Explore the Natural Wonders around You in This Blue Ridge Mountain Wonderland

Outdoor Activities Near and Around Southcliff

Asheville is a beautiful mountain community nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. It is a rare place that balances urban character with natural beauty. It is a remarkable enclave for outdoor adventures of all types and all levels of difficulty—hiking, biking, paddling, and more.

There are countless trails and lookout spots within feet of your Southcliff home and beyond into the Blue Ridge. With so much to do and so much natural beauty to see, it's no wonder so many locals of this outdoor playground started out as tourists.

Discover nature at your doorstep.

For thousands of years, indiginous peoples and later European settlers have been attracted to Fairview’s rolling land, serene mountaintops, and awe-inspiring views.

At Southcliff, you're literally at the base of it all, with pristine Cedar Cliff hugging the north end of the community and popular Chestnut Mountain to the south.

Easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway means that myriad adventures of your choosing are only a short distance away. Thousands of acres of publicly protected lands are within an arm's reach, meaning you can explore trails your entire life and still discover something new.

mountains in Autumn
Blue Ridge Mountains in summer

Outdoor Amenities Near Southcliff

Southcliff members enjoy all the outdoors the Carolina mountains have to offer. There are six miles of hiking trails that wind through Southcliff and connect its neighborhoods to recreational areas and to each other. Those seeking a special place to gather, share experiences, and build lifetime memories need go no farther than the community's covered pavilion, fire pits, and playground. Whatever your outdoor interests, Southcliff provides a unique opportunity to pursue new adventures, form lifelong friendships, and indulge in your passions.

Hiking trails near Southcliff

Southcliff offers hikers outstanding scenery with breathtaking views from the highest ridgelines east of the Mississippi River. The wide range of hiking opportunities near Southcliff is one of the main attractions to hikers of all levels of experience. A short drive will take you to ridgeline and urban trails, more than 200 awe-inspiring waterfalls, mountaintop locations with 360-degree views, and hidden swimming holes and wading pools.

  • Sierra Nevada Brewery


    Adventure is in the eye of the beer-holder. Sierra Nevada offers a specialty “Trip in the Woods” tour, a 1.5-mile guided nature walk along the brewery’s grounds. Learn about the French Broad River, native plants, and trees of WNC.

  • Craggy Gardens


    Visitor can enjoy incredible natural vistas on this short 1.4-mile stroll designated by the state of North Carolina as a National Heritage Area. Craggy Gardens is home to unique plants and wildlife, including native rhododendrons. Parking is easily accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Graveyard Fields


    Graveyard Fields offers a short, moderate hike down to Lower Falls, a gorgeous waterfall and swimming hole. Hikers traverse grassy meadows and wading ponds, perfect for Summer day trips. Come for the hike, and stay for mountaintop blueberry picking in late Summer.

  • Bearwallow Mountain


    The privately owned Bearwallow Mountain has a signature open pasture on its northwest slope. Thanks to a conservation easement, the grassy peak is open to the public. Hike the trail straight to the top and enjoy expansive views of Mount Mitchell, Mount Pisgah, and the Balsams.

  • Mountains-to-Sea Trail Near the Folk Art Center


    With easy-access parking and a route that’s not too steep, this is a great five-mile hike that’s minutes from your Southcliff residence. The hike begins along the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Folk Art Center and covers a short stretch of the 935-mile Mountains-to Sea Trail.

  • Graybeard Trail


    From Black Mountain, the “Prettiest Small Town in America,” it’s easy to find this trailhead. In your 5–6 hours climbing the trail, you will encounter few fellow hikers. But it offers a birds-eye view of town, incredible scenery, and even a short spur to the small Graybeard Falls.

Paddling and watersports near Southcliff

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for a whitewater adventure or a casual fisherman looking to get out on the water with friends and family, Lake Lure and the rivers of Western North Carolina offer just about any experience you’re after. Lake Lure's clear waters and 21 miles of shoreline make it easy to enjoy water skiing, leisure cruising, speed boating, paddling, and swimming.

  • Lake Lure

    Lake Lure’s clear mountain water is home to sizable stocks of bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass, making it a haven for anglers. No permit? No problem. Visitors can enjoy floating on an inner tube, picnicking in the shade, or just catching some rays on the sandy beach.

  • French Broad River

    The French Broad River, one of the world's five oldest rivers, is accessible all year from several spots along its 218-mile length. You can find a number of launch stations at city parks and landing spots in Asheville. The French Broad is great for swimming or tubing in most areas.

  • Green River

    The Lower Green River flows through the lush woodlands of the Green River Gorge and is great for paddlers of all levels, including beginners. Two tubing spots along this portion of the river make it perfect for casual fun. Rent a tube to float for an hour or the entire day.

  • Lake Adger

    Covering approximately 438 acres with 14 miles of private shoreline, Lake Adger is regularly stocked with Muskellunge (Muskies). Non-residents can enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing (with some restrictions) from the public boat landing.

  • Tuckasegee River

    The Class I and II rapids of the Tuckasegee make it great for beginner rafters and paddlers, families with small children, and anyone looking for a relaxed river experience. At the peak of summer, the river warms to a very comfortable 65–70°F as it winds through six reservoirs.

  • Deep Creek

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

Mountain and road biking near Southcliff

Cyclists travel to Western North Carolina from all over the world to ride this area's roadways and mountain trails. This mountainous landscape is ideally suited for cyclists of all ages and skill levels, including those looking for easy local rides around the community. Gorgeous backdrops, steep, rocky trails, and meandering streams combine to offer advanced cyclists endless opportunities for adventure.

  • Weed Patch Mountain

    Avoid the crowds and explore Weed Patch Mountain near Lake Lure. This intermediate-to-advanced trail system winds through huge old growth forests, over and through many streams, and climbs to amazing vista views. Access it near Eagle Rock or the Buffalo Creek trail system near Rumbling Bald.

  • Fletcher Creek Trail

    This typical streamside trail also features fern gardens, hardwood forests, hemlocks, and log bridges. It passes through open meadows rimmed with flowering dogwoods near its upper end. Still, the trail is mostly dry, depending on the season. Follow it to the North Mills River Campground or in the opposite direction to Hendersonville.

  • Bent Creek

    The Bent Creek Experimental Forest is within a 20-minute drive from Southcliff. Unlike many of the legendary trails in the surrounding Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek is an excellent area for younger or more inexperienced riders to practice their abilities and get some exercise before tackling tougher terrain.

  • Biltmore Estate

    Spend a relaxing afternoon touring the grounds of the country's most famous residence. In addition to miles of hiking, the Biltmore Estate features more than 20 miles of beginner and expert biking trails. Bikers can bring their own bikes or rent one on the spot.

  • Bracken Preserve

    Widely regarded as one of the best cycling areas of the Southern United States, Brevard offers numerous mountain biking paths to explore. Pick between two primary trails in the Bracken Preserve. Neither are technical and can be ridden by both beginners and experienced riders.

  • DuPont State Forest

    Enjoy one of the best waterfall rides in DuPont State Forest. Biking routes range from easier forest roads to more challenging mountain biking paths. With seven miles of downhill slopes, the Ridgeline Loop is a favorite choice for riders looking for a thrill.

Additional outdoor adventures near Southcliff

There are as many ways to enjoy the outdoors near Southcliff as there are days in the year. If you have yet to visit Southcliff or wonder what more this area offers for outdoor enjoyment, here are just a few additional activities.

  • Birding

    One outdoor activity that’s becoming more popular every day is birding. With our mountainous topography and four-season climate, there’s no better place to see such a wide variety of birds. In fact, many rare and exciting species call WNC home for at least a portion of the year. Go birding in Chimney Rock State Park for sightings of warblers, owls, and rare Peregrine Falcons.

  • Canopy tours

    Ziplining offers one of the most awe inspiring and adrenaline inducing ways to experience our peaks. With our majestic mountains and old-growth forests, aerialists as young as four years old can travel from treetop to treetop, exploring protected forests from above.

  • Farm tours

    A long growing season and mild winters provide bountiful harvests of produce, dairy, and other farm products for people across the region. Support local farmers by touring local farms and farm stands. The WNC Cheese Trail allows you to connect directly with artisan cheesemakers.

  • Golf

    Southcliff provides its residents a channel of introduction to the Country Club of Asheville where golf, tennis, and swimming are among the activities offered. Membership at the Country Club of Asheville is subject to approval by the Country Club Committee.

  • Winter sports

    Even through the cold winter days, there’s plenty to do outside to get moving and keep your mind off the cold. Surrounding mountains are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. In addition, properly equipped winter hikers and backpackers can enjoy the best views of the year without the crowds.

  • Learn about native plants and animals

    There are more than 700 species of native and exotic plants at the NC Arboretum. Among them are trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, herbs, grasses, sedges, aquatic plants, ferns, mosses, and lichens. Other ways to enjoy the region’s many natural gifts include, watching elk graze in Cataloochee Valley, seeing the annual monarch migration, and visiting the WNC Nature Center to watch playful otters.