"I don't wanna hike!"
Yep, they've all said it! So, we have selected the five best places to hike in WNC to avoid the drama of a whining toddler.
Keep in mind, there are MANY other beautiful places to hike here! Explore away!
5. Blue Ridge Parkway: Mt. Mitchell State Park- Mt. Mitchell is the tallest peak in NC, at 6,000 feet in elevation. It is worth the beautiful drive if your child can handle the curvy road. There is a paved trail to the lookout (very stroller friendly but steep) that is only 1/4 of a mile in length. There are restrooms at the parking area along with a food vendor and a gift shop. On your journey back down to the car, there are several trails you can take through the woods (not stroller friendly) that are beautiful and dotted with trail signs describing local plants. The moss, lichen, mushrooms and pines are breathtaking and fallen logs make great photo ops for your kiddos. (Our Forager Tank Dress is perfect for this hike!)
4. UNC-A: --Botanical Gardens- The Botanical Gardens are an oasis in the city. If you desire more than just a stroll at the park, the trails at UNC-Asheville are a welcome retreat! There are grassy areas where your kids can stop and play, trails that wind through the woods, over streams, and even a reconstructed old dog-trot cabin. These trails also feature labelled native plants and are gorgeous in all seasons. There are a lot of weddings at the Botanical Gardens so keep that in mind too if you visit there on the weekend. (Our Flower Showers Dress is perfect for this hike!)
3. Pisgah National Forest: Davidson River Campground- By far, this is my most visited spot with the kids. You can park in the lot on the left next to the river and take the trail that is across the bridge on the right. My girls like to run ahead of us on the trail and see the old church, other bridge and finally the swimming area. We stay for hours and let them play in the water there which is shallow along the shore and deeper in the middle and on the other side of the bank. In the summer, this swimming hole gets crowded because not only is it a great place to swim, you can rent a tube at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, carry it to the swimming hole and float back down to your car. Always check water levels, and be extra careful in and around the water with children. The trail is not made for an umbrella stroller, otherwise you will be okay! The smell of campfires along the trail makes it that much more enjoyable. Love this hike. (Our Flight Feather Dress is perfect for this hike!)
2. Holmes Educational State Forest: Talking Trees- This unique place speaks for itself. Talking trees? Well, not exactly, but the kids love running up to the audio signs, pushing the buttons and hearing the information given on the local trees and plants along the trail. There are two main trails, the Talking Tree Trail and the Demonstration Trail so be sure to pick the one that is right for your family. This park has ranger conducted classes and educational workshops plus there is an old helicopter on display. (Our Organic White Flutter Top and Flower Showers Skirt is perfect for this hike!)
1. DuPont State Recreational Forest: Hooker Falls Trail- If the beauty of our area could be summed up in one spot, I believe that DuPont takes the cake! DuPont is overlooked because it is not part of the National Park System and is not on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hooker Falls trail is great for toddlers because it is not too long (one mile round trip), all on gravel, and is a great, normally safe place to swim in the summer (although beware of the growing crowds). The 12 foot waterfall is also beautiful and just a preview to the other waterfalls within walking distance if time, temperature, and temperament allows. ;) (Our Dandelion Daydream Dress is perfect for this hike!)