In North Carolina the town of Hendersonville is known for its historical sites, festivals, recreational activities as well as an abundance of wonderful hiking trails.
Jump Off Rock
One of the most popular hiking spots near Hendersonville is Jump Off Rock, which is a short distance from downtown. Located in Laurel Park, Jump Off Rock got its name from an Indian legend. According to the legend, the rock is the place where a young Cherokee Indian maiden jumped to her death after learning the man she loved had died in battle.
Laurel Park provides hikers with three different trails to hike to the top. Each trail is designed to accommodate a person’s physical ability. They range from easy to difficult. Once at the top, a view can be seen that goes all the way to Asheville. The picturesque Pisgah and Blue Ridge mountains can also be seen from Jump Off Rock.
Chimney Rock State Park
There are also several great trails located in Chimney Rock State Park. Plan to stay awhile as there is a fee charged to enter the park. The hiking trails in this park provide a variety of experiences. The Outcroppings Trail takes hikers on a journey up 26 stories of stairs to the Chimney and provides wonderful views along the way. The Hickory Nut Falls trail takes hikers to the base of a waterfall that is over 400 feet high. Its stunning scenery was actually featured in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.” This park also has the skyline trail, the four seasons trail and more.
North Carolina Arboretum
Located in Pisgah National Forest is the 434 acre public gardens known at the North Carolina Arboretum. Visiting here give people a chance to hike in one of the most impressive natural garden areas in the United States. It is located in the middle of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, which is known for its botanical diversity.
Green River Gorge
The Green River Gorge is located to the southeast of Hendersonville. It is 10,000 acres of state owned game land. Hikers here will be able to see hardwood forests containing steep ravines and rocky landscapes. Hiking in the Green River Gorge for a long distance is not for amateurs. There are over 16 miles of challenging trails through a dense forest. The Green River is also popular with people who enjoy going whitewater rafting.
Located not far from Hendersonville is a section of the Appalachian Trail that goes through North Carolina. It is the oldest scenic trail in the United States and starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. It’s possible to do day hikes, weekend hikes or even long distance hiking on the Appalachian Trail. There are several different three sided wooden structures along the trail hikers can use as shelter.
It’s important when doing casual hiking in North Carolina to wear plenty of sun screen and insect repellent during the summer months. Comfortable shoes as well as a supply of water and snacks will make the trip more pleasant. The views are stunning so take a good camera.