The Asheville Urban Trail is a 1.7 mile self-guided walking tour that celebrates the art, architecture and history of Asheville. There are 30 stops on the tour that loops through the historic downtown area. The entire tour takes about two hours, and there’s a lot more to see along the tour besides the designated stops.
There are five sections of the tour, each marked with its own unique symbol carved into pink granite and embedded in the side walks. This is the beautiful angel symbol that marks the Thomas Wolfe section.
The first section of the tour celebrates the city’s pre-depression boom. A few of the highlights are the Grove Arcade, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the huge Flat Iron sculpture.
Another section of the trail celebrates Asheville’s most famous son, Thomas Wolfe. Among the stops in this section are the “Dixieland,” a bronze replica of Wolfe’s size thirteen shoes, a wonderful abstract sculpture on the side of the Asheville Community Theater, and a beautiful art deco sculpture honoring the history of transportation. The central wheel on this sculpture can be rotated.
There are also many places and items of interest that are not official stops on the trail. The Buncombe County Courthouse is a beautiful art deco structure and you’ll pass The Old Kentucky Home, Thomas Wolfe’s mother’s boarding house where the author spent much of his youth. Also, keep your eyes out for the street art, which is everywhere in the city.
Asheville is a wonderful little city. The art and architecture are just one aspect of the city. The food scene is remarkable for a relatively small town. It’s one of our favorite places and I’m looking forward to our next visit.