Walking through Warren Wilson


Sometimes, after you’ve hiked across the state, down to Florida and overseas, you discover a set of new trails in your neighborhood.

So it was Sunday, when I hiked with Carolina Mountain Club on the Warren Wilson College campus in Swannanoa.

Warren Wilson College is a small liberal arts, that was first set up as a Presbyterian mission school for boys. Slowly, it worked its way from offering basic education to a full-fledged four-year college. In the process, the college acquired a lot of land and now it boasts 25 miles of trail. Though the college doesn’t advertise its trails, it does allow the public to enjoy them. So we did. Here’s the trail map.

Warrenwilson-upthehillWe parked at Charles D. Owen Park, a Bumcombe County Park, off Warren Wilson College Road because the park has much more parking than the trail parking at the college.

The WW trails follow the Swannanoa River – see above. The trails are flat, easy and well-marked. On a warm Sunday, a lot of walkers, runners and dog walkers (on a leash, please) were about.

The hike took us past fields and farm buildings. On the way back, we took a detour closer to campus on a set of trails that went through a pine forest and by several found outdoor sculpture.

The hike was not heart-pumping but it would be great place to take children and adults “who usually don’t hike.” They wouldn’t need boots. The whole trail system was a great discovery.

Thank you Bobbi P, for leading this hike. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *