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Fantastic hike, amazing views

Great trail but it's closed past Sycamore Falls which was only around 2 miles in. Looking forward to going back after the gas line has been repaired.

on Mount Jo Loop Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Use the “short” at least for half the hike.

Part of trail unknowingly closed "until September" after I read it supposedly opened around August 1st. Arrived at 5pm from 4 hrs travelling, and a citation issued on the windshield of our car the following morning for camping d/t campsite being closed, but too far in to hike out after arrival. Embarrassed to be escorted out (on our way out) by Park Rangers (eldest with 3 months experience after telling us we would be cleared of citation for not actually having been 'found camping.') Beautiful sights, however. Do your research more in depth than I did, apparently, before staying here or hiking past 5pm.

We took our bikes through here. Great for bike rides. Some trails are easier for beginners while others will cause the beginner to walk. There are points of fallen trees where expert bike skills will be able to jump but others will need to walk over. Make sure to make it to the dam. Very enjoyable bike outing!

hiking
3 days ago

Short climb to a small clearing on the summit. Views in mainly one direction but peaceful at the top. Kid friendly more sandy than some but still steep in short stretches. You do get noise from the road but it’s still a nice accessible hike for those without much time or looking for multiple climbs in one day.

Did this with my daughter on my back. She weighs 34 lbs so it was a little more difficult. the trail is rocky at times. very steady incline untill you cross the fire road towards the end. this is where the trail begins to be more of an incline. i believe this is where most of the challenge is. the air gets thinner a little bit. the scenery at this point is amazing. once you get to the top there are multiple ledges to grab a great view from. on the way back if you take the fire road it is much simpler and easy. very wide path and still some great scenery. not to crowded if you hit it in the early am.

on Peninsula Loop

nature trips
4 days ago

Easy hike with great swimming spot

hiking
4 days ago

Steep and rocky but short. Hiked this with my 10 and 11 year olds. Took about 20 minutes to reach the pond. Very beautiful. Nice place to swim. There were some rocks to jump off of. Didn't stay long because we were trying to beat the rain. Hoping to do it again before we leave Lake Placid.

on Virgin Falls Trail

hiking
4 days ago

First hike for us. Grueling hike back but it was definitely worth it. We did this in eight hours including closing out the day at Welch’s Point. Will definitely go back to camp! We played in the falls at Laurel Creek and explored the cave behind it. Hiking down to bottom of Virgin Falls was breathtaking. Beautiful and powerful!!

Did this hike a few weeks back, for the first time. By the time we went back and explored a bit at all the main "sites" of the trail, it ended up being 11.3 miles. The hike itself was pretty but the falls, both at the bottom and the top are definitely a site to see. I highly recommend going being the falls, just be very careful.... there's a crazy drop down into some kind of underwater river system. Its just neat to see. will definitely be back. I don't have a ton of "difficult" hiking experience, but I'm a very active person & at times I struggled. It took us 6:14 to complete by the time we stopped for lunch and messed around at the various sites. If we were focused, we could have easily done it in under 5. We will definitely be back, loved this hike!

My ABSOLUTE favorite hike in the Smoky Mountains. I always hike up to the Jump Off then back Down to Charlie's and it is always worth it. My gps clocked it at 9.2 miles to complete the Jump Off, Icewater Spring Shelter, and Charlie's Bunion. This hike never disappoints.

My husband, son and I hiked this trail up and back in 1.5 hours. Took the short trail up and long trail back. Small summit, but still beautiful. Our almost 5 year old had no issues at all navigating the climb. We avoided the crowds by starting out around 4PM on a Saturday. Nice hike overall. Enjoyed the quiet and views of the trail throughout.

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

Great introduction to the high peaks!

Most of the trail is meh, the falls are great. Be sure to keep going back until you see the large drop off that’s impassable.

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing view!!!

Definitely not an easy trail for some, but my 8 year old made it through. I suggest the Short, steep, rocky trail up, and then the Long, less rocky, less rough on the knees way down. I can't imagine the short trail down with all those rocks. View was not great, weather wasn't clear (hence only four stars). Not a lot of room up top, but a decent amount to chill for a bit.

on Mount Jo Loop Trail

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail for beginners and families with kids. Suggest taking the long trail up and the short trail down.

Nice trail, well maintained, and nice views at the top. It was a bit crowded with multi-day hikers, experienced Day hikers, and tourists who don’t hike regularly. I was a little disappointed with the “iconic” aspect of this view — for me it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Amazing views! Absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
9 days ago

I found it strenuous but once you hit the falls it is so worth it.
It took us 4 hour and 30 min round trip at an elevation of 906 ft

Once you hit the cross the path above the falls there is a cool spot perfect for a picnic

Went early like most of the previous reviews suggested (we were on the trail by 7:45am and only saw 2 other cars in the parking area). Ran into about 4 ppl total on the hike to the Bunion, so pretty much had the hike to ourselves.

Lots of steps and scrambling over rocks, which made this trail unique and absolutely fun! The Bunion was masterful; climbed out onto it and had a 45 minutes break with snacks, sunshine, birds, butterflies and stunning, mile-high views.

Headed back to the car, we had to yield frequently to hikers headed up (it was 10:30a by this point) but still were able to make the round-trip hike (including the 45 min AT the Bunion) in just over 4 hours. Our hike ended just after 11am, and by this time the trail head was swarming with people, dogs, kids...and the parking lot was overflowing.

So glad we did this hike early!! And so worth the trek!! Will do again, and will start even earlier (would suggest 7am).

This trail is exactly moderate. Offers lush vegetation, bear sightings, and the occasional salamander.

The views from Charlie’s Bunion are amazing whether it’s clear sky’s, or dissipating clouds. Get an early start to avoid crowds. Most folks don’t get out to the trail until after 9 am. Get up early and enjoy the breathtaking view with limited to no company

We started this trail from the entrance near campsite 31 & all agree we would rate this as a moderate, not easy, hike. There was a fairly steep incline with decent elevation the first half of the hike going in this direction. We’re all experienced hikers & were all quite winded the the time we made it to the lookout. I definitely recommend novice hikers start from the trailhead, but if you want a great workout, start on the opposite end.

One of our favorites!

long hike. pushed about two miles because the lady didnt believe me when i said the sign for jumpoff was actually a trail turn. well worth the push through the clouds. saw a bear within 15 minutes on the trail. if you actually know how to handle yourself this hike is well worth it. go early for the bunion itself is small in size and large groups get dangerous

Very well-maintained and challenging trail. We (three 50+ year-old ladies) hiked GFM Trail yesterday; started at the parking lot for the swinging bridge, climbed to McCraes Peak, then on the advice of other hikers took Underwood Trail back to GFM Trail to return to our car. We are regular exercisers who are training for a Grand Canyon hike in October, and only hike occasionally. Although challenging mentally and physically (we climbed 10 ladders total, I believe, and relied on cables to pull ourselves along a few slippery spots), we had good hiking shoes with good tread (essential), plenty of water and comfortable backpacks. Conditions were very wet yesterday and a thunderstorm was predicted in the afternoon. We had intended to climb to Calloway Peak but decided to shorten our hike due to the storm. The trail took much longer than we expected, since rocks were slippery. Took us 4 hours. We will be back to accomplish this one in better conditions! Be prepared to pay $20 per person (ouch!) to enter the park on the side where the swinging bridge is, otherwise do the Profile trail to park for free (a longer hike). I think there were 7 or 8 ladders going up the way we did, but only 2 going down since we used Underwood Trail to return. Best hike yet and amazing views!

hiking
12 days ago

Very nice short hike. The Steward was very nice and informative. Not my favorite fire tower view, but still quite nice.

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