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Perfect for a quick yet not easy hike with awesome views!!

hiking
1 day ago

I did this trail on a weekday in early October and it was perfect! I saw only a handful of people so it wasn’t crowded this day. The trail is mainly shaded for the entirety of your journey, although it was still nice and humid. It’s basically a constant incline, featuring lots of rock steps and some just gradual incline. So on the way back you’re at a constant decline which is a nice reward. It’s a pretty long trail but so worth the views. Halfway up the “out” portion of the trail you’ll get your first taste of the views and from there, there were about 3-4 more epic viewpoints. Take lots of water and at least a few decent snacks because the trail is essentially almost 7 miles long in total.

Awesome..!

Nice views. Very easy trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Very beautiful sights. My dog loved the mud, and water that covered this trail! Beautiful waterfalls, and flowing creeks through out. We took our shoes off and climbed across the rocks and ate lunch overlooking the waterfall. it was a strenuous trip and my tracker clocked us at around 7.7 miles after all the off trail walking we did to find the water. If your looking to be exhausted and dirty after this is the hike for you.

hiking
9 days ago

This is a tough one. Hardest one we've done so far. Bring lots water we ran out coming back down. The views at the end are amazing. There were only a couple of things I didn't care for and neither had to do with the trail. We started at 9:30 and this hike was really busy the whole time. Several people were playing loud music and being loud themselves. It took something away from the experience. I do feel a huge sense of accomplishment though, this one was tough.

We went on a Saturday in early Oct. and got to the park right as it opened at 8am. Parked in the lot just below the very top lot and hiked the short hike up to the swinging bridge. Then walked across the top lot to the start of the grandfather mt trail. We started the hike at 9am, made it to Calloway peak by 11:30, spent 20min at the top for lunch and then got back to our parking lot via black rock trail by 1:45pm. Round trip was about 5hrs and that is with us stopping for views and really taking our sweet time. We hiked about 5.5miles. My advice. Keep right on the underwood trail? On the way up to do the cables and ladders (which weren’t as scary as I was expecting) and then keep right at the same split on the way back for the easier descent. Calloway peak actually wasn’t as impressive as macrae peak was, so if you wanted a shorter trip just go to macrae. But all in all the $20 was worth it and this is one of the best and most fun hikes I have done. 5stars! If I can do it anyone can, just take your time on ascents and descents, but honestly they weren’t too bad. Oh, and start early!

Truly the best trail I’ve hiked in the entire Blue Ridge area. The hike did take a lot longer, because of all the heavy traffic, but it thinned out the higher we hiked. The trails had more views than I would have thought possible(due to all of the edges of the cliffs that the path etched through).

Took longer than expected, but a beautiful hike. Would do just the falls hike next time or pack a lunch halfway to make it more enjoyable.

beautiful!

I hate a gravel path trail! The views at the top make it worthwhile though

hiking
14 days ago

Easily the best hike I’ve done so far in S.C. Plenty challenging with a great payoff at the end.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

Wonderful hike. lots of climbing and views. while this is hard I think older kids would enjoy this.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike with some verticals so you are getting a nice workout! Once you get up keep going to the right and enjoy a awesome almost 360 lookout that many people miss, you do have to scramble to get there but worth it!

The out and back is a little over 8 miles due to the relocation of the parking area. The top 1/3 is very steep with large rock steps. Excellent payoff at the peak though.

hiking
18 days ago

It's been a few years since I hiked this trail, but its a great one. At roughly 700 ft of climbing per mile, it is a tough one but it doesn't take a marathon runner to do it. I did the trail in early September so it was real hot. Do take plenty of water and some food. The trail starts off moderately; then gets steep about 1/2 way up. There is a good overlook at the shelter but it only gets better. You hit a ridge line where you get views facing south that are incredible. After this the hike is not as steep as you hike towards the summit. Once you hit the summit it goes downhill a bit towards the view that overlooks the reservoir. The day I went it was kind of rainy so there was hardly anyone on the back side of the mountain. You can also do a bit of exploring on top of the summit. The backside is facing north and there are not any roads or sounds other than nature. It was really quite serene. I hope to get back and do this hike. I would put this hike in my top 5 in the NC, SC, Ga mountain trails along with Looking Glass Rock hike, Blood Mountain, and Grandfather mountain.

nice climb , the view from the top was fantastic. will be going back soon

Lots of deep mud! A soggy & slippery scramble. Thunderclaps as I was coming down luckily avoided rain. Overcast with clouds surrounding mountain and wind gusts. Enjoyed it!

We hiked about week after hurricane Florence and many days of rain. Trail was wet and slippery as you would expect, but still delightful. We were quite glad to have high ankle boots and trekking sticks. Encountered five ladders which were challenging with dog on lead. Up the ladders wasn’t so bad, down ladders were frightening but with two humans and one 40 lb dog we did fine. Many creek crossings and we got wet. Very enjoyable and one of our favorite hikes ever. We went counterclockwise based on other reviews. Took our time and were on trail just over three hours. Take lunch - take your time.

Great trail! River pools to swim in and multiple river crossings. One of our favorites!

hiking
21 days ago

It was really worth it. I’m pretty inexperienced and it was definitely hard but the views were well worth it! Just don’t stop where the signs say the trail ends. There is a short climb to the top and it is absolutely breath taking!

hiking
22 days ago

so easy & absolutely beautiful!
went during sunset, for a night hike
30 minute trip ✨

Awesome, awesome hike!! Although the mileage seems low, it is a very strenuous and technical hike. There are lots of ladders, cables, and big rocks that you have to climb up and over using your hands and feet (these were all reasons why I loved this hike, but maybe it's not for everyone!). The grandfather trail is an awesome mix of woods and walking along exposed rock faces which makes for a very dynamic hike and incredible views along the way! When I went (mid-late Sept) the leaves were just starting to change, but I bet in a few weeks (mid October) the colors will be amazing up there. Good hiking shoes with good traction are absolutely necessary - many spots of the trail were very wet/muddy when I hiked it yesterday (partly due to the hurricane, but regardless...) the steep/smooth rock faces can be very dangerous when wet, so the more traction the better. I saw a few people slip pretty bad wearing sneakers. I am a 23 year old in good shape, and a pretty experienced hiker. I hiked all the way to Calloway Peak (stopped for a bit to enjoy the amazing views at McRae peak on my way) and completed the full thing in 4 hours (this included a couple snack/water breaks and picture taking). The men at the gift shop said the hike to Calloway and back is usually completed in 5 hr for the average hiker (3 hr if just going to McRae and back). The $20 entree fee is of course a bummer, but in my opinion very worth it and they do a great job maintaining the trail (the ladders/cables are in great shape). If you are hiking on a weekend (I was there on a Saturday morning) be sure to get there early before they open (9 am) so join the line of cars that will already be forming. The parking lot all the way at the top that you will park at is right below the mile-high swinging bridge, so be sure to check that out once you finish your hike!

Super easy and stunning views

One of my fav hikes in North Carolina. Have done it several times and several different routes. From Profile Trail to paying at entrance. Either way, worth the time and the money. I just remind myself that the money goes towards maintaining Grandfather Mountain! So I have no problem paying the fee!

Great hike, have done this a few times but this was the first time in the wet. Definitely not for children under 12 or so. After mile marker 2.5 it begins to get steep and the trail goes thru some small boulder fields which makes climbing difficult and with rain it can be even more dangerous. Be careful and have fun!

Excellent workout. I've done this up and back in one day. The ladders with high winds are a bit unnerving, hold onto your hat and camera. Always worth every step.

This one has it all....great views, length, technical elements. Be prepared to spend several hours doing the hike if you're going to Calloway's peak and back. It joins the Grandfather Trail in time to get some of the best elements - the chute, the ledge and the alpine meadow...not to mention the peak. If it's been raining, the lower couple of miles gets pretty slippery due to the clay. The steps added to the new section (trailhead to where it joins the old trailhead) help with traction. Fantastic hike!!

My wife and I did this hike with our 9 mo. daughter in a carrier and thought that it was on the more difficult side of moderate, but not quite strenuous. Great hike, but if we did it over again, we could have just gone straight to Hebron Falls (so, go right at the fork instead of straight) and backtracked the way we came in. Going the full loop seemed a little tedious because after you see the rock community and the falls, there really wasn't much more of interest (except for a bunch of little creek crossings and a very brief section in a meadow). Plus, the full loop has you walking a couple extra miles through a large camping area and along the parkway which was a little boring. The best part of the hike is definitely the 1.5 stretch straight to the falls. Lots of awesome places for getting in the water, and beautiful variety in terrain.

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