Graybeard Trail

MODERATE 37 reviews
#10 of 111 trails in

Graybeard Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.2 miles 2437 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips






wild flowers





washed out

10 days ago

A good trail if you like a steady climb with no views. Top view was disappointing. It took us 2hr and 20min up and 3 down, and we show it being more like 10 miles. If you are looking for views, there are better choices.
ps - after looking at the pics from others, we must have missed the lookout - we did not see any markings for it.

21 days ago

Well marked,
Went on a Saturday am and not crowded,
Pretty windflowers and wooded scenery,
Easy parking and trailhead entrance

Summit was fairly disappointing,
Not many lookout areas en route,
I clocked a total of 10 miles round trip,
Poison ivy especially near summit area,
Definitely strenuous climb at points

Solid hike, light traffic but still wide open and decent views.

1 month ago

There's a lot of up on this one, but the stream the trail follows is pleasant and energizing. There are quite a few spots along the way with beautiful views of the surrounding ranges when the thick summer foliage isn't too dense. Nice campsite on the way to Walker's Knob, which is a perfect spot for lunch.

2 months ago

3 months ago

Great moderate hike along babbling creek.

3 months ago

Hike was strenuous. Summit is very closed. No real viewing area. Kind of cramped. View is good though.

4 months ago

This trail is "no joke" but will leave you feeling very satisfied once it's all said and done. Prepare yourself to sweat and get your boots dirty! We went over Memorial weekend and there was a nice assortment of beautiful flowers and butterflies sharing the lush mountain trail. I think my boyfriend was a little paranoid of bears and rattlesnakes (he's from Philadelphia), but fortunately no excitement there! The summit is picturesque with a nice cool breeze- bring a picnic lunch. Very enjoyable and a must do!

4 months ago

Pretty cool hike. Views are okay when leaves are on. Hiked it the first of June and the Mtn Laurel were in full bloom. Take in Walters knob overlook for one of the best views. I hiked back the west ridge trail which made it about a 9 mile loop hike. West ridge trail to big piney is more rugged, but ok for hike down.

6 months ago

This is a great hike, but the first 1.5 is steep -- not "easy." Small children might not be too happy.

6 months ago

Fantastic views! Hiked this in January and the winter views are breathtaking from Walker's Knob and Pinnacle Mountain. all along the trail, you can see across the mountains through the thin forest canopy.

6 months ago

Moderate difficulty, the middle part of this hike was killer on your calfs climbing up mountain! Throughout the trail was streaming water which was beautiful! Set up a parachute hammock up at graybeard falls, it was very relaxing!

7 months ago

Great walk along a rushing stream for the lower part with long distance winter views from the switchback in the middle part. Rocky trail slowed us down as we didn't
want to damage our 60 yr old knees. We went as far as Walker Knob for it's great view.

9 months ago

It's actually 4.8 miles to the summit, so a 9.2 mile hike total. The first 2.0 mile or so will have you feeling like a truckin' champion, I was singin' out loud, snacking, smiling. The whole world was my oyster. Then some man passed by me and being the dumb amateur I am, I asked him how much farther. "Man - good luck you gotta bout 2.5 left". Which didn't really bother me until twenty feet later I noticed how steep things were getting. So I think to myself when I finally reach Walker or Walter's Knob- I'm like yo- life is good. I can handle some more hiking- I'll chase the summit. Big truckin life decision here folks. I got the breath beat out of me. These cutesy little trail runners kept breezing past me like this was another freaking day in May. I laid down in the middle of some switchbacks and was like- this is the end. This is how I will go. Ranger Nanz will have to pluck my cold frozen body from this stupid trail. I just kept hydrating and got to the summit and it was cool. Took like five million selfies because I'm a boss lady, then in my high and mighty cockiness I get the genius idea to try to run down the mountain. So that's all fun and games until I inevitably ran full force into some sapling. By the time I got to the bottom of the trail where it crosses the creek three times - I had zippo energy left and so of course I fell in up to my knees in icy January mountain water. But you know what? Honestly -It was the best day of my life.

10 months ago

This is a rugged, and often steep trail with lots of rocky sections and water crossings. It is well marked with blue blazes, and is a nice full-day wilderness experience. Parts of the trail were frozen over, and we saw lots of icicles, and snow on the ground as we approached the summit. As others have noted the view is diminished by a lot of plant growth at the top, but it is still a nice view if you are tall enough to see over it, and there are other nice views of the surrounding mountains and valley as you go. Strenous, technically challenging trail, but worth the effort. Hope to go back to see Walker's Knob!

10 months ago

10 months ago

The trail is well marked and well maintained. The first third and last third are moderately strenuous, the middle section is quite easy. Overall, I would rate this as moderate difficulty. As others have noted, the top of Greybeard has only a small opening in the undergrowth and doesn't accommodate many hikers. A very nice hike overall.

11 months ago

It was absolutely phenomenal. The view at the top was well worth the hike. During the hike, however, I probably wouldn't have said that anything was worth it. The first 2.5-3 miles are incredibly rocky. During those miles you cross the river three times so make sure to have waterproof boots. The next 2 miles were switch backs and amazing photo opportunities. The last couple miles is steep but not as rocky as before, but during this portion, it gets very muddy due to the "mountain runoff". But once you get to the camp site, you can choose to to continue to the very top of the mountain, or go to the overlook. Go to the over look. Make sure you go to the over look. The over look is amazing. Miles upon miles of mountains and amazing scenery. So incredible. I live an hour north of Atlanta and I drove about 150 miles just for this hike and I can successfully say I'd do it again in a heartbeat. That's how amazing it was.

11 months ago

Hiked to the top of Graybeard Mt and Walkers Knob Mt on Halloween 2015. It was a great day to be in the mountains. Trail is located near the entrance of Walk Jones Wildlife Sanctuary just past Montreat College and is well marked. Follow the blue trail. The trail is narrow and steep in places. Approximately 10 miles round trip. Nice views from Walkers Knob. However, the vegetation at the top of Graybeard makes it difficult to view the scenery. Also, not much room for a lot of fellow hikers. Take the time to hike the 200 feet off the regular trail and go to the Graybeard Waterfall. It is worth it.

Recommend staying at the "Inn Around The Corner" in downtown Black Mt NC. A beautiful B&B in a restored 1915 Victorian home.

The entire weekend trip was assume.

1 year ago

Gorgeous hike in Montreat/Black Mtn. Right past the college. Following the blue diamond trail (graybeard) is about 10 miles round trip. This hike has waterfalls and gorgeous views. Quite a strenuous hike up in some spots (in my opinion). But so worth it!!