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

The 360 summit was everything. And I will quote my dear friend who went with me, "It's like we're in a picture." We stayed up in the summit and just sunbathe for an hour or so because we had already completed the trail. There was a cute grass clearing perfect for camping up ahead the summit too and the woodland sunflowers blooming everywhere was absolutely magical to me. We turned back around so we could enjoy the 360 view even more. A great trail to do before you take up Old Rag! Also stop by the huge rock that looks like a perfect shade if it's raining! But for me, it was more like a giant natural stone sofa! Will definitely take this trail on again when Autumn is here.

Wonderful hike with lots of altitude! Def got my heart racing. We finished it up with a rest at the top in about 2 hours.

love the views and cliffs. much wild life

switch backs almost all the way up but beautiful views from the top

A short trail, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is an easy hike, it’s a scramble. Awesome views, must do.

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!

on Waterrock Knob Trail

hiking
9 days ago

This is a great hike and it’s a half mile to the top. It is steep and you ascend 480 ft in that half mile. The first half is paved and the second half is a dirt/rock stair trail. About half way up at the end of the paved trail is a viewing platform(if you don’t want to make the trek to the top).

hiking
10 days ago

We did both the Bearfence Trail and the Rock Scramble. We loved the rock scramble and the views from the top were outstanding. Definitely do the scramble. It’s not as hard as you think!

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.

walking
12 days ago

As of today Trails A and B are closed but the trail to Great Falls overlook is great. It’s flat, smooth, small pebbles; easy for walking or biking. The overlook is incredible.

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 would do it once but not as a repeat hike. It’s more of an ascent or climb than a hike. The view from the platform is lovely but it is of the valley below and not of the rock formations. We were under the impression that the trail led to the actual rocks so this was a bit of a letdown. Progress markers on the trail would be a great addition. One and done for us.

hiking
15 days ago

I really enjoyed this trail. It is a climb on the way to the viewing platform but it is well worth it. The trail was wide and well maintained.

So fabulous that we come back every year!

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.

hiking
18 days ago

Nice cardio hike. Beautiful viewpoint at the top.

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

great hike heading up to a terrific viewpoint of the valley. we skipped the rock scramble and got in some of the Apallachian trail. Downhill all the way back so my favorite kind of hike

horseback riding
20 days ago

Great for riding horses. Great short day trail!

This is a fun little hike. I brought my dad with me so it went a little slower than normal but wow it was a fun trail. The rock scrambles weren’t hard but were a lot of fun with a full 360 degree view of the park. That was pretty cool. I can’t wait to go back in the fall to see what extra views you can get off this trail during that time of year!!!

20 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

Good trail.

Challenging and fun!!! Definitely coming back. Beautiful scenery.

This is a nice hike that is set up for everyone. Well maintained path to the observation deck that included benches for people rest along the way. The bonus to this hike is when you get to the top and can go out on the fins of Seneca Rocks.

beautiful trail would go again

A must do! The rock scramble was SO FUN for our 7 and 9 year olds. Fear of heights beware though! There are places that are straight drop offs, and when you get to the very top its got 360 views and it's a little dizzying! The trail on the way down goes quickly. We left in a bit of a hurry because we went for sunset and then didn't want to get stuck in the woods in the dark, but it went really quickly after the scramble. I would definitely recommend this hike!

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.

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