Outdoor Recreation in Western North Carolina4

Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains

There is so much to do and explore in the Asheville area. Hiking and biking opportunities abound in national parks, along the Blue Ridge Parkway and on the Appalachian Trail.
Featured Trails

Links to other trail information

Skiing in and near Asheville

Kayaking and Rafting near Asheville

Kayaking and whitewater rafting are one of the major attractions in western North Carolina.  There are numerous opportunities to enjoy this activity in the Asheville area.

Options include:

  • Guided whitewater rafting trips as well as self-guided canoeing and kayaking on the French Broad river near Asheville.  There are many local outfitters in the Asheville area who conduct these trips and rent equipment for self-guided floats.
  • Whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River, near Bryson City, NC, approximately 50 miles west of Asheville.  Again, there are numerous experienced outfitters who can assist with these adventures.
  • Other nearby rivers for canoeing, kayaking and rafting are the Nolichucky, Ocoee, Pigeon, Chatooga and Cheoah.

A good starting point for planning your rafting trip is this link to the official Asheville tourism site.

Waterfalls near Asheville

The area around Asheville is home to many beautiful waterfalls. According to, one can enjoy breathtaking views in the Cullasaja Gorge without leaving the car as several falls cascade close to the highway.

Great sites about local waterfalls