Delve into the Forest

Outdoor activities near Biltmore Forest

Enjoy sculpted natural landscapes near the heart of Asheville surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, or venture out into the surrounding country to discover opportunities to bike, paddle, hike, birdwatch, and more.

Unwind in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

The greater Asheville, NC, area is a paradise for city lovers seeking solace in stunning natural beauty. The Blue Ridge Parkway sits right on the edge of town along with an access point to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, while the French Broad River Park is just a short drive to the north. With many other trails, biking opportunities, and bodies of water within easy reach, adventure is never far away.

mountains in Autumn
Blue Ridge Mountains in summer

Community and Outdoor Amenities Near Biltmore Forest

Explore countless opportunities to maintain an active, mindful lifestyle in the mountains of North Carolina.

Nature in Biltmore Forest

Biltmore Forest offers two community parks—Rosebank and Greenwood—with play structures and benches where residents can enjoy the fruits of the town's community forestry programs and tree protection ordinance.

  • French Broad River Greenway


    This paved greenway trail follows the contours of the French Broad River, offering a relatively level route with a 2.4-mile scenic double loop that goes through Carrier Park and French Broad River Park, where parking is available. 

  • Green Knob Trail


    Green Knob Trail is a shorter, flatter trail, perfect for casual hikers and trail runners. Nestled in Julian Price Park, The trail offers a great opportunity to explore the forest—without the big crowds.

  • North Carolina Arboretum


    The NC Arboretum offers 10+ miles of dog-friendly walking trails and outdoor gardens. You can choose your difficulty level and walk to connected area attractions like Lake Powhatan, Pisgah National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Don't forget to check out the arboretum's regular exhibits, events, and educational opportunities, too.

  • Mountains-to-Sea Trail


    A portion of the scenic 935-mile Mountains-to Sea Trail runs right through the town of Biltmore Forest, with an access point and parking lot at the south edge of town, off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Mount Pisgah


    South of Asheville, the Mount Pisgah Trail is recognized for its spectacular views of Buncombe, Henderson, and Haywood counties. At 5,721 feet, Mount Pisgah is a striking landmark, visible throughout the region. Trekking to its peak also includes a scenic trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Graybeard Trail


    It’s easy to find this trailhead from the town of Black Mountain. Seasoned hikers can look forward to a remote, five- to six-hour climb that offers a birds-eye view of the town, incredible scenery, and a short spur to Graybeard Falls.

Paddling and water sports near Biltmore Forest

Whether you seek a whitewater adventure, leisurely tubing expedition, or transcendental fishing trip, the hills and mountains of Western North Carolina provide ample opportunities for water sports.

  • Lake Lure

    Anglers can fish for bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass in Lake Lure’s clear mountain waters. Visitors without permits can enjoy boating, floating on an inner tube, picnicking in the shade, or just catching some rays on the sandy beach.

  • Deep Creek

    Deep Creek is the most popular river tubing spot in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in Bryson City, NC. The creek offers a variety of terrain and water features that appeal to casual tubers and more adventurous paddlers.

  • French Broad River

    From Asheville, you can access the 218-mile-long French Broad River from several points year-round, including a number of launch stations at city parks and landing spots. One of the oldest rivers in the world, The French Broad is great for swimming or tubing in most areas.

  • Newberry Creek

    If you're a trout fisherman seeking clear mountain waters away from it all, you won't want to miss Newberry Creek. This tributary of Curtis Creek is a high-gradient stream featuring small waterfalls and deep pools. Anglers can tempt wild rainbow and brook trout with artificial lures and release them back into the landscape.

  • Oconaluftee River

    For beginner rafters, paddlers, and families, The Class I and II rapids of the Tuckasegee make for an enjoyable river experience. At the peak of Summer, the river warms to a very comfortable 65 – 70°F as it winds through six reservoirs.

  • Fontana Lake

    An easy drive from Asheville, Fontana Lake is located in Smokey Mountain National Park at the border of Nantahala National Forest. This reservoir created during WWII has 240 miles of shoreline. The lake provides opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and even house boat rentals. After getting their fill of water sports, cyclists can head over to the Tsali Recreation Area for top notch mountain biking while hikers can access the Appalachian Trail.

Mountain and road biking near Biltmore Forest

Western North Carolina is known around the world for its scenic roadways and mountain trails. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or have just begun your journey, you'll find a pleasant ride near Biltmore Forest. Gorgeous backdrops, steep, rocky trails, and meandering streams combine to offer endless opportunities for adventure.

  • Biltmore Estate

    In addition to tours, a winery, and miles of hiking, the Biltmore Estate features more than 20 miles of biking trails. Beginners will appreciate paved trails along the French Broad River while more experienced cyclists explore woodland trails. Bring your own bike or rent one from the bike barn.

  • Tsali Recreation Area

    Tsali Recreation Area in Smokey Mountain National Park and Nantahala National Forest is one of the best places to cycle in the country. An easy day trip from Asheville, it has four loops and over 40 miles of hard-packed single-track trails. The park features lush woods and views of Fontana Lake.

  • Elk Mountain Scenic Highway This popular 60-mile route features breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountain views paired with climbing elevation: a fitting challenge for more experienced cyclists. Continue onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Mitchell to complete this quintessential Asheville ride. For your safety, be sure to ride in single file on the parkway.
  • Bent Creek

    The Bent Creek Experimental Forest, an easy drive from Biltmore Forest, is an excellent area for younger or more inexperienced riders to practice their abilities and get some exercise before tackling tougher terrain. Even so, speedsters may enjoy the faster Green's Lick trail, which features a 2.5 miles downhill with opportunities for jumps. For additional fun, check out the North Carolina Arboretum next door, which features more walking and bike trails.

  • DuPont State Forest

    One of the best waterfall rides in DuPont State Forest; biking routes range from easier forest roads to more challenging mountain biking paths, totaling approximately 100 miles of well-packed multi-use trails. With seven miles of downhill slopes, the Ridgeline Loop is a favorite choice for riders looking for a thrill. For wet weather, try the Cedar Rock Trail.

  • Point Lookout Trail

    This quick, 3.63 mile paved trail through the Royal Gorge winds through the Pisgah National Forest on what used to be the Central Highway. Riders can enjoy mountain views from Point Lookout, a former tourist attraction, and pass through old rail tunnels.

Additional outdoor adventures near Biltmore Forest

Western North Carolina abounds with outlets to enjoy the outdoors, whether you're seeking relaxation or a brisk work out.

  • Birding

    Western North Carolina's mountainous topography and four-season climate are an appealing habitat for many rare and exciting species of birds. Enthusiasts can visit Chimney Rock State Park for a chance to encounter warblers, owls, and Peregrine Falcons, while Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary in North Asheville is a good spot for sighting Brown-headed Nuthatches, Warbling Vireos, and Eastern Kingbirds.

  • Botanical Gardens Seeking a casual stroll along tranquil paths? The Asheville area is home to several beautiful gardens, notably the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, gardens at the Biltmore Estate, Asheville Arboretum, and Burlington Gardens in nearby Hendersonville. Enjoy Bonzai displays, 250 varieties of roses, rare and endangered native plants, a living Appalachian quilt, and more.
  • Farm And Winery Tours

    North Carolina's long growing season and mild winters provide bountiful harvests of produce, dairy, and other farm products while its five separate grape-growing regions have been designated as American Viticultural Areas. Support local businesses by visiting tasting rooms, local farms, & artisan cheesemakers.

  • Scenic Drives

    The North Carolina mountains offer one of the most magnificent scenic drives in the world. The Blue Ridge Parkway is perhaps the most popular attraction in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just minutes away from Biltmore Forest. Pass through landscapes with tiered mountain views, mesmerizing blue haze, and clear blue skies. In the autumn, visitors can enjoy spectacular Fall color to rival New England's. 

  • Winter sports

    Even after the weather gets colder, there's still plenty to do outside in the Asheville area. Love skiing? Wolf Ridge Ski Resort and Cataloochee Ski Area both offer outlets for skiing, tubing, and snowboarding. In addition, prepared winter hikers can enjoy WNC's stunning nature with clearer views in a season many tourists never get to experience—from walkable paths like the Rattlesnake Lodge or John Rock Trails to Lover’s Leap Loop Trail (near inviting hot springs).

  • Golf

    Home to multiple lovely courses, Western North Carolina's mild weather allows golfers to play year-round. Biltmore Forest's own exclusive country club carries decades of tradition into the present, boasting a short but challenging Donald J. Ross course updated by Brian Silva. To the North, The Country Club of Asheville offers another Donald Ross course with bent grass fairways.