6 Outdoor Adventures to Explore Without Leaving Asheville

The French Broad River provides plenty of fun through the heart of Asheville.
The French Broad River provides plenty of fun through the heart of Asheville. Melina Cooper
Made Possible by
Curated by

With school back in session and the days becoming noticeably shorter, there isn't always time to hit the road and head out to Pisgah, DuPont or the Parkway. Maybe you’re actively striving to lessen your carbon footprint, or you’re just plain sick of driving. Lucky for us, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to help get your fix of adrenaline and fun within Asheville’s city limits. Here are six ways to get moving without getting out of town.

1. Kolo Bike Park

Experiencing "kolo flow."
Experiencing "kolo flow." Emily Mills

Kolo Bike Park provides a great opportunity to squeeze a fun and dynamic ride into your work day without having to get on the highway. The park features four miles of expertly designed mountain bike trails, including berms, log bridges, tight turns and a pump track. Kolo is perfect for beginners who want to coast on rolling terrain (you can rent a bike on-site), experts looking to hone their technical skills...or any rider who just needs a break from the Pisgah commute.

2. Dare to Fly Trapeze

Take advantage of Asheville’s outdoor circus arts facility.
Take advantage of Asheville’s outdoor circus arts facility. Laura Bittner

Run away to the circus for the afternoon by visiting  Dare to Fly Trapeze , Asheville’s one and only outdoor circus arts facility. Experience for yourself the unique thrill of flying and the satisfaction and teamwork of a mid-air partner catch, all within a guaranteed safe and comfortable environment. Dare to Fly offers low-cost classes and workshops for all levels of flyers. Fitness gurus should check out the Swing Class, an unusual full-body workout that is pure enjoyment.

3. ClimbMax Climbing Center

A bouldering session is one of the best workouts you can possibly get.
A bouldering session is one of the best workouts you can possibly get. Andrew Oberhardt

ClimbMax indoor climbing center is conveniently located on historic Wall Street, right in the heart of bustling downtown Asheville. Spend the day checking out the boutiques, cafes, drum circles, and street performers for which this mountain town is so famous, then duck in for a bouldering session in the ClimbMax cave, or get a powerhouse workout on one of the multi-colored walls. Regardless of your strength, skill or experience, the rock gym will provide you with a space to hone your technique and have a good time, as well as the opportunity to connect with others in the climbing community.

4. Richmond Hill Disc Golf

Richmond Hill Park features a challenging 18-hole disc golf course.
Richmond Hill Park features a challenging 18-hole disc golf course. USAG- Humphreys

Richmond Hill Park, which overlooks a bend in the French Broad River, is one of the best places in the city to find solitude and serenity within a lush natural environment. Five miles of multi-use trails twist through a rolling hardwood forest, criss-crossing through clear streams along the way. The park also features an 18-hole disc golf course, well known for its rugged terrain, steep hillsides and long-distance shots. The course was built with serious players in mind (none of the baskets are easy!) but anyone will enjoy spending an afternoon immersed in the quiet, sun-dappled forest of Richmond Hill.

5. The French Broad River

Floating on the French Broad River.
Floating on the French Broad River. Melina Cooper

One of the most defining features of Asheville is the wide, silty  French Broad River —the third oldest river in the world—which flows between the River Arts District and the neighborhoods of West Asheville. For many people, its friendly and forgiving rapids are the “gateway drug” for all the incredible whitewater in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

At Ledges Park, you’ll find brand-new paddlers navigating the class II+ holes and micro-eddies alongside world-class athletes battling their way upstream at the weekly attainment race. For something a little more languid, sink into an inner tube and float your way to a riverside bar. Hop on a stand-up paddleboard with Mind Body Paddle, or try out a SUP yoga class and for a unique experience of strength, grace and balance. With ample opportunity to float and swim, there is no need to drive out of town to spend a beautiful day on the river.

6. South Slope Brewery Tour

The South Slope neighborhood features no fewer than seven craft breweries.
The South Slope neighborhood features no fewer than seven craft breweries. Andrew May photography

Within just a couple of city blocks, this industrial section of town boasts no fewer than seven craft breweries, with more slated to open in the near future. “Walking the ale trail” is a quintessential Asheville experience, and the perfect conclusion to a day exploring the adventurous side of the city.

Last Updated:

Next Up

Previous

Bicycle Sundays: Dreams Do Come True for New York City Cyclists

Next

From Gym to Crag: A Preview of ROCK Project Tour 2015 in Seattle