outdoor activities

11 Best Outdoor Activities in the Carolina Mountains

Top Outdoor Activities in the Carolina Mountains

From the blue-toned mountain tops offering panoramic vistas as far as the eye can see, to mature forests of native maple and oak trees, there’s something about the Carolina mountains that invites you to get outside and explore! With so many outdoor activities to participate in, it’s no wonder outdoor enthusiasts come from all over the country to discover our neck of the woods. 

Continue reading to discover the best outdoor activities to experience when in the mountains.

1. Hiking

Activities in the Carolina Mountains

Home to some of the most visited state and national parks, forests, and protected wilderness areas in the country, the Carolina mountains have endless miles of hiking trails to explore. Every hike takes you on an adventure that highlights the spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, and the beauty of the natural landscape. Hiking is not only a great way to stay physically active, but it is good for your soul. Whether you are a novice or a more experienced hiker looking for a challenge, there are unique trails for everyone to experience in the Carolina mountains. 

2. Mountain Biking

Activities in the Carolina Mountains

A more physically demanding outdoor activity to enjoy in the Carolina mountains is mountain biking. This thrilling sport is a great way to get a workout in while allowing you to appreciate the natural elements that surround you. Similar to hiking, there are also varying levels of mountain biking trails, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your experience level.   

3. Water Sports

Activities in the Carolina Mountains

If you’re looking for a way to cool off while spending time outdoors, consider water sports. In the Carolina mountains, the opportunities are endless! You can go for a swim at the base of a waterfall, or just get your toes wet in a crystal clear mountain lake. Swimming, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding are all fun activities that make it easy to explore hidden coves along lake shores. 

4. Camping

What better way to experience the outdoors than by living it? Today, going camping can be as rugged or as glamorous as you want it to be. So even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you can still take part in this outdoor adventure. In the Carolina mountains, there are several unique campgrounds to visit. A few of our favorite campgrounds are located near Asheville, in the Pisgah National Forest. Some are nestled in lush valleys, while others are set along lake shores, providing double the outdoor fun! 

5. Bird Watching 

The Carolinas have some of the best bird watching areas in the nation! While you’re out on the trails, keep your eyes open for a variety of different species of birds that call the Carolina mountains home. Some of the most common bird species to see are Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Eastern Bluebirds, and even Red-Tailed Hawks. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and a guidebook to identify and learn more about the birds you see.

6. Fishing

Carolina Mountains

Fishing within the Blue Ridge Mountains becomes a soul-soothing escape and a thrilling experience. The region’s winding streams and crystal-clear rivers play host to a diverse range of fish species, from rainbow and brown trout to smallmouth bass. The art of fly-fishing finds its natural home here, where casting a line becomes a harmonious dance with the currents. Beyond the catch, fishing in these mountains is an immersive experience –– a chance to disconnect, reconnect with nature, and find solace amidst the rustling leaves and babbling waters. 

Learn More: 7 Best Places to Go Fly Fishing in the Carolina Mountains

7. Wine Tours

Not considered your typical outdoor activity, a wine tour is a wonderful way to spend more time outdoors, while tasting local wines. Mountain vineyards not only produce flavorful fruit but also have beautiful scenery to admire, too. One of America’s most visited wineries is located at The Biltmore Estate. Here, you can take a guided tour of the facilities and taste some of their specialty wines. So go ahead and enjoy a glass, or two, while visiting one of the most beautiful homes in the country. 

Other charming mountain vineyards and wineries to visit in both North and South Carolina include Banner Elk Winery, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery, and Overmountain Vineyards

Related:10 Best Wineries in the Blue Ridge Mountains

8. Horseback Riding 

Carolina Mountains

Another entertaining outdoor activity all members of the family can partake in is horseback riding. Making your way through the mountains on horseback is a unique way to experience the natural elements. Numerous riding trails can take you through old farm fields and valleys of wildflowers, as well as acres of shady, wooded trails.

9. Golfing

Mountain golf courses make an already splendid outdoor activity even more enjoyable. When designed well, these courses blend in with the natural landscape, all while accentuating the best mountain views in the area. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the Carolina mountains have a temperate climate, making it delightful to spend time on the courses throughout the entire year.

10. Racquet Sports

Carolina Mountains

In the Carolina Mountains, tennis and pickleball flourish against a backdrop of natural beauty. Tennis courts offer elegance and competition amidst lush greens, while pickleball’s accessibility and camaraderie thrive in the mountain air. Both sports unite players in friendly matches and local tournaments, fostering community bonds. Amidst changing seasons, these sports offer a chance to stay active, connect, and revel in the mountains’ splendor.

Outdoor Activities at The Cliffs

With so many outdoor activities to choose from, it can be hard to pick just one. Luckily at The Cliffs, you don’t have to! When you decide to call one of our seven private residential club communities home, all of the amenities the Carolina Mountains have to offer are right in your backyard. Within our own gates are miles of private hiking and mountain biking trails, private lakefront beaches and vineyards, and access to horseback riding trails. It’s no wonder outdoor exploration is such a fundamental part of life at The Cliffs.

Each of our communities boasts world-class golf courses, designed by some of the top golfers and architects the game has ever seen, wellness centers, and clubhouse facilities, exclusively for members at The Cliffs. Here, members also have the opportunity to join private social clubs. These clubs open the door for members to pursue new interests and develop life-long friendships.

Embrace a Life of Outdoor Recreation at The Cliffs

Embracing a life of outdoor recreation at The Cliffs is an invitation to unlock a world of adventure, serenity, and fulfillment. Located in the heart of nature’s grandeur, The Cliffs’ seven luxury communities offer an unparalleled playground for enthusiasts and explorers alike. 

With some properties located high on the mountain tops, showcasing views as far as the eye can see and others tucked along the sandy shores of Lake Keowee, there are a wide variety of luxury homes available –– making it easy to find one that suits your lifestyle.

If you are interested in becoming a part of our community, feel free to browse our online catalog of homes and homesites, or contact our team to learn more.
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This post was originally written in September 2020 and rewritten in September 2023.

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