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