Explore Completed 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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hiking
8 hours ago

Love this trail probably one of my favorites

trail running
19 hours ago

One of the best "loop" trails around Boone/Blowing Rock. I second that you should do it clockwise. Moderate to hard, due to the many creek crossings and boulder fields you'd have to traverse. Can't exactly trail-run the whole loop, but at least half is doable. Finished in just over an hour; had to wait to pass a few groups of hikers, had to walk in some tricky sections, etc.
Trail is mostly under the canopy, so if it has rained, you can expect mud in many spots, and overall wet conditions. Watch for orange markings on the trail - BFT shares sections of the Tanawha and Mountains to Sea Trails, so watch the signs and the markings. Almost went towards the outer banks by mistake =)

hiking
19 hours ago

Best hiking trail on the parkway with the best views! It is very convenient and it is located right off of the Parkway! This trail is very unique compared to other hiking trails in the area! If you are planning a hiking trip, this is a must do!

First thing to note is that this is a different trail than looking glass falls which several people seemed confused about. The only water fall is a very small one near the start. The trail is not steep but the 3 miles out is entirely uphill. The view at the top is definitely worth it though!

This was my very first hike and it was spectacular! I started at 6:30 AM and quickly learned that the trail wouldn't be as easy as I had thought. The first 1.5 miles are a strenuous uphill walk. I was completely exhausted within the first 10 minutes but the reward at the end was worth it. I started at 6:30 AM and was back at the trailhead at 10:20 AM.

Lower Cathedral Lake was absolutely gorgeous. I was the only one at the lake so it was like my own retreat. I would definitely hike this trail again and I recommend this trail for beginner hikers. Just bring plenty of water. I went through 4 bottles.

This trail is beautiful! Very steep hike down to the first set of waterfalls, the main falls is such a breathtaking view! Don’t be discouraged and keep going! This hike is well worth it!

I must see what an adventure

Lovely views, lovely hike. The climb is never steep, just steady and moderate. We hiked up for sunset and soaked in our first Eastern sights of the Milky Way along with a hand-full of meteors from the Perseid shower. Other than a few passers-by, we had the place to ourselves.

hiking
2 days ago

The views are spectacular and second to none. The parking is limited. The crowds are dangerously overwhelming. Be extra careful when going up there.

The reason this hike only gets 4 stars is the lack supervision from park rangers. I saw a lot of people careless on trail that doesn't give second chances.

The trail is well maintained and well marked. The views at the top were weak at best. There is very little space for multiple hikers and the flies/bees are out of control.

Great hike not for beginners it's up up all the way! But the 360 panoramic view is amazing.

walking
2 days ago

Really interesting trail, but very populated. It's an easy hike with a lot to see and several spots for the pups (and you) to swim. The bridge over the James River was a really cool way to start and end the trip. The structures and rock wall along the way were really cool places to explore and take photos. I'd say it's more of an urban walk than a hike, though. We had to park a bit up the road (parking is very limited, especially for how busy it is) and in total "hiked" just over 3 miles from start to finish.

Great hike especially with younger hikers. Awesome views and a real sense of you made it to the top for the young ones.

hiking
2 days ago

Great views from a number of rocky outcrops, including views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, and expansive Blue Ridge mountain vistas. Budget at least an hour round trip, more if it had just rained or trail is wet. It gets very muddy after rain and the rocks can get very slippery. Multiple parts with steps, no gravel, mostly dirt/rocks combination mixed with tree roots. Good footwear needed; Once I did it in my running shoes - not a great idea. Moderate to hard in places.
Avoid, if possible, during weekends, or after 10am, as it gets uber-crowded. Children over 6 should be able to do it, as well as older adults in reasonably good shape/health.
Overall: great short hiking opportunity;

Note to BRP maintenance crews: trail is overgrown with shrubbery in places, no gravel left either, it's literally begging for some maintenance TLC.

Although there was no visibility, it was a fun experience! It's a steep walk up a paved walkway. Wear layers for sure!

Clockwise is the easier route.

Great workout. Not a scenic “hike”.

hiking
4 days ago

Challenging enough but very doable (my 8 and 5 year olds were fine). Views are amazing and worth the hike.

hiking
4 days ago

I want to say first that I only hike about 3-5 times a year as I live at sea level.

THIS HIKE KICKED MY #%*

I hiked this yesterday and I can barely walk today. I thought reaching the top meant that going down would be easy but it wasn’t. My legs were giving out the whole way down. Jelly legs.

I work out about an hour a day 5 days a week including swimming and weight training. But apparently that doesn’t prepare one for a hike like this!

It was beautiful especially the first half. And the view at the top was nice but not the best I have seen.

Playing in the creek at the trailhead after the hike was a great treat.

My 11 and 17 year old girls made it to the top but my 7 year old stopped at the Ap Trail.

I would do it again but would love to train more for it. A great accomplishment for me and a great memory.

Loved the scenic trail and the destination is breathtaking! Hike is very strenuous but worth it in the end!

The view is worth the hike!

Fun, short hike. Started early on a weekday morning and ended up having the entire top to myself. Clear day, great views, and light breeze.

Very good and a great 1-3 hour day

hiking
7 days ago

A coworker recommended this trail to me for my vacation and it was quite an experience. My entire family and I hiked this trail. It is a beautiful and scenic hike but when people says it’s steep they mean it. It is by no means an easy trail but it is very rewarding when you get to the top.

great trail with several great photo opportunities, it's a well marked trail I would rate it moderate to hard , I would suggest doing it clockwise going through julian price campground and finishing up in the picnic area less uphill this way.

For what it is, this was fun. A steep walk up, but the view from the lookout is breathtaking. If it’s cloudy or foggy, wait 10 minutes, and it’ll clear.

Don’t go at lunchtime, as we found out it was a great place to picnic. Cleared out by the time we were down at 2:00.

HARD TRAIL!! Nothing but switch backs the entire way but the views make it all worth it! You gain about 3,000 feet in elevation. But the higher you get the more the Yosemite Valley starts to reveal itself. It is such a beautiful hike, but be careful, some areas are slippery ( asphalt and sand/dirt combo).

hiking
7 days ago

First mile of the trail was very wet, but luckily more rocky than muddy. Views are spectacular as you reach the first intersection with the Art Loeb trail. Saw a three-foot long timber rattler as we were leaving, near the Art Loeb trailhead!

Definitely got my heart rate going! We went on a foggy day so we missed the beautiful view at the top. The trail itself is quite lovely and I enjoyed it a lot. We found some really neat wildlife along the way too (including a big black bear we just missed on the trail). Can’t wait to come back on a clear day!

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