Hiking / Trails

More than 34 miles of private, groomed hiking trails and miles of former logging roads, provide endless opportunity for adventure.

No Other Community Comes Close

Balsam has one of the most impressive trail systems anywhere in the South.

The trails provide one of the best forms of exercise on the Preserve, but they are just as valuable for bird watching and reconnecting with family.

Residents note that the trail system is one of their favorite amenities on the Preserve: walking in deep woods under the tree canopy, watching for deer, smelling the aroma of the forest botanicals, and admiring the Carolina blue sky through the trees. Some of the trails meander into the Nantahala National Forest—a 500,000-acre playground which forms the Preserve’s southern border.

With backgrounds in zoology, ornithology, and botany, our naturalists offer guided hikes on the Preserve’s trail system all year long. Watch your children’s or grandchildren’s eyes light up the first time they see a wild turkey or turn over a rock to discover a colorful salamander!