Asheville’s proximity, snuggled into the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides guests to this Asheville Bed and Breakfast easy access via car and no shortage of opportunities to see the rolling landscape from the crest of the mountains that run primarily southwest – northeast. North on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell. A short drive north from Asheville (24 miles from downtown) will take you up about 3,000 feet in elevation to Craggy Gardens and their Visitor Center (where you can pick up a trail map) with great views to the east and to the west. There is a large picnic area and a short hike to the top of Craggy Pinnacle. Continue north on the Parkway for nine miles and turn left onto N.C. 128 to Mount Mitchell State Park. This peak, the highest east of the Mississippi River, provides 360 degree sweeping views. In addition to expansive views, the Park offers an observation tower, hiking trails, picnic areas, a natural history museum and a restaurant. You can return to Asheville via the same route.
South on the Blue Ridge Parkway: Mount Pisgah and Graveyard Fields. Drive south on the Parkway for a gradual climb with lots of tunnels and beautiful vistas. About 15 miles from Asheville is Mount Pisgah, a favorite hiking and picnic spot. The Pisgah Inn there offers good food and views from 5,000 feet in their restaurant that is open from April-October. Continue another 10 miles to Graveyard Fields (another popular hiking spot). Just before Graveyard Fields are great views of Looking Glass Rock. Return the same route back if you want a leisurely return or drop off the Parkway via Rt. 276 to Brevard (stopping for ice cream before taking Rt. 180 back toward I-26 and Asheville.
Cold Mountain Loop
This approximately 85-mile loop drive is a beautiful, hilly, curvy drive through a very rural area around Cold Mountain, made famous by the novel and major motion picture. From Asheville, travel south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. To view the famous peak, stop at Cold Mountain overlook at Milepost 411.9. (The views from the overlook are spotty with overgrown trees blocking most of the view. For the best view, go to the Wagon Gap Road Parking area at Milepost 412.2. Then walk back north on the Parkway a short distance.) At Milepost 423.2, take N.C. Highway 215 north for 13 miles. If you want to drive an extra 8 miles roundtrip to go to the base of the hiking trail, turn right onto Little East Fork Road. Views of the mountain here are very limited. Back at N.C. 215, continue for 5 miles. N.C. 215 will turn into Highway 110. Continue 5.3 miles. In Canton, turn right onto U.S. Highway 19/23 north. Turn left onto Church Street, and right on Newfound Road. Go 1.6 miles to I-40 East to return to Asheville.
Black Mountain Rag to Chimney Rock
Take exit 64 off Interstate 40 at Black Mountain to follow the Black Mountain Rag, a scenic route named for an old fiddle tune about the dark green Lauada Firs that give the Black Mountains their name. In musical terms, a “rag” is a tune with multiple twists and curves up and down the scales. This scenic route twists and turns through the mountains like the music itself. Coming from Asheville, turn right off the exit ramp at Black Mountain and follow N.C. 9 south towards Bat Cave. The road winds along the Rocky Broad River, joining Hickory Nut Creek near the intersection of U.S. 64, U.S. 74 and N.C. 9 at Bat Cave. Turn left and follow N.C. 9/ U.S. 64 east to the village of Chimney Rock. At Chimney Rock Park you can drive to the top of the Chimney overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge. Continue past Chimney Rock to see beautiful Lake Lure. Turn around at Lake Lure and head back. Instead of returning via N.C. 9 in Bat Cave, follow signs for U.S. 74 back to Asheville.