Top 3 Asheville Hikes


With sweeping mountains and a vast number of waterfalls, the variety of views you can see while hiking around the Asheville area is astounding.  The diversity and number of hikes around Asheville truly makes it one of the best places to go hiking in the US.  Although the number of hikes (literally hundreds of different trails) in the Asheville area is overwhelming, no need to fret.  We have done the research for you and have compiled our ‘Top 3 Asheville Hikes’ list based on our personal experience hiking each.  Read on for our best Asheville hike recommendations. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Top 3 Asheville Hikes: #1 Wildcat Rock 

Our number 1 top hike in Asheville recommendation is the Wildcat Rock trail. Wildcat Rock is an awesome hike as you’ll not only get sweeping mountain views at the summit but also pass a unique waterfall on the way.  This hike is 3.5 miles round trip with 1,100 feet of elevation gain.  On this trail, you first hike up on a serene wooded trail and about ⅔ of the way up on, you’ll pass Little Bearwallow Falls.  Then, you’ll continue to hike up until you reach the Wildcat Rock summit with sweeping mountain views (first picture in article).  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

Please note, there are some rock scrambles involved in this hike.  However, the scramble really only involves stepping up rocks until the very end.  At the very end of the trail to get to the viewpoint, you do have to climb up a large rock and duck under a tree.  However, we found this very manageable even carrying the kids (on our back and front) so don’t let that deter you from hiking it.  If you are able to hike to the summit, you’ll be able to climb up this rock.  

Our perception of difficulty may be a bit skewed as we were carrying a toddler and a baby up the trail, but we would rate this hike as moderate to strenuous.  It’s pretty steady incline up most of the trail.  Budget 2-3 hours to complete this hike.  This is also a great trail to see wildflowers in the late spring/early summer.

Parking, Cost & Dogs

There is a small lot to park across the street from the trailhead. This parking area serves several trailheads.  We arrived on a Saturday around 10:30 AM, and there were about 5 spots left at that time.   There is no fee to hike this trail.  Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.   Learn more details about this hike here.

Wildcat Rock Logistics Summary

  • Length/elevation: 3.5 Miles, Out & Back, 1,100 feet of elevation gain
  • Intensity: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Cost: Free
  • Dogs: Leashed allowed

Top 3 Asheville Hikes: #2 Lookout Mountain

Our number 2 top Asheville hike is the Lookout Mountain trail. This 1.4 mile round trip hike with 600 feet of elevation is steep and a bit rocky at the top but so worth the effort for the views.  This is a great bang-for-your-buck hike. You get some of the best sweeping mountain views relatively quickly.  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

The Lookout Mountain hike is a steady climb up through the woods. The trail consists of stairs or a dirt/rock path that requires no true scrambling until the very end. For less than 0.1 miles, you will have to scramble up some rocks and use your hands to brace yourself to get to the summit.  However, it is not overly technically challenging as we were able to do this safely while baby wearing our kids.  We rate this hike as moderate. Other than the rock scramble portion of the trail and summit area, the trail is almost completely shaded (huge bonus in our eyes).  The summit has stunning expansive mountain views and there are several large rocks to sit down on to take it all in.  

Parking, Cost & Dogs

We hiked this trail on a weekday around 10 AM and only saw two other small groups of people.  This hike was so peaceful and felt like a hidden gem. There are two small gravel lots to park near the trailhead, but there are only about 10 spots available total so you may have trouble parking if it is a busy weekend day.  This hike took us about an hour to complete, including taking a 15 minute break at the top to soak in the views, take some pictures and give the kids some snacks.  There is no cost to hike this trail but at the trailhead there is a QR code you can scan to donate to Montreat for the trail maintenance and we highly encourage you to donate if you hike it as the trail is very well maintained. Dogs are allowed on a leash. 

Lookout Mountain Logistics Summary

  • Length/elevation: 1.4 Miles, Out & Back, 600 feet of elevation gain (can make longer by combining with another trail)
  • Intensity: Moderate
  • Cost: Free, donate to Montreat using QR code at trailhead
  • Dogs: Leashed allowed

Top 3 Asheville Hikes: #3 High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls

DuPont State Park Hiking

Our number 3 top Asheville hike is the High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls hike in DuPont State Park.  This hike is about 4.5 miles round trip with 490 feet of elevation gain and you see 5 waterfalls along the trail.  Each waterfall on this route is unique. High Falls is the most impressive and has several viewing points including the base.  Triple Falls is unique as it is three waterfalls that run together.  Hooker Falls is the smallest of them all, but there is a calm area of water the kids (or adults) can play in at the base.

Natalie’s favorite waterfall was High Falls, Sam’s was Triple Falls, and the kids’ favorite was Hooker falls, (because they could play in the sand and calm water at the base).  We did not stay at Hooker falls overly long though because the kids started to eat sand like it was going out of style.  Reality!

Scrambling, Difficulty and Route

The path for this hike is well groomed and easy to hike. There is no scrambling other than some slippery rocks at the base of the waterfalls (not actually part of the trail). There are several options for how to hike to High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls. We recommend parking at the main visitor center for DuPont State Park and starting the hike from there. You start by hiking to High Falls, then Triple Falls, and finally Hooker Falls.  We then recommend retracing your steps to return to the visitor center. 

Add ons/Alternatives 

This park is also home to Bridal Falls, which is featured in the first Hunger Games film. You can alternatively, do a 7.5 mile round-trip hike to High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Falls. Another alternative is to only hike to Hooker Falls from the Hooker Falls parking lot. This hike is 1 mile round-trip with 140 feet of elevation gain. If you plan to spend a lot of time playing in the sand and calm water at this waterfall, this may be your best option. You also could just hike to High Falls and/or Triple Falls. As you can gather, there are various hiking options to suite your level of fitness and what your family will enjoy most at DuPont State Park.

Parking, Cost & Dogs

When you arrive at the visitor center at DuPont State Park, the staff will be able to give you a map and show you a 3-D diagram of the park. We’ve never seen anything like the 3-D diagram here, created by a local model train club, and heading into the visitor center is worth the time just to see this.  The visitors center is also the best spot to park as there is a large parking lot there. Alternatively, if full, you could park near Hooker Falls.  Both parking lots have bathroom facilities.  Parking here late morning was no issue on a weekday, but arrive early if visiting on a weekend.  We were astounded by the number of people there on a weekday.  There is no cost to park or hike here.  Dogs are allowed on leashes.    

High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls Hike Logistics Summary

  • Length/elevation: 4.5 Miles, Out & Back, 490 feet of elevation gain
  • Intensity: Easy
  • Cost: Free
  • Dogs: Leashed allowed

Top 3 Asheville Hikes: Bonus Top Hike Shortoff Mountain 

Table Rock Linville Gorge Views, Shortoff Mountain

Our bonus top Asheville hike is the Shortoff Mountain hike. This hike is located about an hour outside of Asheville in Nebo, North Carolina. Hiking Shortoff Mountain was one of our favorite hikes in the Pisgah National Forest.  From the top of Shortoff Mountain, you are afforded stunning views of Linville Gorge and Lake James.  This hike is particularly pretty in fall when the foliage is contrasting colors.  

Scrambling, Difficulty and Route

This hike is fast paced.  You gain 1,312 feet of elevation over the course of this 4.5 mile round-trip hike but most of that elevation is within the first mile.  There is a rock scramble but nothing too logistically challenging, and it all can be hiked vertically (no need to go on all 4s).   The last mile or so of the Shortoff Mountain hike is quite level and open with plenty of spots to take panoramic pictures.  Our picture above is from Table Rock near the end of the Shortoff Mountain hike. We rate the hike as moderate to hard due to the strenuous initial climb. The trail is easy to follow. Finding the trail though is a different story.  

Finding Trailhead 

Finding the Shortoff Mountain trailhead/parking area can be very difficult.  Unknown to us when we were searching for it, most parking areas/trailheads are not well marked in Pisgah National Forest and Shortoff Mountain is no exception. To find this trailhead, type in “Wolf Pit Trailhead” to Google Maps.  Although it is the Shortoff Mountain Trailhead you are looking for, it is at the end of Wolf Pit Road, and this should bring you to the right spot. 

Wolf Pit Road is a dead-end and unpaved road that you drive on for 2.5 miles until you get to the end/trailhead.  When we first turned down this road, we thought we were going the wrong way but soon enough, we saw a homemade sign, pointing us to Shortoff Mountain and Wolf Pit (pictured above on the left).  You can park at the end of this road right by the trailhead, but make sure you are not on private property. 

Linville Gorge Views from Shortoff Mountain

Shortoff Mountain Hike Logistics Summary

  • Length/elevation: 4.5 Miles, Out & Back, 1,312 feet of elevation gain
  • Intensity: Moderate to Hard
  • Cost: Free
  • Dogs: Leashed allowed

Where to Stay While Hiking in Asheville

We highly recommend staying at the Dancing Bear Getaway when hiking in Asheville. It is centrally located to all the best Asheville hikes outlined above yet also a tucked away serene escape.  This home, located in Black Mountain 10 minutes outside of downtown Asheville, sits on a wooded lot on a dead end road away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Asheville. It has an extremely nice outdoor area with a fire pit, hot tub and several patios to relax on.  Beyond the location and outdoor space, the family friendly amenities and helpful hosts also add to it the Dancing Bear Getaway being the best place to stay near Asheville.   We loved this house rental!  See our Where to Stay Near Asheville North Carolina for a full breakdown of why we loved staying at this place. 


We hope this guide helps you plan your hiking in the Asheville area.  For more information and tips on visiting the Asheville area, please see our 4 Days in Asheville, Weekend in Black Mountain and Asheville with a Baby or Toddler posts.

Anything you’d add to our ‘Top 3 Asheville Hikes Guide?’ We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Asheville with a Baby or Toddler


Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Asheville, North Carolina is a great place to visit with your baby or toddler.  With so many great outdoor activities in the area that you can do on your own time schedule, Asheville is logistically an easy place for families with a baby and/or toddler to visit.  After recently visiting Asheville with our baby (9 months old) and toddler (2.5 years old), we learned a lot about spending time in Asheville with littles.  Further, to make the most of our time in this outdoor-centric city with our baby and toddler, we compiled insight about visiting Asheville with little kids from as many local parents and fellow traveling parents as possible.  We loved exploring Asheville with our kids and know our ‘Asheville with a Baby or Toddler’ guide below will help you enjoy your time here with your baby and/or toddler too.    

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!

We took this trip when our toddler was 2.5 years old and our baby was 9 months old.  For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 


Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: What to Do?


Honestly, in Asheville, everywhere we went and everything we did, our kids felt welcomed.  The laid back and inclusive vibe of the city makes it such a great place to visit with your baby and/or toddler. Below are some of our favorite, extra kid friendly, Asheville activities. 

Drive Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Our first Asheville with a baby and/or toddler recommendation is to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. The sweeping mountain views along this drive are majestic. Further, at most of the pull-offs along the parkway, there is space for your toddler to run and play and/or for your baby to crawl around while you take in the vast mountain vistas. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch/snacks to enjoy with your baby and/or toddler while taking in the pretty views. 

Note: The Blue Ridge Parkway runs both east and west from Asheville.  We recommend heading east to access some of the best trails.  To drive along the route we recommend, program your drive on your GPS to Graveyard Upper Falls Trail.  

Cost: Free

Hike on Blue Ridge Parkway

Our next Asheville with a baby or toddler recommendation is to stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike with your kids. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the mountains in the Asheville area with your baby and/or toddler. Hiking allows you complete time independence so you can explore at the pace you need. Listed below are some of our favorite family friendly Blue Ridge Parkway hikes.

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Easy Waterfall Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Skinny Dip Falls (0.9 mile, out & back, 180 feet of elevation gain, pictured above)
  • Looking Glass Waterfalls (0.3 miles, out & back, 36 feet of elevation gain)
  • Moore Cove Falls (1.2 miles, out & back, 154 feet of elevation gain)
  • Sliding Rock (0.3 miles, out & back, 19 feet of elevation gain)

Moderate Waterfall Hike Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Graveyard Upper Falls (3 miles, out & back/loop, 320 feet of elevation gain, pictured above)

We hiked to several other spots while in Asheville with our baby and toddler as well. See our Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more information on these.  We would not say these hikes are necessarily baby or toddler friendly due to some extra scrambling but manageable to hike with a baby and/or toddler depending on your comfort/hiking experience. 

Cost: Free

Day Trip to DuPont State Park

Our next Asheville with a baby or toddler recommendation is to drive an hour Southeast of Asheville to visit DuPont State Park.  This park offers family friendly hiking to several different waterfalls.  It also offers a natural splash pad (a calm area of water at one of the waterfall bases), great for your baby and/or toddler to play.  

High Falls, Triple Falls & Hooker Falls Hike

At DuPont State Park, there are several hiking options.  We opted to hike to High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls trail. This route is about 4.5 miles round trip with 490 feet of elevation gain and you see 5 different waterfalls along the trail.  The path is well groomed and easy to hike. Each waterfall on this route is unique. High Falls is the most impressive and has several viewing points including at the base.  Triple Falls is three waterfalls that run together. Hooker Falls is the smallest of them all but there is a calm area of water at the base of the waterfall where the kids (or adults) can play in.  We did not stay at Hooker falls overly long though because our kids started to eat the sand like it was going out of style.  Reality! 

Route & Alternatives

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

There are several options for hiking the route we did. We recommend parking at the main visitor center for DuPont State Park and starting the hike from there. First you’ll hike to High Falls, then Triple Falls and finally Hooker Falls.  We then recommend retracing your steps to return to the visitor center. 

Alternatively, you can hike to just Hooker Falls from the Hooker Falls parking lot.  This hike is 1 mile round-trip with 140 feet of elevation gain. If you plan to spend a lot of time playing in the sand and calm water at this waterfall, this may be your best option.  You also could just hike to High Falls and/or Triple Falls.   As you can gather, there are various hike options to suite your level of fitness and what your family will enjoy most at DuPont State Park.

Cost: Free

Outdoor Patios 

There are so many cool outdoor patios that are baby and toddler friendly in the greater Asheville area.  One of our favorite patios was at Foothills Grange.  This casual outdoor bar/eatery has a fun setting with string lights, industrial style porch coverings and a huge outdoor sand pit for the kids to play.  The outdoor sand pit was a real hit with our toddler and our baby thought it was fun too.  We’ve never seen such a large sand pit before and this unique offering earns it a spot in this guide.  

Cost: Varieties depending on what you eat/drink


Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: Where to Eat?


There are so many eateries in the greater Asheville area that are baby and toddler friendly.  Honestly, anywhere we ate, the staff was kind to our kids.  The laid back vibe of Asheville made them feel welcomed at any restaurant so we would recommend really eating anywhere your adult heart desires.  That being said, below are two of our favorite restaurants we visited with the kids that had some extra kid friendly touches. 

The Bush Farmhouse 

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

The Bush Farmhouse has yummy upscale South African food yet the atmosphere is casual and the outdoor patio area is really neat. The main reason we recommend visiting this spot with your baby and/or toddler is because the patio area has tons of kid friendly features.  There is an enclosure where there are giant pigs, chickens and ducks, which our toddler loved. There are also some old school toys/rides for the kids to play on.  They had a retro airplane ride that our toddler wanted to ride on again and again.  

We were worried this place may be too upscale for our kids and that was not the case at all.  To our delight, it was one of the most kid friendly places we ate at while visiting Asheville.  The food was delicious here, the outdoor space was super cute and the kid-friendly touches all made eating at this restaurant a real highlight during our visit to the Asheville area.  

White Duck Taco

Another great place to eat in Asheville with your baby or toddler is White Duck Taco. This casual taco joint on the river checks all the boxes. The patio area overlooking the river has plenty of green space for your toddler to run and play. Our daughter could not get enough of ‘playing’ the corn hole game they have outside either. The variety and uniqueness of the tacos on the menu is also a huge selling point. There are various ethnic food inspired tacos from curry to Korean to classic. They had a chicken and cheese quesadilla on the menu that our kids enjoyed too. We liked this place so much that we considered coming back another time to try more tacos and enjoy the patio, even on our short trip.  

Note: You may have to wait in line for 15-20 minutes to order during peak time. After ordering though, the food comes fast. With tacos being pretty quick to eat, there is constant turnover in seating. We had no issue finding a place on the river to sit and enjoy our tacos.  Alternatively, have one person wait in line while the other grabs a spot by the river with the kids. 


Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: Where to Stay? 


We recommend staying at the Dancing Bear Getaway in nearby Black Mountain while visiting Asheville with your baby and/or toddler.  This 3 bed, 2.5 bath home has a plethora of toddler/baby friendly amenities that make the home perfect for you and your little ones.  There is a pack n play, booster chair and baby gate all to use during your stay at the home.   Further, the large closets in two of the bedrooms easily accommodate a pack n play so if you are looking for your little one to have their own quiet space without using an entire room, this is perfect.  Our friends staying with us and ourselves were able to do this with our babies and this made the home feel like it had 5 bedrooms instead of 3.  There is also laundry available which every parent knows is a huge help when traveling.  

Further, the outdoor space at this rental is on point.  There is an illuminated fire pit, hot tub and two different porches to utilize.  Our toddler loved the front porch and hot tub.  The hot tub was also a great spot for us to enjoy as adults after the kids went to bed.  The location of this house rental is prime as well.  It is only a 3 minute drive to downtown Black Mountain and a 10 minute drive to Asheville.  The hosts of this home, Carolyn and Brian, are also so helpful and kind.  We highly recommend staying here!  Check out the Dancing Bear Getaway website for the most up to date availability and read our full Dancing Bear Getaway review here


Asheville with a Baby or Toddler FAQS


Is Asheville Stroller Friendly? 

Other than the hiking trails, yes.  If possible, we recommend you bring a stroller and a baby carrier to Asheville with your baby and/or toddler.  The stroller will be handy exploring anywhere downtown and the carrier will be helpful on the trails.  

Stroller Recommendation

When choosing a stroller, opt for a narrow stroller that easily goes in doorways. We love the Graco Ready2Grow Double Stroller. It’s narrow, allows a carseat to be clicked into it, gives the option for our toddler to ride on the platform in the back and has a huge basket underneath. It’s our go to travel stroller.  And reasonably priced! 

When walking around the city with our kids in the stroller, we use the Tushbaby to carry our baby and/or toddler if they are not having the stroller.  This makes carrying both of the kids around SO much easier and was the perfect adjunct to our double stroller. Further, when we need one of our kids to sleep in the stroller, we recline them back and place the blackout CoziGo over them to give them a dark place to rest. 

Carrier Recommendations

We recommend using Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Mesh Baby Carrier for a baby less than 12 months and this Structured Backpack Carrier once the baby is older than a year for hiking.  See our Hiking with a Baby guide for more on hiking with your little.   

Are Asheville Restaurants Kid Friendly?  

Yes!  Even restaurants we thought would not be kid friendly were accommodating to our kids.  

Is Asheville a Kid Friendly City?

Yes!  The laid back vibe of this outdoor centric city makes it a great place to visit with kids.  Everywhere we went with our kids in Asheville, people were so nice. We never felt like they were too loud or in anyone’s way.  Thank you Asheville for making us feel welcome!  


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Asheville with your baby or toddler.  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! See our 4 Days in Asheville, Weekend in Black Mountain and Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more Asheville travel tips and ideas.

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Where to Stay Near Asheville, North Carolina


Where to Stay Near Asheville, North Carolina

When recently looking for where to stay near Asheville, North Carolina, we were so glad to have found the Dancing Bear Getaway in nearby Black Mountain. This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home was the perfect place for us to stay while exploring the greater Asheville area as a family.  The outdoor space, family friendly amenities, nearby scenic hikes, helpful hosts and proximity to downtown Black Mountain as well as Asheville, all make it the best place to stay near Asheville.  Read on for more on why we loved staying at this home. 

Outdoor Space

Where to Stay Near Asheville, North Carolina

The outdoor space at the Dancing Bear Getaway is awesome!  There is a firepit, hot tub and several patios to relax on here.  Our favorite outdoor spot was the fire pit area.  The firepit abuts a cozy wooded scene and is surrounded by large blue chairs as well as string lights that add to the fun atmosphere.  There is a place to hang a hammock here too for extra relaxation.  Another great outdoor spot at the Dancing Bear Getaway is the hot tub.  Our toddler loved hanging out here and would have stayed in it all day if we had let her.  The hot tub was also a great spot to relax after the kids went to sleep.  

Where to Stay Near Asheville, North Carolina

There is also a front patio, with a bench and two rocking chairs, that is rather serene.  It looks onto a wooded area on the dead end road the house is located on.  We loved hanging out here after hikes.  Further, there is a back patio with a grill and dining table/chairs that abuts the woods as well.   All these spots make this home a great place for enjoying the outdoors.  You honestly would not have to leave the Dancing Bear Getaway for the weekend with all these outdoor entertainment areas.  

Family Friendly Amenities

Beyond the awesome outdoor spaces, this home has so many family friendly amenities inside.  First, the size makes it perfect for a family.  Being 3 bed and 2.5 bath, everyone should have enough space.  Also, there is a game room that has a foosball table and a bunch of different games for the whole family to play.  This space makes for a fun rainy day or evening hangout spot.  Our toddler kept asking us to play ‘foos’ here.  

In addition to the size of the house and game room, there is a plethora of toddler/baby friendly amenities that make the home even more family friendly.  There is a pack n play, booster chair and baby gate all to use during your stay at the home.  Further, the large closets in two of the bedrooms easily accommodate a pack n play so if you are looking for your little one to have their own quiet space without using an entire room, this is perfect.  Our friends staying with us and ourselves were able to do this with our babies and this made the home feel like it had 5 bedrooms instead of 3.  There is also laundry available which every parent knows is a huge help when traveling with littles.   See our ​​Asheville with a Baby or Toddler for more baby friendly Asheville tips.

Nearby Great Hikes

The location of the Dancing Bear Getaway is prime for hiking.  You are 15 minutes from the Lookout Mountain trailhead, one of the best hidden gem hikes in the Asheville area at Montreat College (summit view pictured above).  There are also several other convenient and stunning hikes at Montreat College, including the Big Piney Ridge Trail.  Further, you are 30 minutes away from the Wildcat Rock hike.  This hike takes you to not only to a sweeping mountain overlook but also past a unique waterfall.  See our Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more information on each of these hikes.  

Close to Downtown Black Mountain

We loved downtown Black Mountain and staying at the Dancing Bear Getaway, you are only a short 3 minute drive, or less than 1 mile walk, into downtown Black Mountain.  Black Mountain has some of the best restaurants in the Asheville area.   Some of our favorites included The Bush Farmhouse, Cousins Cuban Cafe, The Hop, Black Mountain Pizza and Dripolator.  The downtown area is really cute and has tons of different sized hand painted rocking chairs. Our toddler could not get enough of these and wanted us to sit in each we encountered.  See our Weekend in Black Mountain guide for an itinerary for visiting all these spots.  

Close to Downtown Asheville 

Beyond being close to downtown Black Mountain, you are only 10-20 minutes away from most spots in downtown Asheville. This allows you to easily explore all of Asheville has to offer yet stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the serenity of this home tucked away in Black Mountain.  Some of our favorite restaurants in Asheville included Vortex Donuts, Sunny Point Cafe and White Duck Taco.  See our 4 Days in Asheville guide for more details on these. 

Pets Stay Free

At the Dancing Bear Getaway, pets stay free.  Most of the other home rentals we looked at staying at in the area charged $100 plus for a pet to join you on your stay.  We were not able to bring our dog on this trip, but our friends brought their dog and the space was comfortable for her.  They have a food and water dish to help your pup feel at home. 

Where to Stay Near Asheville, North Carolina

Responsive and Helpful Hosts

Carolyn and Brian, who own the Dancing Bear Getaway, are super helpful hosts.   Prior to your stay, they send you a PDF guide on the home/area to orient you.  They were extremely responsive with any communication and had some of the best Black Mountain recommendations (almost all highlighted on our Weekend in Black Mountain guide).  As small business owners who manage the property themselves, they will go the extra mile to make sure you have a great stay.  

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to the Asheville area.  Visit the Dancing Bear Getaway website for the latest availability and to book your stay. 

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Weekend in Black Mountain


Weekend in Black Mountain

With one of the cutest downtown area, mouthwatering restaurants and nearby scenic hikes, Black Mountain, North Carolina is the perfect mountain town for a laid back or jam packed weekend getaway.  When we were recently looking to visit the Asheville area, we stumbled upon an amazing house rental in Black Mountain that shifted the focus of our trip to exploring Black Mountain, and we are so glad it did. Similar to Asheville, Black Mountain is surrounded by stunning mountains and oh so charming with its many local shops and restaurants.  Unlike Asheville, it’s still a hidden gem.  We loved Black Mountain and cannot wait to visit again soon. Read on for our full ‘Weekend in Black Mountain’ Itinerary. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


Weekend in Black Mountain Overview

  • Day 1: Arrive, Explore Downtown Black Mountain, Check in, Pizza/Drinks
  • Day 2: Coffee, Hike Lookout Mountain, Cuban Food, House Rental Games/Outdoor Relaxation
  • Day 3: Relaxing Morning, Check out, Brunch at The Bush Farmhous

Day 1: Arrive, Explore Downtown Black Mountain, Check in, Pizza

Explore Downtown Black Mountain

Spend some time this afternoon exploring downtown Black Mountain. There are tons of cute local shops and restaurants in the charming downtown area.   You could spend hours shopping at the unique shops alone.  Be sure to check out some of the hand-painted rocking chairs (adult and child sized) on sidewalks all throughout downtown too.  Our toddler really liked having all of us sit on one of these every time we came upon them (and there are a lot of them so we did a lot of rocking).  

Weekend in Black Mountain

Further, consider getting ice cream at The Hop for an afternoon treat.  They have super tasty local homemade ice cream here. We tried 3 flavors (Aztec Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Cookie Party) and as our toddler said “all of them” were her favorite.  We are somewhat ice cream snobs (coming from the dairy state) and the ice cream here lived up to our high standards. 

Check-In to House Rental

Weekend in Black Mountain

After exploring downtown, make the short 3 minute drive to your house rental, the Dancing Bear Getaway, for the weekend to freshen up before dinner and check in.  This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home was the perfect place to stay while exploring the Black Mountain.  The outdoor space (simply stunning), family friendly amenities, indoor game room, nearby scenic hikes, helpful hosts and proximity to downtown Black Mountain all make it the best place to stay near Black Mountain.  See our full review of this place here.    

Pizza and Drinks in Black Mountain

This evening, head back into downtown Black Mountain to Black Mountain Pizza for some of the best Detroit style pizza in the area.  We ordered the 117 Cherry Street Detroit style pizza.  This pizza has an unusual assortment of toppings including pears, walnuts, mushrooms, cauliflower, cheese, garlic and cherry pesto.  Despite the unlikely pairing of toppings, this pizza was SO delicious.  Natalie was very skeptical but was pleasantly surprised with how good it tasted. 

Next, head over to the Foothills Grange for drinks (16 different drinks on tap).  This casual outdoor bar/eatery has a fun setting with string lights, industrial style porch coverings and a huge outdoor sand pit where the kids can play.  The outdoor sand pit was a huge hit with our toddler and unlike any sand play area we have ever seen before.  

Next, head back to the Dancing Bear Getaway, spend the evening sitting around the string lit illuminated bonfire, relaxing in the hot tub or playing some games in the game room.


Day 2: Dripolater, Hike Lookout Mountain, Cousin Cuban Cafe

Coffee and Breakfast at Dripolator 

The next morning, head to Dripolator to caffeinate and try one of their scrumptious baked goods. Or enjoy one of their fruit smoothies.  This coffee shop is super quant and cozy.  Sit outside on the small front patio for some distant morning mountain views.  

Hike Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain, Montreat

After having breakfast at Dripolator, head about 15 minutes north to the small college town of Montreat to hike to Lookout Mountain. This 1.4 mile round trip hike with 600 feet of elevation is steep and a bit rocky at the top but so worth the effort for the views.  This is a great bang-for-your-buck hike, because you get some of the best sweeping mountain views relatively quickly.  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

The hike is a steady climb up through the woods consisting of stairs or a dirt/rock path that requires no true scrambling until the very end.  For less than 0.1 miles near the end, you will have to scramble up some rocks and use your hands to brace yourself to get to the summit.  However, it is not overly technically challenging as we were able to do this safely while baby wearing our kids.  We rate the hike as moderate. Other than the rock scramble portion of the trail and summit area, the trail is almost completely shaded (huge bonus in our eyes).  The summit has stunning expansive mountain views and there are several large rocks at the summit to sit down on to take it all in.  

Parking, Cost & Dogs

We hiked this trail on a weekday around 10 AM and only saw two other small groups of people.  The hike was so peaceful and really felt like a hidden gem. There are two small gravel lots to park at the trailhead, but there are only about 10 spots available total so you may have trouble parking if it is a weekend.  The hike took us about an hour to complete, including taking a 15 minute break at the top to soak in the views, take some pictures and give the kids some snacks.  There is no cost to hike this trail but at the trailhead there is a QR code you can scan to donate to Montreat for the trail maintenance.  We highly encourage you to donate if you hike it as the trail is very well maintained. Dogs are allowed on a leash. 

More Hiking? 

If looking to hike longer or another trail, there are plenty of other hiking trails at Montreat. We also hiked the Lower Piney Trail and the Big Piney Ridge Trail to the lookout point for a 3.6 mile round trip hike with 1200 feet of elevation gain.  We only saw one group of two people on this hike, and it was so serene (yet a killer workout).  Download the trail map with the link above or stop in at the Montreat store for a hard copy map.  There are many other trails here, and you could spend a week hiking a different trail here each day.  

Cousin Cuban Cafe

After your short, yet challenging hike, stop at Cousins Cuban Cafe in Black Mountain for lunch.  This casual Cuban restaurant is unassuming on the outside yet so welcoming on the inside with some of the tastiest food in Black Mountain.  We really loved the atmosphere and food here.  It was very reasonably priced too!  

Note: Be sure to check current hours before visiting.  They were only open 9AM-3PM everyday (other than Wednesday when they were closed) during our visit. 

Then, head back to the Dancing Bear Getaway, spend the rest of the day/evening grilling out on the patio, sitting around the bonfire, relaxing in the hot tub or playing some games in the game room.  You truly could spend your whole weekend at the Dancing Bear Getaway and not be bored! 


Day 3: Relaxing Morning, Check out, Brunch at The Bush Farmhouse

This morning, take it slow.  Enjoy your morning coffee on the front porch rocking chairs at the Dancing Bear Getaway before checking out.   After checking out, head to The Bush Farmhouse.  This restaurant has yummy upscale South African food yet the atmosphere is casual.   Adjacent to the outdoor dining patio is a huge fire pit in front of a stage with live music for bar/restaurant guests to enjoy. 

The patio area had plenty of kid friendly features too.  There is an enclosure where there were giant pigs, chickens and ducks, which our toddler loved, as well as some old school toys/rides for the kids to play on.  They had a retro airplane ride that our toddler wanted to ride on again and again.  The food was delicious here, the outdoor space was very cute, and the kid-friendly touches all made this restaurant a real highlight during our visit to Black Mountain, and it is sure to be a highlight of your visit too. 

Have More Time?  

Consider spending some time hiking throughout the greater Asheville area and/or exploring more of Asheville.  See our 4 Days in Asheville, Asheville with a Baby or Toddler and Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more tips on visiting the area. 

We hope this guide helps you plan your weekend in Black Mountain.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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4 Days in Asheville Itinerary


4 Days Asheville

With some of the best hiking and restaurants in the country, Asheville is the perfect place to escape for an extended weekend getaway.  Four days in Asheville is the ideal amount of time to explore some of the hiking trails and try out some of the amazing restaurants in the area.  To make the most of your 4 day trip to Asheville, we’ve compiled all our favorite Asheville experiences, all recommended to us by locals and other travelers before we tried each for ourselves.  Read on for our full ‘4 Day Asheville Itinerary’.  

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This helps us keep providing travel resources for you!


4 Day Asheville Itinerary Overview

  • Day 1: Brunch, Hike Wildcat Rock, Check-In, Grill or South African Food
  • Day 2: Handmade Donuts, Drive Blue Ridge Parkway, Hike to Waterfalls, Tacos
  • Day 3: Coffee/Pastries, DuPont State Park Waterfall Hike, Pizza
  • Day 4: Breakfast, Check-Out, Mountain Hike, Cuban Food, Black Mountain

4 Days Asheville Itinerary: Day 1


We loved Asheville. The laid back vibe, mountains in every direction and delicious food all make Asheville one of our favorite places we’ve ever visited. This 4 day Asheville Itinerary is sure to having you swooning over this area too.

Arrive in Asheville, Get Brunch

On your first day of your 4 day Asheville trip, arrive early either by car or plane.  Your first stop will be to get brunch at the Sunny Point Cafe.  The menu here is filled with super yummy comfort food.  The patio area is really nice to dine on (if the weather is nice), and there is a little garden you can walk around too.  We ate here while it was sprinkling so we ate inside but the indoor/outdoor vibe was on-point.  The large open patio window next to our table made it feel like we were outside.   The staff was super accommodating to our kids as well.  They even gave our toddler some extra fries after her baby brother knocked most of hers on the floor.   Also, they had a ‘spot’ for our toddlers stuffed animals to sit too. 

After your meal, head next door to the Rabbit Hole Bakery to get one of the scrumptious fresh baked goods.  The carrot cake moon pie, using the same batter as the carrot cake pancakes on the menu at the restaurant,  was delicious.  Be sure to bring your receipt from brunch to get a 10% discount.  

Hike Wildcat Rock

Wildcat Rock Asheville Hike

After fueling up with brunch and baked goods, head to the Wildcat Rock trail for an afternoon hike.  Wildcat Rock is an awesome trail to hike as you’ll not only get sweeping mountain views but also pass a unique waterfall.  This hike is 3.5 miles round trip with 1,100 feet of elevation gain.  On this trail, you first hike up on a serene wooded path and about ⅔ of the way up on, you’ll pass Little Bearwallow Falls.  Then, you’ll continue to hike up until you reach the Wildcat Rock summit with sweeping mountain views.  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

Please note, there are some rock scrambles involved in the Wildcat Rock hike, mainly just stepping up rocks until the very end though.  At the very end of the trail to get to the viewpoint, you do have to climb up a large rock and duck under a tree.  However, we found this very manageable even carrying the kids so don’t let that deter you from hiking it.  If you are able to hike to the summit, you’ll be able to climb up this rock.  

Our perception of difficulty may be a bit skewed as we were carrying a toddler and a baby up the trail, but we would rate this hike as moderate to strenuous.  It’s pretty steady incline up most of the trail.  Budget 2-3 hours to complete this hike.  This is also a great trail to see wildflowers in the late spring/early summer.

Parking, Cost & Dogs

There is a small lot to park across the street from the trailhead. This parking area serves several trailheads.  We arrived on a Saturday around 10:30 AM, and there were about 5 spots left at that time.  There is no fee to hike this trail. Leashed dogs are allowed.  

If in the mood for a beer after your hike, head to the nearby Whistle Hop Brewing Company.  This brewery has a nice covered deck and food truck on site as well. 

Check into House Rental

After hiking Wildcat Rock, head to the Dancing Bear Getaway in Black Mountain, 10 minutes outside of Asheville, to check in.  We loved this house rental!  It is tucked away in the woods on a dead end road away from the hustle and bustle of Asheville but only a short 3 minute drive into Black Mountain or a 10 minute drive to Asheville. It has an extremely nice outdoor area too with a fire pit, hot tub and several patios to relax on.   Beyond the location and outdoor space, the family friendly amenities, nearby scenic hikes and helpful hosts also add to it the Dancing Bear Getaway being the best place to stay near Asheville.   See our Where to Stay Near Asheville North Carolina for a full breakdown of why we loved staying at this place. 

Dinner: Grill Out at House Rental or The Bush Farmhouse

After checking into the Dancing Bear Getaway, spend the evening grilling out on the patio, sitting around the bonfire, relaxing in the hot tub or playing some games in the game room.

The Bush Farmhouse

Alternatively, if you want to head out to dinner, go to The Bush Farmhouse in Black Mountain.  This restaurant has yummy upscale South African food yet the atmosphere is casual.   Adjacent to the outdoor dining patio is a huge fire pit in front of a stage with live music for bar/restaurant guests to enjoy.  

The patio area had plenty of kid friendly features too.  There is an enclosure where there are giant pigs, chickens and ducks, which our toddler loved, as well as some old school toys/rides for the kids to play on.  They had a retro airplane ride with music that our toddler wanted to ride on again and again.  The food was delicious here, the outdoor space was super cute and the kid-friendly touches all made this restaurant a real highlight during our visit to the Asheville area. 

4 Day Asheville Itinerary Day 1 Driving


4 Days Asheville Itinerary: Day 2


Breakfast at Vortex Donuts

Vortex Donuts

On the morning of day 2 of your 4 day trip to Asheville, head to Vortex Donuts for breakfast. Vortex Donuts specializes in handmade donuts.  They serve a variety of specialty donuts that are really perfectly crafted and not over the top.  Our favorites were the Vortex Signature Doughnut (Cinnamon Sugar drizzled in Dulche de Leche glaze) and the Espresso Doughnut.  Buy a 6 pack so you can try a bunch of different flavors.  You won’t be mad if you have some leftovers for later! 

Drive Blue Ridge Parkway 

Blue Ridge Parkway

After getting breakfast at Vortex Donuts, drive Southwest from Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The sweeping mountain views are awesome along this drive.  There are so many overlooks on this drive and all have postcard worthy views.  Stop at several along the way to take in the views.  To drive along the correct route, program your drive on your GPS to Graveyard Upper Falls Trail.  

Note: Pack a picnic lunch/snacks today to eat while driving or hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are no dining options on the parkway. 

Hike Trails on Blue Ridge Parkway

After driving along the Blue Ridge parkway, get out to stretch your legs and hike one of the many trails along the parkway.  We recommended hiking to 2 different waterfalls to mix up the views as you’ll get tons of great mountain views on your drive.  

Hike Graveyard Upper Falls

Graveyard Upper Falls

First, hike to Graveyard Upper Falls.  This part loop and part out & back trail is 3 miles round trip with 320 feet of elevation gain.  You hike through the woods over roots and rocks to the pretty Upper Graveyard Waterfall.  This hike did not feel strenuous and only a bit technically challenging near the upper waterfall with slightly rocky and steep terrain.  However, we found it very manageable wearing our two kids.  This trail is rated as one of the most family friendly along the Blue Ridge Parkway as well.  Further, you typically can see some wildflowers here during the late springtime.  This hike tends to be busy on weekends, but we hiked in on an intermittently rainy Sunday and did not see too many other people.  Budget about 2-2.5 hours to hike this trail. 

Parking, Cost & Dogs

Park at the pull-off for the Graveyard Fields.  If you have trouble parking at the trailhead here, give it 10 minutes.  A lot of people only stop here to use the restrooms and/or to look at the Graveyard Fields viewpoint but do not actually hike so they are not here long at all.  There is no cost to hike this trail.  Leashed dogs are allowed. 

See Looking Glass Rock & Hike Skinny Dip Falls

4 days Asheville

Next, start heading back towards Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike Skinny Dip Falls.  The trailhead for this hike is at one of the best pull off spots on the Parkway.  Here, you’ll get sweeping mountain views and be able to see the unique Looking Glass Rock.  Looking Glass Rock is a Pluton or, in other words, a mass of molten rock that hardened under the earth’s surface and was exposed/shaped by centuries of erosion. Looking Glass Rock gets its name from reflecting sunlight when water collects on its granite face, turning into a gigantic mirror-like rock.  This rock is super unique, and we’ve never seen anything like it before. The hike to Skinny Dip Falls starts across the street at the trailhead.  

Skinny Dip FAlls

Skinny Dip Falls is a 0.9 mile round trip hike with 180 feet of elevation gain that is easy to follow and not technically challenging.  It affords you some really nice waterfall views rather quickly.   When you arrive at the falls, you can cross the river to get some close up views of the falls or to go swimming. However, be aware that we saw 2 people slip doing this (it had just rained and was extra slippery) and we opted not to cross the river.  There is no fee to hike this trail.  Dogs are allowed.  Budget 30 minutes to hike this trail. 

Alternative Trail Options

There are several mountain view hikes in the area too if you want to see more sweeping mountain views.  

  • Looking Glass Rock (6.1 miles, out & back, 1682 feet elevation gain)
  • Frying Pan Mountain Lookout Tower (1.5 miles, out & back, 357 feet of elevation gain)

If looking for another waterfall hike, consider checking out these below:

  • Looking Glass Waterfalls (0.3 miles, out & back, 36 feet of elevation gain)
  • Moore Cove Falls (1.2 miles, out & back, 154 feet of elevation gain)
  • Sliding Rock (0.3 miles, out & back, 19 feet of elevation gain)

Dinner at White Duck Taco

After your hike, head to White Duck Taco for dinner. This casual taco joint on the river checks all the boxes. The cute patio area with outdoor seating right along the river as well as the variety and uniqueness of the tacos on the menu are both huge selling points. 

White Duck Taco

There are various ethnic food inspired tacos on the menu and you can get anything from curry to Korean to classic tacos.  We recommend ordering a variety of tacos to try several of the specialty flavors.  Natalie’s favorite taco was the Bangkok shrimp, and Sam’s favorite taco was the crispy pork belly.  They had a chicken and cheese quesadilla on the menu that our kids enjoyed too. Our daughter could not get enough of ‘playing’ the corn hole game they have outside either.  We liked this place so much that we considered coming back another time to try more tacos and enjoy the patio, even on our short trip.  

Note: You may have to wait in line for 15-20 minutes to order during peak time. However, after ordering, the food comes fast. With tacos being pretty quick to eat, there is constant turnover in seating, and we had no issue finding a place on the river to sit and enjoy our tacos even at a peak time. 

Bonfire, Hot Tub or Game Room

Head back to the Dancing Bear Getaway to enjoy the hot tub, fire pit or the game room.  This rental really provides hours of entertainment right at your accommodations. 

4 Day Asheville Itinerary Day 2 Driving


4 Day Asheville Itinerary: Day 3


Coffee and Breakfast at Dripolator 

The next morning, head to Dripolator in Black Mountain to caffeinate and try one of their scrumptious baked goods.  Or enjoy one of their fruit smoothies.  This coffee shop is super cute and cozy.  Sit outside on the small front patio for some distant morning mountain views.  

DuPont State Park Hiking

4 Day Asheville Itinerary

After getting coffee/breakfast at Dripolater, drive about 50 minutes southwest to DuPont State Park.  Here, hike to one or several of the waterfalls located in this state park.  We opted to hike to High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls. This route is about 4.5 miles round trip with 490 feet of elevation gain and you see 5 waterfalls along the trail.  The path is well groomed and easy to hike. 

5 Different Waterfalls

Each waterfall on this route is unique. High Falls is the most impressive and has several viewing points including the base.  Triple Falls is three waterfalls that run together.  Hooker Falls is the smallest of them all but there is a calm area of water the kids (or adults) can play in at the base.  Natalie’s favorite waterfall was High Falls (because biggest), Sam’s was Triple Falls (because most unique), and the kids favorite was Hooker falls (because they could play in the sand and calm water at the base).  We did not stay at Hooker falls overly long though because the kids started to eat sand like it was going out of style.  Reality! 

Recommended Route & Other Trails

There are several options for how to hike this route. We recommend parking at the main visitor center for DuPont State Park and starting the hike from there. You start by hiking to High Falls, then Triple Falls, and finally Hooker Falls.  We then recommend retracing your steps to return to the visitor center. 

This park is also home to Bridal Falls, which is featured in the first Hunger Games film. You can alternatively do a 7.5 mile round-trip hike to High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Falls. Another alternative is to only hike to Hooker Falls. This hike is 1 mile round-trip with 140 feet of elevation gain. If you plan to spend a lot of time playing in the sand and calm water at Hooker Falls, this may be your best option.  You also could just hike to High Falls and/or Triple Falls as well.   As you can see, there are various options to suite your level of fitness and what your family will enjoy most.

When you arrive at the visitor center, the staff will be able to give you a map and show you a 3-D diagram of the park. We’ve not seen anything like the 3-D diagram here, created by a local model train club.  Heading into the visitor center is worth the time just to see this diagram.

On this day, we would recommend packing a picnic lunch as there is nowhere to eat in the park. 

Pizza and Drinks in Black Mountain

This evening, head to Black Mountain Pizza for some of the best Detroit style pizza in the area.  We ordered the 117 Cherry Street Detroit style pizza.  This pizza has an unusual assortment of toppings including pears, walnuts, mushrooms, cauliflower, cheese, garlic and cherry pesto.  Despite the unlikely pairing of toppings, this pizza is SO delicious.  Natalie was very skeptical but was pleasantly surprised with how good it tasted. 

Next, head over to the Foothills Grange for drinks (16 different drinks on tap).  This casual outdoor bar/eatery has a fun setting with string lights, industrial style porch coverings and a huge outdoor sand pit for the kids to play.  The outdoor sand pit was a huge hit with our toddler.  

Pizza and Drinks in Asheville

Alternatively, head into downtown Asheville for some amazing pizza and brews (15 different beers on tap) at Asheville Brewing.  The covered patio here has all the right vibes and the pizza is on-point too.  The flavor profile of some of their pizzas is also very unique, but they also have classic flavor profiles for the less adventurous eaters. We ordered ½ a Moon Pie and ½  a Magic Dragon.  Check out the website linked above for all the latest brews they have on tap. 

We honestly really liked both pizza places and would recommend trying both at some point during your trip! 

4 Day Asheville Itinerary Day 3 Driving


4 Days in Asheville: Day 4


Hike Lookout Mountain

After making breakfast and checking out of your house rental in Black Mountain, head about 15 minutes north to the small college town of Montreat to hike to Lookout Mountain. This 1.4 mile round trip hike with 600 feet of elevation is steep and a bit rocky at the top but so worth the effort for the views.  This is a great bang-for-your-buck hike. You get some of the best sweeping mountain views relatively quickly.  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

The hike is a steady climb up through the woods consisting of stairs or a dirt/rock path that requires no true scrambling until the very end. For less than 0.1 miles, you will have to scramble up some rocks and use your hands to brace yourself to get to the summit.  However, it is not overly technically challenging as we were able to do this safely while baby wearing our kids.  We rate the hike as moderate.  Other than the rock scramble portion of the trail and summit area, the trail is almost completely shaded (huge bonus in our eyes).  The summit has stunning expansive mountain views and there are several large rocks to sit down on to take it all in.  

Parking, Cost & Dogs

We hiked this trail on a weekday around 10 AM and only saw two other small groups of people.  The hike was so peaceful and really felt like a hidden gem.  There are two small gravel lots to park at the trailhead but there are only about 10 spots available total so you may have trouble parking if it is a weekend so arrive early then.  The hike took us about an hour to complete, including taking a 15 minute break at the top to soak in the views, take some pictures and give the kids some snacks.  There is no cost to hike this trail but at the trailhead there is a QR code you can scan to donate to Montreat for the trail maintenance and we highly encourage you to donate if you hike it as the trail is very well maintained. Dogs are allowed on a leash. 

More Hiking? 

If looking to hike longer or another trail, there are plenty of other hiking trails at Montreat.  See the link here for the map.  We also hiked the Lower Piney Trail and the Big Piney Ridge Trail to the lookout point for a 3.6 mile round trip hike with 1200 feet of elevation gain. We only saw one group of two people on this hike and it was so serene (yet a killer workout).  Download the trail map with the link above or stop in at the Montreat store for a hard copy map.  There are many other trails here too. You could spend a week hiking a different trail here each day.  

Cousin Cuban Cafe

After your short, yet challenging hike, stop at Cousins Cuban Cafe in Black Mountain for lunch.  This casual Cuban restaurant is unassuming on the outside yet so welcoming on the inside with some of the tastiest food in Black Mountain.  We really loved the atmosphere and food here.  It was very reasonably priced too! 

Note: Be sure to check current hours before visiting.  They were only open 9AM-3PM everyday (other than Wednesday when they were closed) during our visit. 

Explore Downtown Black Mountain

Spend the rest of your time in the Asheville area exploring downtown Black Mountain. There are tons of cute shops and restaurants in this charming city just ten minutes east of Asheville. Consider getting ice cream at The Hop. They have super tasty local homemade ice cream here. We tried 3 flavors (Aztec Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Cookie Party) and as our toddler said “all of them” were her favorite.  Be sure to check out some of the hand-painted rocking chairs (adult and child sized) all throughout downtown too.  Our toddler really liked having all of us sit on one of these every time we came upon them.  There are tons of other restaurants and shops to check out as well. Some other places we liked stopping in included Berliner Kindl (German restaurant and bakery) and BLK Mountain Brewing (brewery with nice patio).

See our Weekend in Black Mountain guide for more tips on visiting Black Mountain.

4 Day Asheville Itinerary Day 4 Driving

We hope this guide helps you plan your 4 day trip to Asheville.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! For more information on visiting the Asheville area, please see our Weekend in Black Mountain, ​​Asheville with a Baby or Toddler and Top 3 Asheville Hikes articles as well.

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