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The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

One of my favorite trails. I did not like all the bear jams along Cade’s cove though. Took a long time to get out of the park. But we’ll worth it. Saw a total of 16 bears mostly mammas with their cubs. Wild turkey. The biggest red headed woodpecker I ever saw and bunch of deer. Great day.

Love this trail. Great challenge, but not too difficult.

hiking
3 days ago

Very fun trail with amazing views! In my groups opinion it wasn’t very hard like the reviewers say (and we aren’t in very well shape like most). Would recommend this trail to anyone.

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!

The walk in was steep and slippery in spots. Bridge crossings where slick and had ice. Snow closer to the Falls. Was worth the hike! 16,433 steps according to my watch. Recommend for those that want to see beautiful water falls. We did see a huge buck driving in. Then we saw a bear both going up and heading down.

Breath taking!

hiking
4 days ago

Probably one of the more impressive waterfalls I've seen. It's easy to lose the trail in between Virgin Falls and Sheep's Cave, so heads-up. I did this on a Thursday morning, and I only saw a handful of people the whole time. I had my dog with me, and we stopped at each waterfall for a bit, so it took me 5 or 6 hours.

Beautiful year round.

nature trips
5 days ago

beautiful in the autumn colors; peaceful in its isolation, almost other-worldly...

Beautiful trail! Longer than expected, but worth it. There were down trees, and a lot of rocks and roots, so you have to be cautious. The waterfall was beautiful, and I’ll never forget it. My boyfriend proposed at the fall. What’s not to love?

I thought I was gonna pass out but beautiful

This is a strenuous hike. lots of rocks and boulders. if you love water falls this trail has plenty of falls.

on Cummins Falls Trail

walking
7 days ago

Trail to the bottom of the falls is a little confusing. It becomes more difficult to get to the falls the further down you go. But the overlook path is short, clear, and absolutely beautiful!

hiking
8 days ago

Falls was well worth the hike. Being from Michigan where it is flat, I was pretty tired the last half of the hike on the way out as I was not used to the up and down. Was not as in shape as I thought either. Lol. Also did some geocaching along the way. Very much enjoyed this hike.

Hiked this trail to see fall foliage and we weren’t disappointed. It was gorgeous and we got many beautiful pictures. The forest was ablaze with color and the falls were a treat. Trail is easy to follow. Saw a snake on the way back. I think it was a garter snake.

hiking
9 days ago

It​ is​ place​ to​ visit​ for​ Fall​ season.

Nice trail not heavily used. The creek is very nice.

Hiked this trail in the early morning hours of a Sunday (started at 8am) and half the parking spot at the trailhead were already taken. So go early. First half is a well-trod wide trail with a steady incline, but easy going; runs along the river with plenty of photo ops. Once you hit the switchbacks it does get a little steeper, but very doable with a steady pace. Falls are spectacular. We climbed up to them (despite a sign advising against it). =) Just be careful and use common sense. Pictures don’t do it justice. Beautiful hike in the fall with plenty to see.

Very awesome! I climbed behind the waterfall itself. It’s slippery and there are signs saying to be careful, but I’m a dare devil and was determined to do so. Hike itself wasn’t too challenging. Saw a deer, climbed up a fallen tree! Enjoyed it very much. Will do again

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

The drive in is not nearly as bad as previous reviews.....typical National Forest Road in good condition. 2WD is good to go. There were at least 6 cars at the trailhead when we left. None were 4WD. Hike is short and only tricky towards the end. Beautiful falls!

Hiked this trail while vacationing in Pigeon Forge with my family (10/30), it was a nice hike to the creek/small water fall. Uphill all the way to the bridge crossing mostly on an old service road, then it narrows to a rocky and root filled trail until you get to the foot bridge, we did not do the loop. We sat by the water on some large rocks and ate our lunch. All the way up you will pass small streams, you could hear the water flowing the entire hike, recent rains had the water flowing nicely. The parking is pretty tight at the trail head, but other than that it was a nice hike!

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Very diverse trail with all types of terrain. At times it can be tough to navigate. It took us around 6 hours to complete with a few stops along the way. We backpacked in and set up camp along the creek side. Beautiful park!

hiking
10 days ago

Moderate climb, muddy with some slick rocks and roots and lots of traffic but 100% worth the amazing 360 degree views of the mountains. Parking was tight, dogs were friendly and people were courteous on the trail when it got a little narrow or tricky. One of the best trails on the parkway!

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

This trail was nice. The moderate rating is fair. The view at the top was spectacular. We hiked in the fall and all the leaves were changing. The waterfall was also nice. My 4 star rating was due to the fact that you are hiking along a major interstate and the noise was not what we were looking for on a hike through the woods.

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