Explore Best NC Hikes - 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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Absolutely amazing. Some parts are hard especially if caught in the rain. But well worth the view.

The view at the top is truly worth all of those stairs.

gorgeous babbling Brook, great view!

scenic driving
1 day ago

My favorite trail in the mountains!

Well maintained trail and beautiful falls!

Did this on a cold day in November with beginner hikers. Great little hike for everyone to an awesome hidden waterfall with photo ops.

The trail isn’t what it once was. The trail is marked as moderate at the trailhead but is actually a little more strenuous than most trails. I’ve hiked this trail for years and year after year the trail is less clear with more large rocks which could easily cause serious bodily harm, such as broken ankles. I’m not sure how all trails can rate this as easy.
All this being said, it is not an easy trail but I do still love to hike it.

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.

Numerous beautiful views on this < 2 hr loop trail. A little muddy today and lots of fellow hikers but worth it

on Crabtree Falls Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Went today with my 3 little dachshunds. The falls were a beautiful sight to behold. You can only follow the Loop A path right now and then return the way you came after reaching the falls. I initially tried following Loop B but it lead me back to Loop A. After arriving at the falls, another couple had told me that the path leading from the falls and back to the parking lot was closed (to make the actual loop). My dogs and I headed back the way we came.

I would say that at this time of the year, it is more of a moderate hike. You go downhill all the way to the falls, and walk uphill upon your return (since the loop is closed). It is very steep in one section and a little slippery when wet. There are 3 steep stone staircases. Dachshunds’ (hot dogs) backs are not good for going down the staircases so I held two while going downhill. It was a little slippery for me and I consider myself to be really fit with my HIIT workouts and surfing...lol. So be careful and hold the rail. Another person suggested walking sticks, I think that’s a really good idea at this time of year.

Overall it was a breathtaking experience and the people we passed with other dogs, large and small, were SO kind and considerate. We all let each other know when we were rounding corners. My dachshunds get nervous on a leash and we all respected each other’s spaces and were able to flow past each other and share peaceful vibes :)

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!

Great View from the top but very busy trail .

Beautiful! Hiked to all three falls Nov 10, 2018. Well maintained trail and gorgeous falls.

Beautiful absolutely breathtaking

Fun, pretty hike. Not hard, I did it 6 months pregnant!

I hiked this today and I was very happy with the trip. It takes a leisurely couple hours and expect some 60% gradients and a lot of stairs. Well worth it though!

Amazing views. So worth it

This is probably the most beautiful waterfall that we’ve seen yet and is definitely worth the hike. Going from the campground parking lot take the trail by the amphitheater and you can choose trail A or trail B to begin your hike. Both lead to the falls. For a shorter hike choose trail A and you can back track up trail A after seeing the falls. We had two kids and they were fine with the climb back up after seeing the falls. Be careful toward the bottom of the trail if it has recently rained. The rocks on the trail are very slippery. Overall, this is a fun hike and the benefits of seeing the falls is worth it!

beautiful hike and impressive waterfall

hiking
14 days ago

The hike is well worth it! It is recommended for the novice hiker to use a walking stick to help with foot support when walking over the smaller wet rocks located on the trial. Well worth the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Straight up Stairs! This is a good and challenging trial with a view that is worth the effort. I don’t mind hiking moderate trails, but this one had a good section of the trail as stairs with timbers or stone steps, which is hard on my knees, especially on the way down. It also makes the trial narrow in places which caused for bottle necks. Fun hike, very busy on a fall weekend, but the view is so worth it.

hiking
16 days ago

Excellent hike! Not many views on the way up. The view at the top is definitely awesome and made the hike worth doing!!

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.

Great short hike, but I would not rate it as easy. You are still hiking up a mountain. Good for most skill levels, but if you are out of shape you will struggle a bit.

Good trail, and in many places I would rate it higher, but it is too close to world class hiking to do again.

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.

Great hike and fantastic views

2 Mile Gentle Loop with exceptional views. Best hiked clockwise. Extremely overused, steps are in place all over the mountain. This is a Sacred Space, but one can feel the drained Energy and Spirituality. Mostly Yuppie Tourists. I have never seen so many soccer moms scowl at locals and power broker Dads scrambling to close deals on their cell phones. Hiked on a Monday and still the trail was crowded. Wonderful place to take epic photos if you are in a hurry. I had to stop and take breaks off trail because of the loud, nonsensical ramblings of the Country Club Visitors. Ridiculous. Respect. Please do not gape at me strangely if I do speak with the trees. The second star is because I met a group of 20 Ugandan Citizens on a Paid Expedition. They were so friendly and interested in my type of culture. Wonderful people. Peace, Love, Happiness, and Gooooo...

hiking
21 days ago

This is such a beautiful waterfall. Amazing to see such a lovely display after a short hike. There's a lot of small rocks in the trail and some steep staircases but if those minor obstacles don't bother you this is a "must do" hike if you're in the area.

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