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

Asheville Nov 2018 Map
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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.

Great hike -nice mix of several rock overlooks, small waterfall and rugged hiking in the backhalf. BUT THIS HIKE IS A FAIR AMOUNT LONGER. My Strava said 12.5 miles. Also, backhalf (big piney ridge trail) is not for novice hikers as trail is not as well worn, although probably partly due to fact was fall with plenty of leaves down camouflaging trail.

Awesome trail. We loved the terrain. Beautiful views.

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!

hiking
10 days ago

Very good for endurance training

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Short hike (1.5 hrs round trip to the rock and back) with gorgeous views from Hawkbill Rock, and far fewer hikers than on nearby trails. Can't believe I've lived in Asheville for 12 years and just did this hike for the first time!

We did this trail counterclockwise. We found the trail easy to follow and pretty well marked (the exception being coming off Little Piney). The uphill was challenging but enjoyable, while the downhill coming off of Little Piney wasn't so fun, somewhat painful actually. Very steep and slippery. You definitely want trekking poles for this hike.
Warning 1: a couple places along the ridge trail from Big Piney to Little Piney some trees had fallen across the trail. It almost appears that the trail disappears. You have to look carefully to see where the trail picks up again after the downed trees.
Warning 2: We came across signs for "Lower" Piney. Not paying close attention, I mistook it for "Little" Piney and followed it right to another trailhead/parking area on Suwanee Drive. If my GPS were accurate, I don't think I would have made that mistake.

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.

hiking
17 days ago

Straight up for just under 4 miles but was very worth it. Loved the view from the top!

We started out from somewhere on Harmony Lane. Map sucks, as we ended up walking up the street to what appeared to be a circular water tower. No trail here. Walked back down to a gate with a blue trail marker and a gravel road. Pulled up the All Trails map and is said we were on the correct trail? Great first part of the hike, following blue blazes and I think it was called Little Piney. Enjoyable hike, came to a nice rock overlook outcropping looking out over Montreat/Black Mountain after about 20 minutes. Trail starts to climb from here and eventually you get your choice of blue or orange blazes. Orange was Big Piney trail, which again kept us on the All Trails map. Some steep, rocky climbs, amd trail well marked. After another hour or so of climbing with some stops we came to Rattlesnake overlook. Beautiful. Up we went from there, another 30 minutes to trail intersection. We too Grey blazes back down the trail, hoping to end up back around where we started, but this is where the trail just ended. 10 minutes into the Grey blaze section the trail just ended, no blazes, no discernible trail. I bushwacked my around for a bit a d though seeing trees with orange spray paint there was no trail?? WTF. This is not a safe practice for a trail, maintain the trail or close this portion at the cutoff. We ended up trekking back the way we came, pissed off our trail was not marked properly. Thus the 3 rating.

A wonderful short trail - should take around two hours depending on if you stop to admire the old lodge. Parking is very limited with about 4-5 spots right by the trailhead and then limited roadside parking a short walk away. That said, I’ve never had an issue finding space if I’m determined to hike the trail.

Most of the trail is actually part of the Mountains to Sea Trail and is blazed white. The trail is fairly straightforward until you reach Rattlesnake Lodge. You’ll find lots of little side trails - most lead to smaller ruins or backpacking campgrounds.

If you stay the course on the white trail through the first part of the lodge, you’ll find additional ruins. A blue blazed path will be to your right going downhill right before these ruins. If you continue straight you’ll see two additional parts of the lodge. Running between them is another blue blazed path on the left going uphill and a white blazed path on the right.

If you take either of these paths you’ll complete the loop as it is on the map. I usually take the blue path first as it’s quite steep and harder to climb down than up, then make sure to go right when it meets the white trail. I highly recommend doing the loop as there are more ruins and lovely streams.

Overall the old lodge is fascinating to see and the hike is short & sweet. The trails are very well marked and maintained. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon.

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.

Hiked this on 10/21 with my husband. It was definitely a challenge for both of us, but the views at the top made it absolutely worth it. There was a lot of temperature change on the way up and down so packing layers is a must. Give yourself at least 6 hours for this hike. The trail itself is straightforward and easy to follow on the way up, but on the way down it is easy to take the wrong trail when passing by campsites as there are sometimes multiple trails leading off. I’m surprised this trail isn’t more popular because it was definitely one of my favorites, but no complaints because we had the summit to ourselves for over a half hour!

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.

nice trail, a bit muddy, and watch the manure

Love this loop! Great views and beautiful forested trails. College takes good care of the trail. The down is very steep; last time I had to take an alternate route down because of ice.

Beautiful and tranquil. We only passed a couple of other hikers. Trail is well-marked and pretty well-maintained, though narrow. Quite steep both ways - great exercise going up but lots of slippery spots coming down... It felt like there should be more switchbacks. At the peak of Big Piney there is no viewpoint, which felt anti-climactic, though there are some other points to snag views along the way.

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).

An ok trail to hike especially if you are camping at Davidson River. Nothing really stood out.

Enjoyable hike. Previous comments about slipperiness were not exaggerated. If I do this hike again, I will go up Stompin Knob trail instead of down. I think the footing was better for going down the Big Piney trail. Either way is a good workout. Lots of mushrooms and there are still wildflowers.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

Not too strenuous and well defined trail in most places. Train is not marked so got turned around a few times. Not very busy on a Saturday afternoon. Most dogs on leash except one. Great shade, lots off mushrooms and moss, and yummy forest smells. One thing I’d change if I could is that you can hear all the loud ass touring motorcycles on the parkway as the noise travels up.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, easy hike out to the remains of a remote lodge.

It is a hard trail very rewarding.

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!

Nice trail with some pretty views. Moderately challenging with one pretty steep uphill on the white loop. Make it longer by doing the blue offshoot trail near the stream.

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