As we enter the travel season of 2023, the beauty of Western North Carolina continues to beckon outdoor enthusiasts
from all around the world.

With its stunning natural landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Western North Carolina is the perfect destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both. In this article, we'll explore the top outdoor things
to do in this breathtaking region.

Hiking and Camping

Western North Carolina boasts some of the best hiking and camping opportunities in the country. With over 1 million acres of national forest, hundreds of trails, and numerous campsites, you're sure to find the perfect spot for your outdoor adventure. Some of the most popular hiking destinations include the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you're looking for a more secluded camping experience, consider pitching your tent in the Nantahala or Pisgah National Forests.

Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking

For thrill-seekers, Western North Carolina offers some of the best whitewater rafting and kayaking opportunities in the country. With several rivers, including the Nantahala, Tuckasegee, and French Broad, you can choose from a variety of rapids, ranging from Class I to Class IV. If you're new to whitewater rafting, consider taking a guided tour to ensure your safety.

Rock Climbing

With its numerous rock formations and cliffs, Western North Carolina is a rock climber's paradise. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, you'll find plenty of routes to challenge your skills. Some of the most popular rock climbing destinations include Linville Gorge, Looking Glass Rock, and Rumbling Bald.

Mountain Biking

If you're a mountain biking enthusiast, you'll love Western North Carolina's extensive trail system. With over 500 miles of trails, you'll find everything from gentle paths to challenging downhill runs. Some of the most popular mountain biking destinations include Tsali Recreation Area, Dupont State Forest, and Bent Creek Experimental Forest.


Western North Carolina is home to some of the best trout fishing in the country. With numerous rivers, streams, and lakes, you'll find plenty of opportunities to cast your line. Some of the most popular fishing destinations include the Davidson River, the Tuckasegee River, and the Watauga River.


For those seeking a unique outdoor experience, consider taking a zipline tour. With several zipline courses throughout Western North Carolina, you can soar through the trees and enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains. Some of the most popular zipline destinations include Navitat Canopy Adventures, The Gorge, and Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures.

Western North Carolina offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Whether you're seeking a relaxing camping trip or an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting experience, you'll find it all in this beautiful region. So, pack your bags, grab your gear, and get ready to explore the natural wonders of Western North Carolina.

WNCtimes by Marjorie Farrington


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