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Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

Austin, Texas
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Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

Myself and a couple friends are thinking about a trip up to North Carolina for around 9 days/nights in early August. We live in Texas so we're used to heat/humidity (although that doesn't mean we like it). Our interests while around Asheville would lie more with outdoorsy stuff - hiking and such. Please help with any ideas and recommendations. The goal is to spend roughly half our time in the mountains and the other half on the beach. Initial thoughts are:

Day 1 - Early afternoon flight into Charlotte. Pick up rental car and drive west to Cherokee for the night.

Day 2 - Want to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail, that's why we are thinking about staying in Cherokee. Are we better off staying elsewhere? Is there a nice portion of the trail that would be recommended (maybe 5-7 miles roundtrip)? If not, we would probably just head over to Clingmans Dome. Stay night in Asheville.

Day 3 - Morning drive to Hot Springs to hike Max Patch. Anything else recommended instead (and in addition to)? Visit Asheville rest of the day. Stay night in Asheville.

Day 4 - Drive to Boone via Blueridge Parkway. Stop at Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell (and others). Stay night in Boone.

Day 5 - Kayak somewhere around Boone (maybe New River?). Visit Boone area. Stay night in Boone.

Day 6 - Travel day to get to the Outer Banks. Stay night in Nags Head (or any other recommendation?). Maybe I should post in that forum.

Day 7 - Visit Outer Banks and relax on beach. Stay night in Nags Head.

Day 8 - Visit Outer Banks and relax on beach. Stay night in Nags Head.

Day 9 - Travel day back to Charlotte for the night before flying out the next morning.


- Any little hikes that we could add in on Day 3 around Hot Springs? Is there a better area to visit instead?

- After kayaking in Boone on Day 5, any other ideas to fill time? Short hikes or viewpoints to visit?

- Any other do's and don'ts?


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1. Re: Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

You could stay in Manteo. There are great places to kayak in the sound and around the alligator river national wildlife refuge near the outer banks.

if The Lost Colony outdoor play is being presented when you are there, go see it! Something unique to OBX.

North Carolina
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2. Re: Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

Hot Springs is a good choice for hiking part of the AT - the trail goes right through the town. If you hike the 'Lover's Leap Loop' (exploreasheville.com/things-to-do/…) and also Max Patch (the place is magical!), you will have done about 4 Mi on the AT. Of course you can also do more of the trail in Smoky Mountain National Park Here's a link with info about the hikes at Newfound Gap (Clingman's Dome area). http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/location.htm

There are plenty of other hikes in the mountains near Asheville (not on the AT). In the Graveyard Fields area (along the BRP), you could hike on the Art Loeb Trail to Ivestor Gap. Beautiful ridgetop hiking (over Black Balsam and Tennant Mountains) and great views - about a 5 mile loop if you return on the Ivestor Gap trail. Plenty of other good hiking in that area, too.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 16:41
Raleigh, North...
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3. Re: Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

You are driving quite a ways to get to Nag's Head and then again to get back to Charlotte. If your interest is in relaxing at the beach, I think you might want to check out Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington. It has, in my opinion, better restaurants and is more compact and easier to get around in than NH. Most important, it saves you about 3 hours of driving time.

While in Boone, I think the best kayaking is in Todd, about 15 minutes from Boone.

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4. Re: Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

I'd skip going all the way to Cherokee and stay that first night in asheville. Downtown is fun - have dinner there and pick up the AT outside of asheville the next morning. Or graveyard fields, pisgah forest, DuPont falls...tons of great hiking right outside asheville.

Edited: 01 March 2014, 13:47
5. Re: Mini Road Trip Questions - Asheville/Boone/Outer Banks

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