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When the weather heats up in Charlotte, and it will soon, one of my favorite ways to cool off is to head for the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Even it’s just for a day, there’s something restorative about being at a higher altitude with an awe-inspiring view of the Blue Ridge.

Men’s Journal put out a list of ‘5 of the Best Full-Day Hikes in the U.S.’ According to the article, these five hikes “provide just enough challenge to make you feel a sense of accomplishment while overdelivering on scenery, vibes, and general epic-ness.” One of the five is here in North Carolina.

  1. Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop, NH
  2. Three Dunes Challenge, Indiana Dunes National Park, IN
  3. Lost Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
  4. Breakneck Ridge, NY
  5. Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain Loop, NC

The Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain Loop (top) is easy to find, just an hour southwest of Asheville off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It covers  roughly five miles with 360-degree views from the top of the surrounding mountains. You can also do a shorter 1.5-mile hike on Black Balsam Knob via the Art Loeb trail. The summits of both Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain are over 6,000 feet in elevation. See you up there!

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