dogs on leash
A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other, a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. Protecting a diversity of plants and animals, the Parkway meanders for 469 miles, providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.
Hiked on Saturday and it was great.
We decided to hike the loop, counter clockwise, and included the connector that is indicated as 0.4 miles on the AllTrails map.
The trail is well marked and well maintained. There are areas that are rather rocky and some areas that were somewhat muddy from gully wash.
Going down to the falls (counter clockwise) is relatively quick. There are three or four sections of rock stairs.
The falls are beautiful and much larger than pictures show. There is a large wooden bridge that spans the creek approximately 50 yards downstream that offers a solid view and a sitting bench. I found the best spot to hang out by the falls (when facing) is on the right banks.
When leaving the falls, going counter clockwise, there is a rather steep section of a few hundred yards with about three or four switchbacks. This section is the most strenuous part of the hike.
After the steep section, you come to an exposed rock/cave section. There looked to be a trail that looped around back of it from the right side, which I did not explore. Shortly after this, if my memory is correct, there is a stone stair case. Shortly after this stair case there is a spur to the left of the trail that leads to a small cliff / opening. This offered a nice view of the trees and mountainside. The falls could be heard but not seen from here.
The trail crosses the creek (which becomes the falls) and maintains a relatively straight path with a slight incline for some time. This section is quite pleasant and secluded, we did not pass or see many other hikers during this section.
The loop ends at Parking/Camping section B. We decided to take a connecting trail back to the original trailhead, rather than walking through the camp sites.
I thoroughly enjoyed this hike and give it four stars rather than five as I wish there were a few more clearings / view points of the falls and or surrounding mountains.
A section of the Tanawha Trail just east of Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct. It is definitely one of my favorite spots on the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. I have hiked it in every season, and I try to go back almost every time I am in the area. It's only a few tenths of a mile to the boardwalk and the first majestic views, and a half mile to the highest point on the ridge. Despite the short distance though, it is not easy...rocky and often muddy. But this trail should be on everyone's list if possible!