Get outside to support MountainTrue!

We’re excited to announce that the MountainTrue Hike-a-thon will return in 2023. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information about the 2023 MountainTrue-a-thon and mark your calendars for June 15 to August 31, 2023. This year, we’ll offer hiking, biking, AND paddling as activities!

Hikers, bikers, and paddlers collect pledges from friends and family for miles logged from June through August 2023. For more information, head over to our Rally-Up page by clicking the link above. Already signed up and looking for inspiration? Check out the list below for some great trail suggestions around WNC. We hope you’ll join us in hitting the trails this summer!

Suggested hikes

Appalachian Trail from Brown Gap to Max Patch Road – MountainTrue has saved over 200 ash trees from emerald ash borer beetle in this area. This is best done either with a two-vehicle shuttle starting at Brown Gap or an out-and-back hike from Max Patch Road. The stretch of Appalachian Trail between Brown Gap and Max Patch has exemplary hardwood forest, great displays of wildflowers in spring, and excellent diversity of songbirds. This can be combined with a hike to the summit of Max Patch for 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. See it on Outside.

Grandfather Trail to Calloway Peak – A wonderful hike in the High Country.
Enjoy this 4.1-mile out-and-back trail near Linville, North Carolina. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 16 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring.  See it on AllTrails.

Elk Knob Summit Trail – This out-and-back 3.8-mile hike is graded as moderate and the summit offers spectacular views of The Peak, Three Top and Bluff Mountains, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, and Mount Mitchell. Elk Knob is one in a series of amphibolite mountains in the southern Appalachian range. The area contains a high diversity of natural communities, many of them uncommon or rare. Along the hike you may spy endangered plants such as Gray’s lily, trailing wolfsbane, large purple fringed orchid, and flame azaleas. See it on AllTrails.

Jones Gap to Whiterock Mountain on the Bartram TrailThis 4.6-mile out-and-back is on a lightly trafficked section of the Bartram Trail near Highlands, NC, and features spectacular views into the Tessentee Valley of Macon County. Jones Knob and Whiterock Mountain are a pair of peaks that lie along this rather tame stretch of the Bartram Trail, one of North Carolina’s premier long-distance trails. Though both measure well below 5,000 feet in elevation, what sets this pair apart is that they are plutons — mountains comprised of erosion-resistant rock sporting massive open cliff faces. The trail is rated as moderate; there is approximately 940 feet of elevation change. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a leash. See it on AllTrails. 

Suggested bike trails

French Broad River Greenway: Asheville, NC. 3.5 miles. 

Wilma Dykeman Greenway: Asheville, NC. 2 miles. 

^More info about these bike trails from MountainTrue’s Housing and Transportation Director, Susan Bean: Experience Asheville’s newest complete street! Ride along a bikes-only protected path, separated from vehicle traffic on one side and pedestrians on an adjacent path — it’s a cyclist’s dream come true! Start at the Craven Street Bridge French Broad River Access and head south on the greenway along the river. This is a flat and scenic greenway that, for about a mile along Lyman St., becomes a complete street with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Once you get to the traffic light at Amboy Road, turn right to cross the bridge, then enter the French Broad River Park on the right to pick up the greenway again to head back downstream along the river’s opposite bank. Continue north, passing New Belgium Brewery just before another right turn on Craven Street Bridge to get you back to the parking lot for the river access where you started.

Elk Mountain – Town Mountain Loop from Asheville: This is a beautiful ride with a lot of elevation gain to get you from downtown Asheville all the way up to mountain views from the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). From the north side of Asheville, get on Elk Mountain Scenic Highway from Beaverdam Road. Then you climb over 1,500 feet in 7 miles to reach the BRP at Bull’s Gap. Turn right on the Parkway heading south and travel about 1.5 miles to Craven Gap, where you turn Right onto Town Mountain Road. There’s one last short climb on Town Mountain before enjoying a long, windy descent back into town.

Bent Creek Experimental Forest: Asheville, NC. Many trails with varying lengths are available.

DuPont State Recreational Forest: Transylvania & Henderson Counties, NC. Many trails with varying lengths are available.

Suggested paddles

French Broad Paddle Trail (French Broad River State Trail): Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe & Madison Counties, NC / Cocke County, TN. 140 miles. Click here for helpful trip suggestions on the French Broad Paddle Trail website. Click here for more info on the NC Trails website. 

Adventure Essential Checklists

Not sure what you should bring on your day hiking, biking, and paddling adventures? Check out these handy checklists from REI and make sure you have all the essentials you need for a safe, stress-free day out in the forest:


Check Out Our Participant's Guide

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2023 is the Year of the Trail!