Explore Boone-May 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Boone-May 2017 Map
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Hiked this trail yesterday on a beautiful crisp day with my dog. I took the advise of others and started the loop on the left side. Good call as the harder portions and sights were in the finally portion of the hike, versus the beginning of the hike. I did encounter some fellow hikers at the end of the hike. Be aware this hike is wet and muddy, and dress appropriately. Great hike, and I recommend it.

I wouldn’t rate this trail as hard. The trail was thin and had obstacles, but all manageable. The only difficult bit was the creek you have to cross and the bridge was out.

hiking
4 days ago

The Top of the falls is a great spot to relax. Would only rate this trail as hard because of the bridge outing but otherwise is very manageable. Took about 2 hours with frequent stops to take in some of the sites. All in all a real fun hike.

My wife and I love this trail! Recent storms have made it a bit more difficult but well worth it!!

hiking
10 days ago

Very beautiful sights. My dog loved the mud, and water that covered this trail! Beautiful waterfalls, and flowing creeks through out. We took our shoes off and climbed across the rocks and ate lunch overlooking the waterfall. it was a strenuous trip and my tracker clocked us at around 7.7 miles after all the off trail walking we did to find the water. If your looking to be exhausted and dirty after this is the hike for you.

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).

Took longer than expected, but a beautiful hike. Would do just the falls hike next time or pack a lunch halfway to make it more enjoyable.

hiking
16 days ago

Short walk to the falls. Very easy, and beautiful scenery.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

Wonderful hike. lots of climbing and views. while this is hard I think older kids would enjoy this.

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!

We hiked about week after hurricane Florence and many days of rain. Trail was wet and slippery as you would expect, but still delightful. We were quite glad to have high ankle boots and trekking sticks. Encountered five ladders which were challenging with dog on lead. Up the ladders wasn’t so bad, down ladders were frightening but with two humans and one 40 lb dog we did fine. Many creek crossings and we got wet. Very enjoyable and one of our favorite hikes ever. We went counterclockwise based on other reviews. Took our time and were on trail just over three hours. Take lunch - take your time.

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!

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome short hike, beautiful drive in. 0.3 miles round trip!

hiking
27 days ago

easy short hike with a real pow at ebd nice swimming area just dont fet to close to falls area swimming a lot of people have drowned here swimming and jumping. they have put steps at the trail going down the hill now so it is real easy now. Nice spots for kids to play in water also with sand there. even saw a beaver swimming there one time

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!

My wife and I did this hike with our 9 mo. daughter in a carrier and thought that it was on the more difficult side of moderate, but not quite strenuous. Great hike, but if we did it over again, we could have just gone straight to Hebron Falls (so, go right at the fork instead of straight) and backtracked the way we came in. Going the full loop seemed a little tedious because after you see the rock community and the falls, there really wasn't much more of interest (except for a bunch of little creek crossings and a very brief section in a meadow). Plus, the full loop has you walking a couple extra miles through a large camping area and along the parkway which was a little boring. The best part of the hike is definitely the 1.5 stretch straight to the falls. Lots of awesome places for getting in the water, and beautiful variety in terrain.

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect hike for days when the mountains are covered in fog. The cool mist made for a comfortable but beautiful experience. Trail difficulty is more moderate than hard, but downed trees, erosion, and a destroyed bridge do make for rough terrain. The cascades and Glen Burney waterfall were absolutely beautiful, the Glen Marie waterfall was just alright by comparison. My wife and I did just fine with our 9 mo. daughter on my back (lots of ducking and squeezing under branches though).

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!

hiking
1 month ago

I'm not sure that I would rate this trail as hard, but it there are a lot of roots and rocks. It's literally straight down to the Cascades, Glen Burney and Glen Marie falls views, then, of course, straight back up to the trail head. The only reason I rated it a 4 instead of a 5 is due to the bridge outage, which causes you to (very carefully) have to cross the river through some pretty active water. There are also a couple of spots where the trail has given way on the right, leaving a pretty narrow passage. All in all, this hike is worth doing!

hiking
1 month ago

I'm not sure I would classify this trail as "hard," but it's definitely got some elements of difficulty, especially near the falls. There are some uphill climbs that can leave you a bit breathless, but the falls and the rocks are beautiful. If you hike the trail counter-clockwise, you will get to the falls (along with Hebron Falls) in a mile and a half or so, leaving the easier portion for the end. There are rhododendron thickets, a open meadow-like area, camping area and fir forest to be enjoyed near the end. This is a really beautiful hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Almost no one on it. Start the loop by going straight at the fork. Gorgeous when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

Great hike. Have hiked this trail about 3 times and it is just lovely. Hard in some spots but well worth it. Pack a lunch and enjoy the river and views.

Great short hike. Lots to see and gets heart pumping on way back out.

Perfect hike to get the heart pumping!

The trail was short and easy, the waterfall itself was beautiful, but the area was very crowded.

Recently moved to eastern Tennessee and wanted to do a fun local day hike. This was such a good choice! Initially I was a bit disheartened at the 45 minute queue just to get into the park (it was Labor Day weekend so I wasn’t surprised) and the $40 we had to spend to gain entry, however I would still highly recommend this hike! It was definitely worth the wait and the price. The hike itself wasn’t really that difficult. You do have to be fairly fit to make it to the summit, but with the assistance of cables and ladders it was quite doable. The trail is well marked and maintained. It definitely gets your heart pumping, but at no point did I fear for my life. The first summit has a beautiful 360 view, great photo ops. A fellow hiker told us the second peak wasn’t much different but we continued on anyway. I’m glad we did because the views are even more breathtaking and the photo ops there are bomb. There are rock climbing elements all the way up and lots of fun ledges to dangle your feet off of if you’re brave enough!

love this trail

If you like Chutes & Ladders and a little boulder hopping this is your kinda hike. Amazing vistas and a great cardio workout. It’s my fav❗️

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