8 Unusual Outdoor Activities Unique to the Asheville Area
Western North Carolina - and Asheville in particular - is a popular destination for all kinds of classic outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, tubing, rock climbing and the list goes on. There are lots of great companies here that offer awesome experiences in these areas or you can explore national but here are a few suggestions if you want to try weird and wonderful activities that you can’t find or do anywhere else.
Yoga Hiking / Namaste in Nature
If you like yoga, meditation and hiking, you’ll love this mindful multitasking experience that combines all three in under 3 hours! We use four different locations approximately an hour’s drive (or less) from Asheville that include some of the best waterfall or mountain vista views in Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest. Our local yoga hiking guides provide mats for you to use and take pictures for free! Book your spot on one of our weekend yoga hikes or book a private group for your birthday, bachelorette party or girls weekend getaway.
Mountain Zipline / Navitat Canopy Adventures
I’ve done plenty of ziplining in treetops but zipping between peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains is one of my most memorable experiences to date. Navitat Canopy Adventures is located in Barnardsville, an easy drive less than 30 minutes from downtown Asheville.
Firefly Tours / Asheville Hiking Tours
Western North Carolina is known as one of very few places in the world where you can see both Blue Ghost Fireflies and Synchronous Fireflies. The only time they are visible is mid-May through Mid-June during their mating seasons. Asheville Hiking Tours will pick you up in downtown Asheville and drive you to a secret spot to see these bioluminescent beauties. They also offer great waterfall, hiking and overnight camping tours!
Bellyaking / Bellyak
If you love kayaking, you might want to give bellyaking a try. It’s basically a kayak that you lay down on and paddle similar to a surfboard. They were invented by Adam Masters right here in Western North Carolina. Take an Intro to Whitewater Bellyak class at Tuckasegee Gorge in Dillsboro NC (about an hour’s drive from Asheville) on select Saturdays or look for them at local festival and events!
Custom Adventures & Van Life / NCLine Adventures
Whether you’re new to outdoor activities or just don’t want to do all the work, check out NCLine Adventures. Greg creates custom adventures for you and your family/friends including epic hikes, camping, wedding elopements and more! He also has a tricked out sprinter van if you’ve been wanting to give #vanlife a try, where you can comfortably sleep under the stars and wake up to a spectacular mountain sunrise. Find out about more unique things to do or see here on his Experience Asheville podcast.
Wild Food Foraging Tours / No Taste Like Home
No Taste Like Home boasts the #1 food foraging tour in the world which has been based in Asheville for 25 years. With over 300 wild edibles, the Asheville area is the second richest temperate ecosystem on Earth. They specialize in forage-to-table adventures located within 15-45 minutes of downtown Asheville and the Wild Food Stroll at the Omni Grove Park Inn.
Glamping / Asheville Glamping
There is no shortage of hotels, AirBNBs and campgrounds where you can rest up at night but I’ve never seen anything else like Asheville Glamping. And if this is your first time hearing the word, glamping = glamorous camping. Spend at least a couple nights in a yurt, bell tent, tipi, vintage airstream trailer, tree house or dome ideal for stargazing. The farther you can book in advance, the better!
Primitive & Survival Skills / Holistic Survival School
Have you ever wanted to dabble in Earth-based skills like foraging, pottery, leather book binding, drum making, hide-tanning and other primitive, ancestral or indiginous skills? Check out the Holistic Survival School (HoSS) founded by Luke McLaughlin located on 45 acres in Weaverville, NC, around 20 minutes north of Asheville. Check out their calendar for all kinds of private classes, youth class, internships and work trade opportunities.
Do you know of any other cool or alternative things to do in Asheville? Let us know in the comments!