Spring Fun Planning Guide for Asheville, NC

Enjoying the Mountains of Western North Carolina all year long!

Spring is a very special time to visit Western North Carolina. The trees, shrubs, and flowers are beginning to bloom and the excitement in the city and surrounding communities is palpable as people begin to emerge from the winter and accept that summer is just around the corner. New to the area or just visiting? We've created this guide especially for you! Read on for more information about some of our best Spring Activies!

Things To Do:
  • Area Hikes
  • The Biltmore Estate
  • The North Carolina Arboretum
  • Asheville Botanical Garden
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Being Prepared for Spring

Area Hikes

The Asheville Area is well known for the hundreds of miles of hiking trails that surround the city. No matter your skill level, there are dozens of trails from which to choose when you stay in Asheville or one of the surrounding mountain communities. Visit our area guides for trail suggestions specific to the town in which you're staying. Three of our absolute favorite hikes are highlighted below:

Lover's Leap Loop Trail
A moderate 1.6 mile trail, Lover's Leap Loop is a scenic, steadily climbing trail that ascends Lover's Leap Ridge in Hot Springs, NC. Panoramic views of the French Broad River and the town of Hot Springs make this a major attraction for hikers and visitors to the area. To access this trail from downtown Hot Springs, follow 25/70 East for .5 miles before turning left onto Silvermine Road. Take the first left to continue following Silvermine Road. Just past the bridge, you'll see a trailhead for the Silvermine trail. Continue walking down the road, passing the Silvermine Trail, and get on the Appalachian Trail, which is marked with white blazes. Once on the trail, markers indicating Lover's Loop will be easy to spot.

Hickory Nut Gorge
This 6.2 mile out and back trail sits at 927 feet and is rated moderate. Hikers can expect to see beautiful native flora and fauna all along the trail. To access this trail from Black Mountain, head southeast on Montreat Road toward E State Street. Merge onto NC-9 S and continue on this road for about 15 miles before turning Left onto Shumont Road. The trail head will be located on your right.

Bald Knob Ridge Trail
Also rated "moderateā€, the Bald Knob Ridge Trail extends 2.8 miles up a ridge before reaching a summit which offers breathtaking and expansive views of the Black Mountains. Though the switchbacks provide for a difficult ascent, the sight from the top is well worth the effort. To get to this hike from Downtown Burnsville, follow directions to Briar Bottom Trail. Instead of pulling in to the parking lot on Forest Service Road 472, continue on until you pass the Buncombe Horse Range Trail Sign. Bald Knob Ridge Trail is marked with a trailhead sign.

The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is one of the most popular of our many area attractions. The enormous house, the expansive estate, the world renowned gardens - all of these prove to be an incredible draw for tourists heading to Western North Carolina. Built in the late 1800's, the 178,926 square foot home is the largest privately owned home in the United States and considered to be America's first mansion. Visiting the Estate is popular no matter the season, but in the spring visitors get the added bonus of experiencing the gardens in full bloom. Miles of groomed trails showcase thousands of flowers, shrubs, and flowering trees and the air is sweet with the floral display.

Biltmore Blooms, a much anticipated event, spans much of the Spring Season - from March 19th to May 26th. The walled gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (Sound familiar? He designed Central Park in NYC as well!), offer a vivid explosion of color in controlled geometric patterns. Wave after wave of gorgeous blooms greet visitors and the attention to detail is absolutely astounding.

The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434 acre public garden located just south of Downtown Asheville, within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Established in 1986, it is the culmination of a vision first articulated by Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800's. Located within the Pisgah National Forest, it is open to the public for just the cost of parking and the hours vary seasonally. Springtime hours are from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, with the gates to the park closing in the evening at 8:00 PM. Visitors can spend hours hiking the manicured trails through the woods, strolling the paths in the beautifully maintained garden, or checking out the ever-rotating exhibitions like the Bonsai Exhibit, the Rocky Cove Railroad Model Train Exhibit, The Orchid Exhibit, and more.
Asheville Botanical Gardens

The Asheville Botanical Garden is an independent, non-profit organization located just 2 miles from the heart of Downtown Asheville. It's a beautiful park that offers locals and visitors alike a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and it offers it absolutely free of charge. The organization's mission is to preserve and promote the native plant species that inhabit these diverse mountains. Strolling the manicured trails, dipping your feet in the rushing stream twining through the park, or just relaxing on the greens are some of our favorite ways to enjoy the park. Educational opportunities are always available - so school groups visiting the area (or families who love to learn together) will definitely want to check out this amazing area resource.
The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of our most beloved of area resources. Nationally renowned as one of the most beautiful Scenic Byways in the US, it twines through our back yard and places hundreds of amazing scenic overlooks and hiking trails at our fingertips. It is full of possibilities and overflowing with beauty no matter the time of year, but during the Spring Season, visitors and locals that venture up on the parkway will find themselves awestruck by the colors, scents, and life springing from the previously frozen ground. Access points to the Parkway can be found all over Western North Carolina, with several in Asheville proper, making it a supremely accessible amenity.
Being Prepared For Spring

Spring is a beautiful season in the mountains, though it can be a little unpredictable. The temperatures have been known to swing wildly from a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a perfect and sunny 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and can even soar as high as 90! As such, we always recommend wearing layers and planning for rain. When hiking, consider carrying sunscreen and/or bug spray - Western North Carolina is a temperate rain forest, which means you can count on humidity, vacillating high and low temperatures, and plenty of wildlife.

We also recommend brushing up on the native plants in the area and the native North Carolina species - when exploring these mountains, it's common to see a wide array of flora and fauna. Many guests make a game of plant or species spotting while they're here with the kids!
Finally, it's important to remember that in the spring, everyone is out trying to enjoy the season. Watch for cyclists, runners, pedestrians, and motorcycles - our winding mountain roads are beautiful and exciting, and shared by many.
Enjoy your stay in the mountains!