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Top 5 Hikes to Take This Spring

Hawksbill Mountain; Photo Credit: Reid Northrup

Looking for those sweeping views you've been missing? Now that the weather is warming up, we're lacing up our hiking boots, packing our picnics and planning out where to go this season to find that perfect panorama.

Here are our top 5 favorite hikes to take during the spring months.


Black Balsam Knob

Photo Credit: Malee Oot

Where: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 420
Length: 1-10 miles, moderate
 
One of our favorites, Black Balsam Knob offers sweeping 360-degree views while you hike across the bald mountaintops of the Southern Appalachians — above 6,000 ft. there are almost no trees to be seen. You only have to hike a half mile to reach the first bald mountaintops, but you can hike as far as you want since Black Balsam Knob is actually part of the 30-mile Art Loeb Trail.

~ HIKING TIP ~

If you’re looking for green with your breathtaking views, take this hike in May or after.


Craggy Pinnacle

Photo Credit: @phoenixrising0281
Where: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 364.1
Length: 1.4 miles round-trip, strenuous
 
A popular hike near the Asheville area, Craggy Pinnacle attracts visitors year-round. But the 360-degree mountain view absolutely takes your breath away once spring comes around. Once you reach the 5,892-ft. peak, you won’t ever want to leave.

~ HIKING TIP ~

Near the top of Craggy Pinnacle, check out the side trails that you can also explore.


Looking Glass Rock

Photo Credit: Evergreen Girls
Where: Pisgah National Forest
Length: 6.5 miles roundtrip, strenuous
 
While Looking Glass Rock is a great winter hike, it’s an even better hike in the spring. Once you reach the top of this iconic summit — about 1,700-ft higher from where you began — you will be treated to spectacular 180-degree views.

~ HIKING TIP ~

Don’t get too close to the edge when you reach the summit; it’s very easy to slip!


Hawksbill Mountain

Photo Credit: Reid Northrup

Where: Linville Gorge
Length: 1.5 miles round-trip, moderate

The payoff of this summit hike is amazing — panoramic views of the canyon of Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Take your time climbing almost 700 ft. in elevation and pack a lunch to enjoy when you reach the summit. There are several vantage points from the top that make this spring hike even better.

~ HIKING TIP ~

Once at the top, go to the right on a narrow trail through the woods to reach an expansive rock face with the best views.


Rough Ridge

Photo Credit: HD Carolina

Where: Milepost 302.8 Blue Ridge Parkway
Length: 1.5 to 8 miles round-trip, moderate to strenuous

While Rough Ridge is one of the best spots in the mountains to see early fall colors, you might not know that it’s one of the best spots to also enjoy during the spring months. Soak in the views from the wooden boardwalk in the beginning of the hike — which actually protects fragile vegetation below it — and continue on the hike for even more sweeping mountain panoramas. 

~ HIKING TIP ~

There are tons of large boulders along the trail where you can stop for a quick lunch along your hike.


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