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

Highlands Hikes Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Absolutely fabulous hike! Not really difficult, but can be a little muddy and slippery at parts. I highly suggest going all the way to the turtleback waterfall. Also, try going on the rocks (dry ones) that are a little bit off-path to get really good shots. We were warned about copperheads, but did not encounter any.

bear encounter

Went after a heavy rain and waterfalls was amazing!!

This trail starts in Gorges State Park (but eventually leaves the park property). Drive past the Visitors Center and down the hill to the large, paved parking lot. Downhill from the trailhead the trail splits - left is the Raymond Fisher Trail and right is the Rainbow Falls Trail. Go right. On the trail there are two creek crossings. The first is a shallow and easy two stepper but the second is a deeper six stepper. I made it across without poles. Rainbow Falls has two nice viewing areas (one farther away to take in the full view and one up close to feel the mist). Turtleback Falls is where all of the swimmers go to slide down the falls. There is no formal viewing area there but the large boulders are easy to climb and navigate and afford great views. Both waterfalls are particularly picturesque.

Great exercise. Limited viewpoints was only negative

One of my favorite hikes. Busy in the summertime, but well worth it for how short it is!

Great hike to see two amazing waterfalls, Rainbow Falls and Turtelback Falls. Moderate to strenuous 3.9 mile trail beginning at Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls is a super beautiful fall and incredible to see, while Turtelback is a great swimming hole area and water slide for the adventurous.

Great family hike! Moderate difficulty - mostly downhill to the falls so more difficult on the return. Bring water shoes if you plan to take a dip at the base of either falls . We slid off turtleback falls (which is not for the faint of heart) - and we swam at the base of rainbow falls. Lots of hikers and swimmers today.

The Rainbow falls trail was amazing. Plenty of waterfalls to be seen, a few are found off the main trail. The actual trail is wide enough to hike in groups. There are a ton of swim holes, as long as you are down from Rainbow. The main attraction is a great waterfall with a large cliff and high walls next to it. Trees appear to have been cut down to block the trail to the top of the falls, and signs are posted for safety. Over all a great day of hiking, swimming, and picture taking.

After hiking the Foothills Trail four times I have seen this one enough. Besides I like Upper Whitewater Falls better..

Beautiful falls, great hike!

Panthertown is my home and is run by a great conservation group. This is a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Don't be afraid to get your paws wet.

I took a guided hike led by the conservation group. A little steep in a few spots for my over the hill owners. They just took their time and stopped to breath a lot. The rest of the group had no problems. Those young bucks. Dog friendly.

Enjoy.

Five woofs!

Great hike. Kinda busy on a hot day but I wouldn’t have considered it crowded at any time. Falls were impressive. I definitely went over the falls for a nice refreshing 55 degree cooldown lol.
Tons of places to peel off and just sit by the rapids and find your inner zen.

Excellent trail well worth the hike. Go during the week. Early morning is best. If not be prepared for large crowds of swimmers. Hiked it in about 2.5 hrs and that was with stopping for some pics. Make sure to hit both falls as the 2nd one is only a short hike from rainbow.

trail isn't overgrown or full of poison ivy. we read that review, decided to hike it anyways, and to our pleasant surprise it was amazing today. definitely hard work, but well worth it.

Great afternoon hike with a spectacular view of the falls. There are a few stop offs on the way to the base that are excellent for swimming.

Beautiful waterfalls! Lots of people...

Very pretty, loved the small waterfalls and sandy beach areas to chill. Saw a bear cub, luckily momma bear didn't appear. Diverse terrain. Lots of trails that can be confusing. Make sure you have a good map!

This trail starts with a bit of a muddy and rocky decline, but soon you’ll start to hear the rapids before you come upon the AMAZING rainbow falls. Wow. What a force of nature. Go to the viewing platform to get a good misting before continuing on to Turtleback falls. These falls are also beautiful and can be fun to play in but beware! Unfortunately people have been swept away doing this. I would like to note that this is a HIKE to waterfalls. Please bring water and appropriate footwear. I saw many people without supplies and wearing flip flops on this trail and they were struggling.

hiking
1 month ago

We had a lot of fun hiking to these beautiful falls.

Easy to moderate. Great views.

lightly marked but the paths are clear. it was an awesome day hike and I was glad to see a bunch of people out hiking the trails aswell.

the trail started off good. it was moderately challenging and not crowded which is,a huge plus the week of 4th of july. unfortunately we turned back a mile and half in to the trek because the trail was over grown and full of poison ivy.

hiking
1 month ago

I went on June 30. The view was great, but I wish it was closer to the Falls. Looking at them from distance, you really miss the powerful energy then if you were closer. I’ll try the upper Falls next time.

Our family favorite

Love this hike. I have been on this hike numerous times. Many things to look at along the way. Took it with a group from our church. Love the falls and the water. It was great for hanging out for the day in the ENO.

On our way back to Pittsburgh from Atlanta we stopped to go hiking and swim at the falls! It was really hilly but definitely a good work out and not difficult. Sliding down the falls was so fun and the people there hiking were all so nice. The views of both falls were amazing and definitely worth the walk! Bring your bathing suit!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Really great hike, beautiful view of falls

Loved it! Go early in the day on a weekday.

Gorgeous river and waterfalls. Great swimming holes at the base of the initial decent. However this trail does not allow camping due to whitewater corridor protection (the reason for the 3 star rating). However we hiked to Thompson river, 2.7 miles past the turnaround. This was a spectacular 4 star hike. Next time we will start at Bad creek parking to get to Thompson river. (A lot of ticks in June!)

Load More