xplorie Hikes

xplorie Hikes with Wildland Trekking

See the splendor of the Great Smoky or Blue Ridge Mountains on a Naturalist-led Hiking Adventure

Choose from our half-day and full-day hikes that showcase the wonders of Appalachia! Learn from your guide about the amazing ecology and history of this region, as the landscape comes to life through stories of current and past inhabitants. Soak up amazing views and stunning scenery!

Hikes include:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, friendly wilderness guide.
  • A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, and informative as the guest desires and is possible in a day
  • Picnic lunch prepared by your guide (full-day hike only)
  • Trail snacks
  • Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and emergency communication device

Charlies Bunion

5-7 hours • 9MI/14KM • Moderately Strenuous • Year Round

From Gatlinburg: 16 miles

Price: $155 Per Person

Description

This exciting Smoky Mountains day hike offers stunning hiking on the Appalachian Trail, amazing views from an exposed ridge, and a unique rock outcropping. You’ll meet your Wildland Trekking hiking guide at the Newfound Gap parking lot and embark on your hike from there. Our route climbs for the first couple miles while we’re rewarded with a dense beautiful spruce-fir forest and then incredible views of distant Blue Ridge mountains. Much of our hike follows a narrow ridge traversing the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, with breathtaking 360-degree views at Charlies Bunion. We’ll soak up the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, which include Mount Kephart and Mount Guyot. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, and eventually make our way back to our starting point to complete our Appalachian Trail hike.

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM in the Newfound Gap Parking Lot (https://goo.gl/maps/VLy2T2eEGxLTqxNs9). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

 


 

Ramsey Cascades

5-7 hours • 8MI/13KM • Strenous • Year Round

From Gatlinburg: 11 miles

Price: $155 Per Person

Description

This Great Smoky Mountains day hike brings you to one of the Park’s most popular and tallest waterfalls. Along the way to this spectacular waterfall we’ll enjoy hiking through the park’s largest intact old growth forest and experiencing firsthand the biodiversity. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the base of the waterfall and then will turn back to end the day’s hike where we began. A perfect hike for the nature lover to come see why the Smokies are an unforgettable destination!

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM in the Greenbrier Picnic Area (https://goo.gl/maps/GGGRJXGbd6uYTsdn9). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

 


 

Lonesome Pine Overlook

3-5 hours • 7MI/11KM • Moderately Strenuous • Year Round

From Bryson City: 3 miles

Price: $85 Per Person

Description

For those staying in Bryson City, this day hike is right outside the town limits and offers great views of the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains. Starting the hike as we gradually ascend, we travel through beautiful second growth forests as we make our way up the ridgeline to expansive views of the surrounding mountains. This is an exhilarating half day hike for some solitude and views of the southern region of the Smokies and Nantahala.

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM in the Noland Divide Trailhead (https://goo.gl/maps/VZcAwBaF7J11JHZp7). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

 


 

Tennent Mountain Loop

3-5 hours • 5MI/8KM • Easy • Apr-Nov

From Asheville: 26 miles

Price: $85 Per Person

Description

The Tennent Mountain – Black Balsam area has some of the best hiking in the amazing mountains surrounding Asheville and provides the opportunity to summit two difference 6,000-foot peaks. It is a loop hike so we’ll experience new scenery throughout this half day hike. Our first views come early after only 1 mile as we reach the summit of Black Balsam Knob at 6,214’. Here we get to see the endless expanse of ridges and valleys that are iconic to the famous Appalachian Mountains. Our next summit is Tennent Mountain, 6056’, where more stunning views await. Our turn-around spot is on the edge of the Shining Rock Wilderness at Ivestor Gap. Here we’ll enjoy a rest, while enjoying more views, before completing our loop hike back to the trailhead.

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM in the Black Balsam Knob parking lot off of Blue Ridge Parkway (https://goo.gl/maps/SPqn7MvTa6D8FiWdA). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

 


 

Looking Glass Rock

3-6 hours • 7MI/11KM • Moderately Strenuous • Year Round

From Asheville: 33 miles

Price: $85 Per Person

Description

This is one of the classic hikes in the Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Mountains. Looking Glass Rock is one of the most iconic mountains in the Asheville area and one that offers phenomenal hiking, spectacular views, and a summit you’ll never forget. Our half day hike to the summit of this monolith takes us along idyllic mountain streams; through classic Appalachian forests with hemlocks, rhododendron and mountain laurel bushes; and finally to the rock slabs that define the upper reaches of the mountain. We pass though diverse forests and ecosystems on our way to the top and will keep sharp eyes out for wildlife and unique birds. After reaching the summit our efforts will be rewarded with massive, sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. After a rest here, we will descend back down the slabs, forests, and creeks to our starting point.

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM at the Pisgah Ranger Station & Visitor Center (https://goo.gl/maps/GjECpyw4uQQ3DhFE9). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

 


 

Shining Rock Loop

7-10 hours • 7MI/11KM • Moderately Strenuous • Apr-Nov

From Asheville: 26 miles

Price: $155 Per Person

Description

Shining Rock Wilderness is a breathtaking area in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville that offers absolutely fantastic hiking, sightseeing and exploration. This full day hiking tour begins with meeting your guide at the trailhead. Our hike is a wonderful loop allowing for new scenery throughout the day. Our first views come early after only 1 mile as we reach the summit of Black Balsam Knob at 6,214’. We will soak up the phenomenal view of ridges and valleys that are iconic to the Appalachian Mountains. Our next summit is Tennent Mountain at 6056’, where more expansive views await us. Our hike then takes us in and out of Balsam Fir groves and along grassy meadows full of blueberry and blackberry bushes to the highlight of the day – the brilliant quartz-capped summit of Shining Rock Mountain at 6,040’. Here we’ll enjoy a lunch provided and prepared by your guide before we continue our loop, dropping us out of the mountains back to our trailhead.

Meeting Time/Location

8AM-9AM in the Black Balsam Knob parking lot off of Blue Ridge Parkway (https://goo.gl/maps/SPqn7MvTa6D8FiWdA). Your guide will be in contact prior to the hike to coordinate exact meeting time and location.

Tour Details

What's Included

Hikes include:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, friendly wilderness guide.
  • A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, and informative as the guest desires and is possible in a day (or half day)
  • Trail snacks
  • Picnic lunch prepared by your guide (full-day hikes only)
  • Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and emergency communication device

A Note About Lunches

Full-day hikes include energizing trail snacks and a delicious picnic lunch. Your guide will customize the food for your hike, but a typical lunch consists of gourmet sandwiches or wraps, fruit, veggies, chips, drinks and a dessert. On wintery or cold days you may be treated to soup or a hot, freshly cooked lunch (if you’d prefer a hot meal, please let us know!) We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to and from the hike meeting place
  • Personal hiking attire: Lightweight hiking shoes or hiking boots, Waterproof rain jacket or poncho, Warm wool or fleece top (Spring, Fall, Winter), Warm hat and gloves (Spring, Fall, Winter)
  • Water bottles or bladder (2-3 liters total capacity)
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, personal items
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20%)

Max Group Size

The max group size for these hikes is 8 guests and the Wildland Trekking guide.

Physical Requirements

In general for all day hike tour offerings, participants should:

  • be active and healthy
  • exercise at least twice per week
  • be comfortable hiking 6-10 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with varying elevation gain and loss with a 5-10 lb backpack and taking occasional breaks

Cancellation and Refund Policy

A 50% refund will be issued if the tour is cancelled with 48 hours or more notice. Less than 48 hours before the tour, there is no refund.