop or taking a right and doing a double back loop of about 2.2 miles. For the full 3.5 miles you need to start in the left trail.

It's pretty decent for trail running or beginner single track mountain biking. Perfect for an hour walk with your four legged friend. It's enclosed with few views or open spots but there are a couple of places for a rest and a sit if you've picked something to eat or drink.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nice trail that runs by the French Broad river but poorly marked. If you turn left and go by a trailer, turn around and go back bc otherwise you will end up off-trail hiking it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A favorite of ours; good for my 5yr old.

Monday, October 24, 2016

We enjoyed this trail on Sunday! Hiked to lake Powhatan, even though it's more of a pond, it's beautiful and has some good fishing and this section below the lake is hatchery supported all the way down until you reach the arboretum where there is no fishing. You can make this hike as short or as long as you like. Heavily trafficked area but other than that we enjoyed it and will be going again soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

This is a very nice, clear, graveled trail. Some gradual elevations. Very few people using it, perhaps because we went on a Thursday morning/afternoon. Enjoyed this with my Mastiff.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nice trail. Easy for my elderly mastiff to amble. Better signage would be nice, as there are several trails and we managed to hit every single one, so the 1-2 miles we had planned became over 8 since I give a poor sense of direction and apparently my map-reading skills are poor. Still, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Very pretty forest views. I included this trail with my visit to the NC Arboretum.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I completed this trail as part of a pretty loop around the perimeter of the NC Arboretum. When I visited in May, they had just posted bear sighting signs, adding a little excitement to the hike.

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