Explore 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Great hike. we took the upper falls trail side to start (which is much easier section than the lower falls trail that starts on the other side of the parking lot) Once you get to the upper falls section you need to cross the water and go up to the next pool up for the rope swing and rock slide. we had a blast sliding down the rocks and using the rope swing. Then we took the trail the rest of the way down to the lower falls where there is a much longer rock slide. the second half of the loop back to the parking lot from the lower falls are switch backs the whole way (or you can take the many short cuts that go straight up if you want) Definitely a must see.

Amazing hike, we hiked it on a rainy day but it was still a great time. I highly recommend for everyone!

Very beautiful and fun place to swim, but also very crowded with lots of families. Short and easy hike, I would not rate it as moderate.

I proposed to my wife on Babel Towers 25 years ago. Went back today with our daughter and her finance. Beautiful day!

Awesome waterfalls. Easy trails.

We did this trail and absolutely loved it. My kids 10& 12 rocked it but there are places that are a little scary. During the first mile, there is a picturesque area with big rocks and and a mountain stream to take pictures and play in the water. As you wind your way up, it gets harder and becomes very steep. We climbed through rocky, dense tree areas and then reached the peak by climbing up man-made ladders onto boulders. Several trails merge so it was a bit crowded at the top. Beautiful views! One of our favorite family hikes!

This is a super fantastic hike

on Linville Falls Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike with a slow incline over about a mile. Well maintained trail. The last view (Erwin’s view) is probably the best view of them all and is a distant view. If you can only get to the first overlook...you will still get a decent view.

nature trips
8 days ago

Beautiful falls & very easy to get to. The “parking lot” is located on the left side of the dirt road and is approx .25 miles past the fork in the road. I’ve posted a picture of the parking lot because we didn’t realize it was a parking lot until we drove up the entire mountain & back down - beautiful scenery though!!

Also, I wouldn’t call this a hike. It’s more like you walk to the falls.

Some steps, some switchbacks but generally a moderate climb. The parking lot leads down a winding trail for over a mile, so the return was a bit tougher than usual out and back climbs. Pack a jacket for the gusty stuff up top.

The trails that pass through the Visitors Center, across the bridge, and up a mild incline include the Upper Falls View (where you are within a few feet of where the river flows down through the rocks before plunging over the falls), Chimney View (which is directly across from the Plunge Basin Overlook), Gorge View, and Erwin's View. All offer great views but Erwin's View has the best view straight into the falls although the most distant. I consider this hike to be easy for all ages and the viewing areas are all stone walled in and safe. If you follow this trail, take in all of the viewing areas and don't stop at the Upper Falls as the red line on the map suggests.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice secluded hike. Good crop of poison ivy. Probably best when the leaves are off the trees. Easy grades. Keep in mind that no dogs are allowed

Very well-maintained and challenging trail. We (three 50+ year-old ladies) hiked GFM Trail yesterday; started at the parking lot for the swinging bridge, climbed to McCraes Peak, then on the advice of other hikers took Underwood Trail back to GFM Trail to return to our car. We are regular exercisers who are training for a Grand Canyon hike in October, and only hike occasionally. Although challenging mentally and physically (we climbed 10 ladders total, I believe, and relied on cables to pull ourselves along a few slippery spots), we had good hiking shoes with good tread (essential), plenty of water and comfortable backpacks. Conditions were very wet yesterday and a thunderstorm was predicted in the afternoon. We had intended to climb to Calloway Peak but decided to shorten our hike due to the storm. The trail took much longer than we expected, since rocks were slippery. Took us 4 hours. We will be back to accomplish this one in better conditions! Be prepared to pay $20 per person (ouch!) to enter the park on the side where the swinging bridge is, otherwise do the Profile trail to park for free (a longer hike). I think there were 7 or 8 ladders going up the way we did, but only 2 going down since we used Underwood Trail to return. Best hike yet and amazing views!

Diverse and beautiful hike with a glorious view at the summit. Took us 5.5 hours up and back. Not a trail for those with balance or knee issues- parts of the trail flooded very quickly in the rain, and wooden steps and rock scrambles became very slippery - but would happily do it again!

I only spent 3 months living in North Carolina, but as a native westerner, I was impressed at the natural terrain I found in this part of the Appalachians. Grandfather mountain comes close, in a few ways , to the foothill type peaks I have around my home in North Idaho, but with even more lush and green scenery surrounding it. Being very developed, the trail head is easy to find, and the main challenges are steepness of the ascent and (certain times of year) slippery rocks and exposed roots. This is not a trail area for out of shape people, but with proper pacing, it can be done. Prepare for some scrambling in sections, but a benefit is that there are many potential view points once you get up top. In September, when I visited, it was misty and moist, but not cold, which made for some great hiking weather, but less than ideal under foot conditions. Heartily reccomend this trail.

We were there all of 15 minutes. Within that time period we witnessed 2 complete dumbasses jump from the falls. One of which was covered in Swastika and white supremacy tattoos (he grazed the cliff on the way down).It was crowded with a pretty colorful array of people. We pretty much ran out of there. Skip this

Wow! My husband and I hiked this trail today. We knew it would be good but we didn’t know it would be as beautiful as it was! It’s hard and takes time but it’s so worth it!! Wear good hiking shoes and bring water.

19 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

I read a review somewhere of Blue Hole where the person was complaining about a guy walking around with a big knife strapped to his leg. We were vacationing in the area, and visited today. I met that very man. He was a local, and goes there to walk the FS road, and carries the knife due to bears. Really nice guy, and exemplifies the typical misunderstanding of country people by 'visitors' sent there by internet posts.

As for the falls, it was incredible. My wife and I stayed for a few hours swimming. The water is breathtakingly cold. I could see where it would get crowded. The parking area is super small. Other than that, this is a hidden gem that I hope can be preserved.

You get a little bit of everything with this hike. Views, bouldering, and a great workout. Took us a little under 5 hours with plenty of stops to sit and look out at the scenery. Be ready for ladders.

First real trail we’ve hiked since moving to North Carolina. It’s definitely our new favorite hobby. We went down the lower trail first and somehow found out way back to the upper for a complete loop. It took us right about an hour. Beautiful views

Great hike with classic Appalachian beauty: big rhododendrons, views of rolling blue-green hills, ferns, a lovely creek, and large flat boulders at the top. The trail was nice in most places, with patches of slippery rocks and roots. I was visiting NC from my home in WA state and this was a great "bang-for-your-buck" hike to experience this area.

Based on other reviews I thought it would be more difficult. Although it wasn't exactly easy, I made it to the top in 2 hours, but maybe it's because I'm fortunate to be able to hike hilly trails a couple of days a week at home. When I got to the top there were patches of clouds blowing in and out, so there were only partial views, but it was still worth it to hike through the lovely green forest. All in all, maybe not for the out-of-shape or new hiker, but if you are an avid hiker, it's not too bad. :)

hiking
25 days ago

Very nice trail! Great scenery and fine rest spots. There are some great camping spots along the trail but not on it.
I did it bare foot, as I do most trails, I'm not sure if I'd recommend that to everyone but give it a shot.
The road to the trail itself is also a lot of fun... I did it in a 20 yo 4 door sedan; everyone else in the parking lot had a truck. If it was wet at all that day I would have been stuck there so keep that in mind.

A beautiful trail and destination! the view of the mountains from the upper falls and the water slide at the lower falls makes for an amazing hike.

Steep and lots of roots. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
28 days ago

Great for all ages

Breath taking!! the waterfalls are beautiful. the hike isn't too long to the falls, but it is STEEP. wear good shoes, don't jump off any rocks and enjoy the view. I wouldn't say this one is kid friendly but definitely dog friendly.

Absolutely beautiful place! Must visit if you’re in the area.

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