A hiking trail leading off into the forest
A section of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia parallels the Parkway.

NPS Photo/Hamel

There over 369 miles of hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, so one of the most daunting tasks facing hikers may be choosing which trail to explore. Start by deciding on what you would like to see. Then decide how far you would like to hike. If you haven't hiked much recently, be conservative. Five miles round-trip is a good maximum distance for novices. The links below provide brief descriptions and maps of popular trails.

Please be aware that trail conditions may change suddenly and unexpectedly. Bear activity, severe storms, and downed trees may temporarily close trails.

When hiking, carry water, a raincoat or poncho, and a first aid kit. Hike with another person. Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete your hike before dark. As a rule of thumb, allow an hour to hike 1.5 miles. Be aware though, that many people travel slower. Sunset times vary from just after 5:00 p.m. in December to almost 9:00 p.m. in June. No permit is required for hiking. Hiking Safety tips.

The Appalachian Trail and Mountains to Sea Trail are two long distance trails that follow closely with stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sections of these trails can be hiked in a day, or for the more adventurous, over a number of days.
If you like hiking in groups, the Carolina Mountain Club has various opportunities to join hikes and even volunteer on trail work around the Asheville area.

Remember to always respect the environment and be considerate of others. Visit our Trail Safety and Leave No Trace pages for tips on making the most out of your hiking experience.

Last updated: January 27, 2020

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