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Blue Ridge Mountains Walking & Hiking Tour New!

Overview
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Dates & Prices
Route Rating
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Trip Highlights
  • Explore the grounds of opulent Biltmore Estate and luxuriate at the estate's elegant inn
  • The breathtakingly beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the country's most beloved byways
  • From Art Deco to abstract expressionism, creativity thrives in eclectic Asheville
  • Stroll the pedestrian-friendly downtown of charming Highlands, filled with galleries, antiques shops and cafés
  • Lose yourself in the pristine beauty of deep gorges, granitic rock domes, peaceful woodland and idyllic waterfalls

Call 800-462-2848, Every day 6am-6pm,PST

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Asheville & Southern Appalachia

Consider the great places to explore on foot. The Swiss Alps. The streets of Venice. But would you include the rhododendron-shaded trails of Southern Appalachia? Maybe not - at least not yet. Not until you've seen the mist settling below the peaks of the Black Mountains. Not until you've experienced the otherworldly calm of the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge on a quiet morning. Not until you've ventured amid the rolling hills, rocky crags, and eclectic towns overflowing with Southern charm. No, few besides the locals have heard of Bartram, Panthertown or Whiterock, and few "outsiders" will have considered them among the great hikes. We won't tell if you won't.

Day 1 Asheville welcomes you with an appealing blend of Jazz Age sophistication and the bohemian eccentricities of the "hippest art scene in the American South"  Meander through the North Carolina Arboretum, which boasts an extraordinary native plant collection  Catch your breath at the sight of French-inspired Biltmore Estate, which still reigns as America's largest privately owned residence, and one of the world's most opulent properties.

Day 2 The Blue Ridge Parkway, with stretch-forever vistas of valleys, mountains, woodland, waterfalls and historic sites Hike amid luxuriant rhododendron and rocky granite crags for one of the most stunning panoramic views on the Parkway  Partake in a private tour of the Biltmore House and Gardens or treat yourself to a tasting at Antler Hill Village and Winery.

Day 3 Discover "Yosemite of the East" in pristine Panthertown Valley  Here you'll experience a wonderful network of hiking trails leading to glorious waterfalls, rare plant communities and lofty overlooks of the valley, sheer cliffs and highland bogs.

Day 4 More breathtaking views await on our hike along the popular Bartram Trail  From Jones Gap, stop to admire the endless waves of undulating hills stretching out around you before continuing on to Whiterock Mountain  Feel like switching gears this afternoon? A visit to the nearby Bascomb Art Center or a bit of TLC at our hotel's spa might be hard to resist.

Day 5 Postcard-perfect Dry Falls, set beneath a natural bluff that allows you to venture behind the waterfall Witness impressive geologic formations on the hike to the top of Whiteside Mountain, an icon of the Nantahala National Forest As you walk, keep an eye out for peregrine falcons, which were reintroduced here in the 1980s and can often be seen nesting on the surrounding rock ledges  Say goodbye over a picnic lunch back in Highlands.

Premiere Inns

Inn on Biltmore Estate
Inn on Biltmore Estate

Asheville (2 nights) Savor turn-of-the-century elegance and breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at this gracious inn, nestled on Biltmore's majestic estate. (pool, spa)

Old Edwards Inn & Spa
Old Edwards Inn & Spa

Highlands (2 nights) This refined mountain getaway offers European style right on the main street of artsy Highlands. (pool, spa)

Guest Reviews About This Trip

I've always known that this corner of North Carolina was home to some really great walking and hiking opportunities - yet I was still surprised to find out just how perfect it is for Backroads-style active travel. There's the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, offering hikes of varied lengths and levels - including a few challenging ascents if you're up for it, always with panoramic views at the top. There are dramatic granite domes, pristine streams and waterfalls, lush rhododendron forests and welcoming small towns rich with history. I hope you'll join us, and fall in love with this area as we have!
Riley Pearce - Regional Manager, North America

Trip Dates & Prices

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

2015 CLASSIC DATES
May 2015
June 2015
September 2015
October 2015

Don't see your ideal travel date? Call us at 800-462-2848 for Private Trip date availability.

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This Trip Is Rated Level 2-5

Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Activity Level Average Time Road Bike Average Mountain Bike Average Walk & Hike Average
Insider 1-2 hours n/a n/a 1-3 miles
Level 1 2-3 hours 10-20 miles 10-15 miles 2-5 miles
Level 2 2-4 hours 21-30 miles 16-20 miles 4-7 miles
Level 3 3-5 hours 31-40 miles 21-25 miles 5-9 miles
Level 4 4-6 hours 41-55 miles 26-30 miles 6-11 miles
Level 5 5-7+ hours 56-75+ miles 31+ miles 7-13+ miles

*Mountain bikes are used in locations where the best riding is on a combination of dirt and paved roads. View trip locations

Daily Mileage Options & Cumulative Elevation Gain

Information coming soon.

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)

2015

2 - 3 guests from $4,298 pp dbl. occ. 8 - 9 guests from $3,298 pp dbl. occ.
4 - 5 guests from $3,698 pp dbl. occ. 10 - 11 guests from $2,998 pp dbl. occ.
6 - 7 guests from $3,498 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $2,698 pp dbl. occ.

For 35 years, Backroads has been perfecting the art of active travel. We are the Carolinas tour experts. See our award-winning USA walking tours and hiking tours, USA biking tours and USA multisport tours.

Walking & Hiking

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Meet/Depart

Asheville, NC

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Trip Notes

All meals included except 1 lunch

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