The national parks like Pisgah and Great Smoky Mountains get a lot of attention around Asheville, but there are some truly incredible state and private parks that are just as worthy of a visit.
The Lookout Trail [Lookout Rd, Montreat, NC 28757] is located at Montreat Conference Center, less than half an hour from Asheville. From the small parking lot follow the yellow blazes up the mountain. It is a short trail, 1.2 RT out and back, with a 1,000’ elevation gain. The woods are peaceful and incorporate many stairs.
Along the way we spotted a beautiful little snake gliding along the path.
When you are near to the summit, the real fun begins. There is a short and sweet, yet challenging rock scramble to conquer.
Once you make your way to the rocky outcrop the views are exceptional.
While the hike is short, it really does have a lot to offer. It is a perfect compromise if you want to get a good workout, some views, and not wander too far off from the city.
Good to know: the retreat also offers a small lake for paddle boating and a pool for a minimal price.