Plan Your Post-Yoga Hiking Adventures Near Asheville
So you’ve already done (or are planning to do) a yoga hike with us and are ready to relax and soak up the scenery afterwards. Or maybe you want to explore a bit more and log some more miles on the trails. Or your tummy’s bound to start grumbling and you have to put a stop to it before you get “hangry.”
Here is a list of suggestions we have for making the most of the time after your yoga hike including our favorite brunch spots, picnic areas and scenic views. And we recommend brushing up on the 7 principles of Leave No Trace to keep our natural treasures intact.
Namaste & Have A Great Day!
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a spectacularly scenic paved road stretching about 469 miles (755 km) along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Virginia and North Carolina between Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Places to Picnic
There are several places to stop and admire the view or enjoy your pre-packed lunch along the Parkway. The best sites for picnicking near our yoga hike location include:
John Rock Overlook at milepost 419.4
Mount Pisgah Picnic Area at milepost 407.8
Mills River Overlook at milepost 404.5
Best Brunch Spot
408 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Canton, NC 28716 • Map • (828) 235-8228
Open April 1 - October 31
The Pisgah Inn is the only restaurant on the BRP with amazing views from the dining room and balcony. The first Pisgah Inn opened around 1918 and development of the modern Pisgah Inn began in the early 1960s. The Country Store at Mt. Pisgah is the only place on the Parkway to buy groceries and snacks for a picnic.
Breakfast is served 7:30AM-10:30AM, Lunch from 11:30AM-4:00PM and Dinner from 5:00PM-9:00PM and seating is first-come, first-served (no reservations). Lunch includes appetizers, entrees, salads and sandwiches including vegetarian options. They also serve beer and wine.
I highly recommend the Blue Ridge Mountain Beet Salad comprised of beets, goat cheese, shaved fennel, apple, candied pecans, and Balsamic reduction on a bed of fresh mixed greens.
Sam Knob is a 2.2-mile round-trip easy-moderate trail that starts from the parking lot we use for the yoga hike. It starts past the bathroom down an old road and down a boardwalk towards a tree covered ascent. There is a rocky peak with lovely views at the top.
The Art Loeb Trail is a 30-mile hiking trail located in Pisgah National Forest and was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of the 30 Best North American Hikes. You can do day trips to different sections or pack your gear and camp out in the wilderness overnight. More info about this trail on Romantic Asheville.
The Mountains to Sea Trail rambles an impressive 935 miles from Smoky Mountains National Park through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks. Several day hikes are accessible in & around the BRP. More info on Romantic Asheville.
Devil’s Courthouse is a half-mile strenuous, steeply inclined hike located at milepost 422.4 on the BRP. The trail starts from the overlook parking area next to the mountain and is mostly paved. It’s a short, tough climb but worth it for the views from the top!
Graveyard Fields is located at milepost 418.8 on the BRP and has a short ⅓ mile hike from the parking lot (with restrooms) along a paved trail and boardwalk to the lovely Lower Falls.
This trail is located in the Hot Springs, NC area west of Asheville near the Tennessee border.
Places to Picnic
You can pack a picnic and enjoy it (and the view) up on the bald. Just make sure to Leave No Trace and pack out everything you brought with you.
There’s also a nice picnic area in the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area with a few tables near the Harmon Den Horse Campground.
Best Brunch Spot
24 South Andrew Ave. Hot Springs, NC 28743 • Map •
Open Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-9pm & Friday and Saturday 11:30am-10pm
This restaurant and tavern features a massive fireplace, full service bar/tavern and serves lunch daily from 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM and dinner after that (no reservations). Lunch includes appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, paninis including vegetarian options and they are happy to accommodate other special diets. You may find live events and music here in the evenings. The original Inn was built in 1929 and most recently restored in 2005.
Trails that connect to the Max Patch Loop include Lemon Gap (about 10.6 miles total rated difficult) and the Appalachian Trail Carolina Mountain Climb (about 94.1 miles total rated moderate). Chestnut Ridge Road (about 8.7 miles rated easy) and Brown Gap Road (about 7.7 miles total) are located nearby across the border in TN. Of course you don’t have to hike the entire trails.
Find more info about these trails on The Hiking Project.
There are also horse and hiking trails in the Harmon Den Wildlife Management Area. This includes about 40 miles for hiking and 14 miles of trails designated for horseback riding Trails include the 5.4-mile Buckeye Ridge, 2.6-mile Cherry Ridge, 2.5 mile Robert Gap and 3.6-mile Cold Springs Trails.
Download the All Trails app to plan & guide additional adventures.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If you keep heading west for an hour or so, you’ll be in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is one of the largest (over 522,000 acres) the most visited National Park in America (yep - even more than Yellowstone) and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is an abundance of hiking, history, sightseeing and fishing here.
315 Bridge Street, Hot Springs, NC 28743 • Call 828.622.7676 for Reservations
Naturally heated mineral water (actually more warm then hot in actual temperature) is pumped into jetted outdoor hot tubs that are drained and cleaned between each use. Call 828.622.7676 for reservations in advance as these fill up fast. Three different hotels were built and burned down here between 1832 and 1977 until the current property was established in 1990.
Old Fort is the actual town where the waterfall is located. Black Mountain is a super cute little town on your way back towards Asheville from the falls. We recommend stopping here to have a look around and a bite to eat.
Places to Picnic
There’s a nice picnic area in Old Fort north of town at the intersection of Old US Hwy 70 and Mill Creek Road near Swannanoa Creek. The area includes parking, greenspaces, restrooms and picnic tables.
Best Brunch Spot
207 W State St, Black Mountain, NC 28711 • 828-357-5656
Open daily 11 AM - 10 PM, Year round
Yummy, affordable appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, dinner entrees, vegetarian options and desserts. Also serves wine and local craft beers.
Dishes are named after famous trails in the area. My personal favorite is the Appalachian Trail salad: chickpeas tossed in lemon and honey over grilled kale, pickled onions, roasted pepper coulis and goat cheese.
Point Lookout Trail Greenway
This 3.6 mile paved walking & biking trail is located near the Old Fort Picnic Area (see above). Here you can enjoy some nice forest, railroad and mountain views.
Read this post from Romantic Asheville for more info.
Hiking Trails in Montreat
The word "Montreat" is a combo of Mountain + Retreat encompassing a town, college, and Presbyterian conference center. There are a variety of easy, moderate and difficult trails in the Montreat area in Black Mountain. Here is a Hike WNC link to a pretty comprehensive list of options.
Download the All Trails app to plan & guide your additional adventures.
Here are a few more posts you might find interesting/helpful when planning your Asheville adventure!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Asheville? (Weather, Nature & Outdoors)
108 Health Benefits Of Yoga, Meditation, Hiking & Nature
Ultimate Asheville Yoga Travel Guide and Tourism Tips 2019
Everything You Need To Know to Plan The Best Asheville Bachelorette Party, Birthday Party or Girls Weekend Getaway
Top 10 Alternative, Cool & Affordable Things To Do in Asheville