Get ready to explore the natural beauty of Buncombe County’s great outdoors like never before! Buncombe County Parks & Recreation is thrilled to announce Woodland Wonder Walks, a series of guided hiking tours, designed for both nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. These immersive tours will take you through some of the area’s most stunning trails, offering a unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about local ecosystems and plants, get some steps in, and create new friendships.
1. Collier Cove Trail: Beginning at the Collier Cove parking area, the trail offers an adventure through the beautiful wooded scenery and provides the perfect getaway into nature. From seasonal wildflowers to a variety of fungi and beautiful tree canopies, this adventure is a treat to the senses.
Difficulty level: Due to steep portions, this hike is recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers.
Length: 1.5-2 miles
Elevation gain: 800 feet.
Date: Wednesday, September 13 at 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Registration will end on Tuesday, September 12. Register here.
2. Warren Wilson River Trail: Beginning at the Charles D. Owen parking area, this hike runs along the pristine Swannanoa river. In addition to the river, there will be sightings of gorgeous rock formations, a rhododendron forest, flowers and a breathtaking bamboo forest. With ample natural shade from the surrounding hardwoods, guests will stay cool while walking along the mostly flat dirt trail.
Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate.
Length: 5.3 miles
Elevation gain: 118 feet
Date: Wednesday, October 18 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m. Registration will end on Tuesday, October 17. Register here.
3. Craggy Gardens Loop: Featuring scenic overlooks of the enchanting Blue Ridge Mountains, clouds, wildflowers, and a meadow, this hiking loop promises a dreamy experience that will fill your imagination with wonder.
Difficulty level: Experienced beginner to intermediate.
Length: 2.20 miles
Elevation gain: 525 feet
Date: Monday, October 30 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration will end on Friday, October 27. Register here.
4. Montreat Loop: From a rewarding overlook of the Seven Sisters Ridge and Swannanoa Valley to a beautiful variety of ferns, fungi, and thick canopy coverage, this loop offers a cool and peaceful adventure through the beautiful forest. All participants will get parking instructions emailed to them a week prior to the hike.
Difficulty level: Beginner to intermediate. The Lookout Trail portion consists of steep inclines with mild rock scrambling, but the remainder of the walk consists of a gentle climb.
Elevation gain: 439 feet
Date: Wednesday, November 15 from 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Registration will end on Tuesday, November 14. Register here.
What to Bring Hiking:
- Daypack or backpack
- Water bottle
- Trail Snacks
- Weather-appropriate clothing (The temperature and wind can change with elevation, so moisture-wicking shirts and layers are recommended).
- Hiking boots or close-toed shoes.
- Insect repellant
Optional Hiking Supplies:
- Trekking poles are recommended for additional support during steep portions of the hikes.
- Hat or bandana
To participate, simply register here. Although these hikes are free of charge, early registration is required to secure your spot. Please note that moderate physical capabilities are required, as some of the trails feature steep portions.
Please be advised that while wildlife may be encountered, Buncombe County Parks & Recreation is prepared for these circumstances. In addition, traveling in a group offers even more safety.
"These guided hiking tours are a fantastic opportunity to explore Buncombe County’s great outdoors while offering the safety of group hiking where friendships can also be made with fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” states program coordinator, Mac Stanley.
Register now and join us for unforgettable guided hiking tours that will awaken your sense of adventure and appreciation for the stunning landscapes found within Buncombe County.
For more information on Buncombe County Parks & Recreation, please visit our website or call us at (828) 250-4260.