North Carolina (NC) hiking offers the outdoor enthusiasts a wide range of terrains to explore, from the mountains in the west, through the Piedmont, to the beaches in the east.
Eastern North Carolina provides plenty of coastal hiking opportunities with trails meandering along beautiful beaches and towering sand dunes. Croatan National Forest, the only coastal National Forest in the east, allows hikers to enjoy its pristine beauty as paths wind under coastal tree canopy. Central North Carolina has plenty to offer as well with the rolling hills and low mountain ridges of the Piedmont area. Plenty of trails can be found within the Uwharrie National Forest, where hikers can enjoy paths that follow secluded lakes and streams in the forest's vast wilderness.
Western North Carolina (WNC) is a popular area for many outdoor recreationists with the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains so close by. Nantahala National Forest, in Southwest N. Carolina, leads hikers along wooded hikes in the Nantahala Gorge and near the Nantahala River where the river's rapids churn. WNC's Pisgah National Forest is also a popular destination with plenty of trails leading through old growth forests. Easy and strenuous hikes alike are available, many passing cascading waterfalls or pristine creeks and streams throughout Pisgah's secluded wilderness. Also look for convenient hikes near cities like Charlotte, Asheville, Wilmington, and Raleigh.
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