Explore <5 miles - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

<5 miles Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Absolutely amazing. Some parts are hard especially if caught in the rain. But well worth the view.

scenic driving
2 days ago

My favorite trail in the mountains!

hiking
2 days ago

Loved it! A bit of a challenge with the leaves on the ground and the past rains make the trail a bit slippery!

Went on a chilly Sunday. Trail is pretty flat and uncrowned. The Falls were a pleasant surprise. Very large and a very peaceful stop for lunch. One of our favorites in DuPont.

I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

The river crossings were more challenging than expected but the waterfall was certainly worth the wet feet. You definitely need proper hiking boots trying to walk across the river rocks and maybe an extra pair of dry socks.

The trail has changed alot since the storms we had this year. crossing the river was a challenge for my short legs I wouldn't have made it if my husband hadn't helped me. The waterfall was beautiful as always though.

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

This is my favorite trail. It is a bit treacherous, especially for an old guy like me. I don’t go on it after heavy rain as it is slippery and mistakes could be costly. But it is beautiful and dramatic and fun.

Amazing hike! Best yet in north Carolina. Lots of ladders and hard uphills. I’m not sure going all the way to callaway peak was worth it if your in it for the views, the first peak was beautiful and stayed beautiful to the callaway peak but didn’t change. About 4-4.5 hours out and back. 40$ to get into the park for 2 people.

Trail was pretty muddy in spots possibly due to the rains from recent storms. There are lots of alternate routes to get around the mud without too much problem. I liked the challenge of finding the path of least resistance. Otherwise it’s nicely packed with roots and stones for steps and bridges when necessary. Plenty of shade and cross winds for a pleasant temperature. To get to the very top of the falls one must climb a short path which is very steep but worth it. This is a technical trail due to some of its hazards but they are only a small part of the overall hike which allows you to keep going.

Did this trail with my partner. We're both not in great shape and this trail offered a great challenge and reward. first time through we took a right at the fork and almost went into private property. Came back the next day and went the proper way. As others have said there are lots of downed trees. Some climbing is required in certain parts. The falls are beautiful. Be careful!

Great trail to get a practice run in. It’s beautiful if you walk and see all of the ‘different’ falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike to a gorgeous view.

We went on a Saturday in early Oct. and got to the park right as it opened at 8am. Parked in the lot just below the very top lot and hiked the short hike up to the swinging bridge. Then walked across the top lot to the start of the grandfather mt trail. We started the hike at 9am, made it to Calloway peak by 11:30, spent 20min at the top for lunch and then got back to our parking lot via black rock trail by 1:45pm. Round trip was about 5hrs and that is with us stopping for views and really taking our sweet time. We hiked about 5.5miles. My advice. Keep right on the underwood trail? On the way up to do the cables and ladders (which weren’t as scary as I was expecting) and then keep right at the same split on the way back for the easier descent. Calloway peak actually wasn’t as impressive as macrae peak was, so if you wanted a shorter trip just go to macrae. But all in all the $20 was worth it and this is one of the best and most fun hikes I have done. 5stars! If I can do it anyone can, just take your time on ascents and descents, but honestly they weren’t too bad. Oh, and start early!

Truly the best trail I’ve hiked in the entire Blue Ridge area. The hike did take a lot longer, because of all the heavy traffic, but it thinned out the higher we hiked. The trails had more views than I would have thought possible(due to all of the edges of the cliffs that the path etched through).

The falls at the end are worth the effort it takes to get there. Hurricane Florence took its toll on this trail so you have to climb over and around trees. I do not recommend this trail for children or small dogs. You need both hands to maneuver some of the areas and it is very rocky and slick almost from the beginning. Gorgeous waterfall.

Path to Upper Falls not marked well but came across other hikers who missed it too and guided us in the right direction. Make sure to see both falls. Great hike and the dogs enjoyed it. Lots of water access for them!

birding
1 month ago

Now this is a trail. Love it.

Lots of damage at present due to Hurricane Florence.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

Lots of deep mud! A soggy & slippery scramble. Thunderclaps as I was coming down luckily avoided rain. Overcast with clouds surrounding mountain and wind gusts. Enjoyed it!

Awesome, awesome hike!! Although the mileage seems low, it is a very strenuous and technical hike. There are lots of ladders, cables, and big rocks that you have to climb up and over using your hands and feet (these were all reasons why I loved this hike, but maybe it's not for everyone!). The grandfather trail is an awesome mix of woods and walking along exposed rock faces which makes for a very dynamic hike and incredible views along the way! When I went (mid-late Sept) the leaves were just starting to change, but I bet in a few weeks (mid October) the colors will be amazing up there. Good hiking shoes with good traction are absolutely necessary - many spots of the trail were very wet/muddy when I hiked it yesterday (partly due to the hurricane, but regardless...) the steep/smooth rock faces can be very dangerous when wet, so the more traction the better. I saw a few people slip pretty bad wearing sneakers. I am a 23 year old in good shape, and a pretty experienced hiker. I hiked all the way to Calloway Peak (stopped for a bit to enjoy the amazing views at McRae peak on my way) and completed the full thing in 4 hours (this included a couple snack/water breaks and picture taking). The men at the gift shop said the hike to Calloway and back is usually completed in 5 hr for the average hiker (3 hr if just going to McRae and back). The $20 entree fee is of course a bummer, but in my opinion very worth it and they do a great job maintaining the trail (the ladders/cables are in great shape). If you are hiking on a weekend (I was there on a Saturday morning) be sure to get there early before they open (9 am) so join the line of cars that will already be forming. The parking lot all the way at the top that you will park at is right below the mile-high swinging bridge, so be sure to check that out once you finish your hike!

The trail is in terrible shape from floods and mudslides. We got halfway through and with the trees down it became impassible. Hopefully they can come in to clean this trail up for others to enjoy. Our little boy liked getting to play in the creek since we didn’t get to see the waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Great falls. We met a new friend at the falls and hiked the rest of the day with us. Made for a great time to see the adjacent falls that are well worth seeing!

One of my fav hikes in North Carolina. Have done it several times and several different routes. From Profile Trail to paying at entrance. Either way, worth the time and the money. I just remind myself that the money goes towards maintaining Grandfather Mountain! So I have no problem paying the fee!

Favorite Hike in NC so far! Did it early September and it was nice and cool, a little rain which helped cool us off also! Did the profile trail to the grandfather which added some mileage but didn't have to pay, and then hitchhiked back to the profile trailhead from grandfather mountain!

Load More