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

Highlands Map
1 day ago

Very well marked trail. Some trees are down after Irma.
Pretty sleep elevation gain, so it was a great work out. We did it on a foggy rainy Sunday and didn’t meet any single person.
Flowers along the way and mossy trees.

Beautiful hike and amazing views at the top.

16 days ago

short and sweat little walk. great for anyone.

Great views fun hike

Views at top are nice. Trail is not pleasant to walk. Not much of a hike. But, a walk up the road.

The road is very boring for kids. Only took about .3 of a mile for them to get bored.

The views are great from the top. The east view is beautiful and the west is a bit more developed within the view. Sunset is amazing. I will make the track again for a sunrise.

Head up early if you want to catch sunset. A lot of people go up for that.

Worth the views and especially for sunset!


Great hike with a great view!

28 days ago

Great trail, falls are beautiful with 3 or 4 different viewpoints. Keep going down, it’s worth the work to climb back up.

A fantastic hike. We took it really slow and enjoyed the views, stopped for some hot tea at the summit and had a wonderful time on the trail. It is an easy to moderate hike if you start the loop by going left when you reach the top of the stairs. A moderate hike if you go right. Watch out for ice if you go in cold weather. I slipped on a patch and took a little spill, but was no worse for the wear. The views are great. We saw a Peregrine falcon in flight and lots of beautiful ice on rocks. If you don't hike much and are on the fence about doing this one, you can hike in by taking the loop to the left, summit, and backtrack the way you came in...giving you a gentle slope all the way up and all the way down.

1 month ago

Cute little walk with the kids and dogs. Beautiful view! You used to be able to drive to the trail head but last time we were there you had to walk the road to get there.

1 month ago

This is the perfect little path for older visitors and very little ones who can’t do a hike and but want to see one of our waterfalls up close and walk behind it. We come a few times a year to check it out and show our visiting friends and family.

1 month ago

We found it by accident but definitely loved it.

Definitely a tough challenge! Worth the experience especially at the top!

Great hike. We did this with our 8 and 13 year old. They both enjoyed it!

this is a cool trail. great views at the top along the rock face. some 700ft drop? people were repelling off of. very crowded though. camping isnt allowed. lots of steps. a hammock might be nice at the top though.. huge birds flying at the top

Great, short hike with beautiful views!

3 months ago

Perfect distance for what we were looking for. Took the dog and have great views at the top - there is not Summit sign to say you made it but once the trail starts heading down you’ll know when to stop.

Easy to find . Not too hard. Even our 11 year old dog had a great time . The only thing to mention are the icy patches due to time of year .

my hike was in total fog. but will go again.

4 months ago

Nice trail with a beautful view. This trail is most definitely NOT a loop, and is longer than the distance given. Just follow the blue blazes (which are spread out) and you'll be fine.

In my opinion, the best way to come to the falls is from the bottom of the mountain. It's way cooler than just walking down the stairs.

Awesome hike but not 10.6 miles nor a loop. Got lost and ended up doing 14.2 miles.

This trail is listed in Highlands, NC and Clayton, GA. It took some time but we found an entrance off of Hwy 28 just outside of Highlands. Absolutely nothing was marked and we had to cross a small stream to gain access to the trail. The trail was beautiful but a lot of downed trees. There were no markings and we only found the waterfall by chance. It was amazing and worth it. We had to double back on the trail at the waterfall due to blocked paths which made our hike almost 8 miles.

5 months ago

It's worth the hike. Beautiful falls. Hard hike back up, man made steps all the way.

Glen Falls is a beautiful hike, especially during autumn. I consider it a moderate hike, not difficult. There are a couple of waterfalls and a nice wide area atop one of the Falls where you can venture onto rocks and gentle waters for wonderful views of the Blue Valley. For a pleasant outing, hike the trail to the very bottom along an old riverbed to a small stream then back out.

The path to Dry Falls is a walk with a handrail along well constructed wooden stairs and rocks. I wouldn’t consider it a hike. Dry Falls is a wonderful spot for first time visitors to the area though I often return every year for the beautiful scenery and sounds of rushing waters, especially in the springtime when the water falling is heaviest. Kids of all ages enjoy walking into the mist behind Dry Falls which hopefully you figured out is not dry.

One of my favorite short hikes in the area for its vista views. Westside is fairly steep but a short distance. If you prefer an easy hike, take the left trail and hike in and out.

Then Glen Falls hike is a nice path that you see a couple nice waterfall views. Please read below if you're interested in the Chinquapin Trail:
Chinquapin Mountain Trail

Highlands, NC

The 3.2 mile Chinquapin Mountain Trail starts at the Glen Falls parking area. Take the trail on the right and cross the East Fork on a large log bridge. The trail continues along a tributary, crossing it several times on rocks and logs. This can be wet and slippery.

The second trailhead for Chinquapin Mountain starts on SR 106 and makes a 1/4 mile descent to its junction with the trail from Glen Falls.

After the junction of the two trails, the Chinquapin Trail ascends to the top on a set of 10 switchbacks. On the ridge line at the top there are three overlooks with views of Blue Valley. The first two are near the trail, while the third is reached on a steep 1/4 mile trail. Continue on the trail as it begins its descent. Before a "T" intersection there are two additional overlooks which have short trails. At the intersection, turn right on a fairly level trail section to the sixth switchback to Chinquapin. This intersection completes the loop. Backtrack the remainder of the way.

Very easy to medium hike only about an hour and fifteen minutes to do the whole loop. There are a ton of stopping points with GREAT views!

beautiful views on a easy to moderate. Great exercise.

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