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Urban Trail

The Asheville Urban Trail is a 1.7 mile self guided walking tour downtown. This trail highlights the unique architecture, historic events, people, and culture of the city. The trail is divided into five distinct eras, each of which has a a symbol:the feather represents the Guilded Age; the horseshoe represents the Frontier Period; an angel for the Times of Thomas Wolfe; the courthouse for the Era of Civic Pride; and an eagle for the Age of Diversity.

Learn the legends and lore of our city while enjoying the outdoors, and Asheville’s beautiful skyline, streets and sculptures. When walking, look for the symbols carved into large pink granite blocks that have been placed in the sidewalk. All street crosswalks for the trail are clearly marked for ease of use. There are a total of 30 stations, and each station is complete with a plaque and/or piece of art that describes the station and location. Many of the stations, such as #9, the Cat Walk can be enhanced by enjoying the shopping and other opportunities offered along the way.

You can get a map of the urban trail for free at many locations downtown, including Pack Place and the Visitors Center. You can also download and print a version yourself: click here for the printer version


Begin the Urban Trail at Pack Place (See map above)

If you want to enhance your urban trail experience, you can download an MP3 voice guided tour of the urban trail. Put the music files on your mp3 player to listen and enjoy while experiencing each station. If you are viewing the urban trail through your computer, simply press the audio30px  image to play the audio that accompanies each station.
1. audio30px   Walk into History: George Willis Pack
2. audio30px  Crossroads: Turkeys & Pigs (removed for Pack Square renovations)
3. audio30px   Stepping Out: Bronze Top Hat
4. audio30px  O.Henry: Plaque in sidewalk
5. audio30px  Immortal Image: Dr Humor Building
6. audio30px  Elizabeth Blackwell, MD: Iron bench with a bower of medicinal herbs
7. audio30px  Art Deco Masterpiece: S&W Building
8. audio30px  Flat Iron Architecture: Giant flat iron
9. audio30px  Cat Walk: Cat on wall
10. audio30px  Grove’s Vision: Grove Arcade
11. audio30px  Historic Hilltop: Battery Park Hotel
12. audio30px  Guastavino’s Monument: Basilica of St. Lawrence
13. audio30px  Appalachian Stage: Bronze fiddle and quilt on bench and five bronze figures of dancers and musicians in front of  the US Cellular Center (formerly known as the Civic Center)
14. audio30px  Shopping Daze: Abstract, forged metal representation of three ladies shopping
15. audio30px  Marketplace: Bronze bonnet and basket of apples on bench
16. audio30px  Legacy of Design: Bench and young boy, Richard Sharp Smith
17. audio30px  Woodfin House: Ceramic replica of YMCA
18. audio30px  Wolfe’s Neighborhood: Metal sculpture with Thomas Wolfe’s
19. audio30px  Dixieland: Bronze replica of Thomas Wolfe’s shoes in front of Thomas Wolfe Memorial
20. audio30px  Curtain Calls: Abstract metal sculptures mounted on building
21. audio30px  On the Move: Art in motion sculpture with history of transportation. Turn wheel to hear 11 different sounds.
22. audio30px  Civic Pride: Historic bell from City Hall.
23. audio30px  Past and Promise: Little girl drinks at a horse-head fountain
24. audio30px  Man and Mountain: Plaque
25. audio30px  Ellington’s Dream: Granite etching of city-county buildings by Douglas Ellington
26. audio30px  Time Remembered: Plaque covers bicentennial time capsule
27. audio30px  Monument Corner: Bronze carving tools and carving
28.audio30px   Brick Artisan: James Vester Miller, cornucopia over the doorway
29.audio30px   “The Block:” Bronze wall sculpture for historic African-American community
30.audio30px   Hotel District: Bronze eagle overlooks early hotel district