Hike to a Waterfall: Asheville is home to several stunning waterfalls that are accessible via hiking trails. Some of the most popular include Looking Glass Falls, Catawba Falls, and Triple Falls. These hikes range in difficulty, from easy hikes suitable for families to more challenging treks for experienced hikers. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: For a unique and breathtaking view of Asheville and the surrounding mountains, consider taking a hot air balloon ride. Several local companies offer hot air balloon rides, with options for sunrise or sunset flights. This is a great way to see the area from a new perspective and create unforgettable memories.
Go Ziplining: Asheville is home to several ziplining courses that offer a thrilling way to explore the area’s natural beauty. Navitat Canopy Adventures and Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures are two popular options, with a variety of courses suitable for beginners and experienced zipliners alike.
Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway: The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the country, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are several hiking trails and overlooks along the way, making it the perfect destination for a scenic drive or day trip.
Take a Whitewater Rafting Trip: For a thrilling and memorable adventure, consider taking a whitewater rafting trip on the French Broad River. Several local outfitters offer guided trips, with options ranging from mild to wild. This is a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty and get your adrenaline pumping.
Explore the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay
Carrier Park and the French Broad River Park are the jewels of the 17-mile Wilma Dykeman RiverWay. At these two conjoined parks along Amboy Road, you can run or skate the paved greenways, fish from the piers, or pedal Asheville’s velodrome. Also be sure to check out the bocce fields, the dog park, volleyball and basketball courts, and softball fields.
Directions: Take I-240 W to Exit 1-B (Farmers Market, Hwy. 191). Turn left at the light and pass over I-240. Turn left at the very next light (I-240 E/ I-26 W) and stay in the right lane. Take Exit 1-C (Amboy Rd.). There are two parking areas along Amboy Rd.—Carrier Park is the first on your right; the French Broad River Park will be on your left a few miles down Amboy.
Mountain Bike the Biltmore Estate
Few people know the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate houses several miles of sweet singletrack and doubletrack open to mountain bikes. A separate Bike Pass gets you access to the system of overlapping loops through picturesque terrain ideal for beginner and intermediate riders. Pick up your Bike Pass at the Welcome Center when you enter the Estate.
Directions: Head south on McDowell St./US 25 S for 1.3 miles. Turn right on Approach Rd. into the Biltmore Estate.
If you are looking to do some climbing at one of the best known climbing establishments in Asheville, head over to Climbmax Climbing Center. Head indoors to test your moves on over 4000 square feet of climbing space. If you want to feel the sunshine while climbing take a lap on their 40 foot outdoor climbing wall. The good thing about this climbing gym is that it has a challenge for all types of climbers—beginners, advanced, kids, adults, etc. Also, be sure to ask for Asheville’s own climbing guru—Stuart Cowles.
Directions: This is located in the heart of downtown on 43 Wall St.; one block over from the Grove Arcade.
Play Richmond Hill Disc Golf Course
This heavily wooded course was designed with abundant elevation changes. With its lengthy 6,093 feet, this full 18 hole course is arguably one of the most challenging and exciting woods courses in the country. Installed in 2001, this course was designed with the serious player in mind. The primary tee box placement is set for the advanced/professional player, although many holes contain alternate/amateur tee box placements. In 2009, look for work to begin on a hiking and mountain bike trail system.
Directions: Take Broadway St. from downtown, turn left onto Riverside Dr., right onto Pearson Bridge Rd., right onto Richmond Hill Dr. to parking area.
Fish the French Broad
RiverLink operates 10 public access points along the French Broad River in Buncombe County. Drop a line at the Bent Creek River Park just south of town or the Hominy Creek River Park in West Asheville. Or head up Riverside Drive and paddle the class II rapids of the Ledges Whitewater Park.
Directions: Since there are 10 public access points we suggest going to riverlink.org for more info. To hit the Hominy Creek River Park head south on McDowell St./US 25 S for 1.7 miles. Merge on to I-40 W for 3.5 miles. Take Exit 47 for NC 191 towards West Asheville for .2 miles. Turn right at Brevard Rd./NC 191 for .3 miles. Turn right onto Hominy Creek Rd.—the park will be on your left.