The Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Beaufort House Inn and Asheville is a mecca for those looking for natural beauty, scenic drives and outdoor adventure. With easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest, we suggest you do a little research ahead since the vast number of things to do can overwhelm. We will be delighted to help recommend some favorites. Here is just a sampling of some of the attractions and activities in our Blue Ridge Mountains:
Hiking: Find hundreds of miles for hiking trails surrounding Asheville - especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest. Choose from an easy stroll through the woods to a challenging trek up to a mountain peak. The most famous the Appalachian Trail, with many very scenic sections for a day hike. See the Explore Asheville Hiking Guide for many choices.
Waterfalls: Beautiful cascades of mountain streams and rivers abound. There are dozens of waterfalls near Asheville that are easy to enjoy - some with a short hike and others are roadside. See the Explore Asheville Waterfalls Guide for many choices.
Blue Ridge Parkway: Drive the longest and most visited National Park in the country with 469 miles of breathtaking scenic vistas. The Parkway goes thru Asheville and climbs from 2000 feet of elevation in the valley to more 6,000 feet. Find many hiking trails and waterfalls along the way. Stop at the many overlooks to soak in the views or enjoy a picnic. We suggest starting at the Folk Art Center or the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. Head north to Craggy Gardens or Mt Mitchell. Head south to Mt Pisgah and Graveyard Fields. See the RomanticAsheville.com Blue Ridge Parkway Guide for a mile-by-mile guide to top stops near Asheville.
Mt Mitchell State Park: Drive to the top of the highest peak in the Eastern United States. This park is free to visit and includes a 360-degree observation deck, hiking trails, picnic area, nature center, restaurant and more. From Asheville, drive north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the entrance.
The North Carolina Arboretum: This 434-acre park of gardens and trails features rotating exhibitions, bonsai collection, tours, classes and many special events including Winter Lights for Christmas.
Pisgah National Forest: This outdoor play land covers more than a half million acres. Our favorite section is near Brevard (and easy 30-mile drive from our B&B) is in the Looking Glass Rock hike and Looking Glass Falls roadside waterfall. Stop at Cradle of Forestry or along the many riverside picnic stops along the scenic drive up to the Parkway.
Chimney Rock Park: Home to the famous rock monolith with 75-mile views of the Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure, the park features an elevator ride to the top and hiking trails. Nearby Lake Lure has a waterfront walkway, beach, the Flowering Bridge and boat tours.
Dupont State Recreational Forest: This is the top place to go for short hikes to waterfalls - including High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls. It's also a great location for mountain biking and horseback riding.