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Great hike -nice mix of several rock overlooks, small waterfall and rugged hiking in the backhalf. BUT THIS HIKE IS A FAIR AMOUNT LONGER. My Strava said 12.5 miles. Also, backhalf (big piney ridge trail) is not for novice hikers as trail is not as well worn, although probably partly due to fact was fall with plenty of leaves down camouflaging trail.

Awesome trail. We loved the terrain. Beautiful views.

Not much solitude, but good for a workout and a good scenic view at the end.

8 days ago

We’re late middle-agers in decent shape and found the first part of the hike tough on the knees without hiking poles. There were throngs of chatty people going up and down until we took the less traveled and gentler toll road, bypassing lookout. The top of rattlesnake was an easy rock scramble with great views and lots of secluded areas to hide away from the few others who summited and away from the interstate noise. Loved it!

9 days ago

Definitely the best of the summits in the nearby area above Montreat. (Hike to all of them while you’re up there.) Far fewer people than on the trails to the other peaks. Great view from the top.

I agree, the view from rattlesnake peak is even better than lookout. I missed the right turn to go directly to rattlesnake, and ended up doing the Rock scuttle all up to Lookout before continuing on to rattlesnake.So depending on what you want to do – to go directly to rattlesnake peak make a right turn on Old Trestle Road. It’s a four way intersection and very obvious about a third of a mile up Lookout Trail. You only need to walk about 30 or 40 feet and you’ll come to another intersection. Make a left hand turn on old Mitchell tall road trail. I think it was about a half or 3/4 of a mile it could’ve been more, but you will see a big sign for rattlesnake look out on your right. From there it’s about a half of mile. If you do what we did and go to Lookout first, continue straight after lookout point. You will come to an intersection after maybe five or 10 minutes, make a right on Hickory ridge Trail. Continue on Hickory ridge Trail, until you reach old Mitchell toll. Make a right, and going this way Rattlesnake Trail will be on your left. The whole loop took us about two hours As we took it easy going up and took plenty of time for pictures and enjoying the scenery. The total loop for us was 2.8 miles.

13 days ago

1 mile from the Lookout Mtn Summit. Good views, fun hike.

14 days ago

This is a fun, moderate hike! Great for our family with kids ages 14, 12and 4. Some technical parts (rocks, mud, lots of roots) but my 4 year old managed just fine! Gorgeous views at the top. We could have spent all afternoon up there.

Just as a heads up, it took us a few minutes to find the trailhead from the parking lot. It’s the trailhead just to the right of the bathrooms, it’s not well marked.....several trailheads to choose from.

15 days ago

This was a beautiful, challenging hike! The drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway is gorgeous & has many lookouts. Once you get there, the trail is through the gate to the right of the bathrooms. I didn't find the trail all that well marked throughout, but fortunately, we passed many friendly people. There weren't that many forks in the trail & of the times we choose the wrong fork, the trail became overgrown. So choose the path most traveled, haha. I found the hike to be on the difficult side of moderate. I'm in my early 30s, work out every week & found it challenging. The beginning is pretty flat, then there's a boardwalk that brings you down to a lovely field, then you see the mountain ahead. The trails on the mountain could be steep, narrow, muddy, & tricky to navigate boulders with a steep dropoff. So just go slow. The lookout is well worth it! We went on a clear, fall day & could see really far. Truly gorgeous!

A wonderful short trail - should take around two hours depending on if you stop to admire the old lodge. Parking is very limited with about 4-5 spots right by the trailhead and then limited roadside parking a short walk away. That said, I’ve never had an issue finding space if I’m determined to hike the trail.

Most of the trail is actually part of the Mountains to Sea Trail and is blazed white. The trail is fairly straightforward until you reach Rattlesnake Lodge. You’ll find lots of little side trails - most lead to smaller ruins or backpacking campgrounds.

If you stay the course on the white trail through the first part of the lodge, you’ll find additional ruins. A blue blazed path will be to your right going downhill right before these ruins. If you continue straight you’ll see two additional parts of the lodge. Running between them is another blue blazed path on the left going uphill and a white blazed path on the right.

If you take either of these paths you’ll complete the loop as it is on the map. I usually take the blue path first as it’s quite steep and harder to climb down than up, then make sure to go right when it meets the white trail. I highly recommend doing the loop as there are more ruins and lovely streams.

Overall the old lodge is fascinating to see and the hike is short & sweet. The trails are very well marked and maintained. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon.

18 days ago

We only had a short window of time for this hike and it was perfect length to enjoy some great views.

For our 7th Anniversary we stayed at the Mount Pisgah Campground and hiked the Pisgah trail with our dogs. The dogs did great and it wasn’t too bad on them although they were exhausted afterwards. I’m not an avid hiker and I will tell you I felt very tired after the hike but it was totally worth it. I wouldn’t recommend this trail if you are starting out especially with those that have chronic back problems or knee/ankle injuries due to the steep inclines going up and declines going down. I have had two ACL reconstructions and they are about 8 years old, needless to say arthritis kicked in good afterwards lol. Altogether it was a beautiful hike and very fulfilling to reach the top. There are (2) creeks, birds, multiple types of trees and shrubs, and wonderful rock formations along the trail. I think you will truly enjoy this trail should you decide to hike it.

Tree lined and shady, rocky and a bit steep in spots so watch your step. Beautiful forest but no Mountain overlooks on this particular trail (would be some in the winter I think but we were here in October).

Beautiful hike with a few nice small climbs. Views were lovely even with all the fog. Trails are clearly marked with blazes.

1 month ago

Alright people here we go...this trail is awesome! It will fool you. The first 1/4 mile is flat and easy, then the next 1/4 mile has some rocks to use as stepping stones. Then the fun begins! It's a mile and a half of elliptical training. Imagine an elliptic machine and a mountain had a baby. If co editions are perfect, great hike. We had a wether front come in and it was wet, slippery rocks. Coming down in perfect condition would be easy. Ours was a bit more challenging. Be warned...wear appropriate hiking shoes. You will thank me later.

Love this loop! Great views and beautiful forested trails. College takes good care of the trail. The down is very steep; last time I had to take an alternate route down because of ice.

1 month ago

Well a couple having sex at top and angry Yellowjackets coming back down. What else can you say about a trail that makes someone’s heart pound in so many ways.

Did this up and back trail in reverse starting from the BRP . Nice trail especially pretty at the top under the pines. Nice workout on the way back up. May have some views once the leaves fall. A creek with small waterfall is at the bottom.

Not too strenuous and well defined trail in most places. Train is not marked so got turned around a few times. Not very busy on a Saturday afternoon. Most dogs on leash except one. Great shade, lots off mushrooms and moss, and yummy forest smells. One thing I’d change if I could is that you can hear all the loud ass touring motorcycles on the parkway as the noise travels up.

1 month ago

Nice, easy hike out to the remains of a remote lodge.

Nice trail with some pretty views. Moderately challenging with one pretty steep uphill on the white loop. Make it longer by doing the blue offshoot trail near the stream.

It took me about 50 minutes to hike up to the summit, I’m not a hiker but I’m a healthy and active person. I went slow but I only stopped a few times for less than a minute each to take pictures and catch my breath. Some parts of the trail were rocky and steep and a little slippery. I started around 7:20am and saw only one couple with their dogs ahead of me. I had the summit all to myself for a few minutes and the view was very nice, although the view from the Buck Springs Gap overlook near the trail entrance was much more spectacular than the one at the summit.

Nice scenery. Good views.

We did this in an anticlockwise direction and included Walker's Knob near the hut below Greybeard. Good views at various points. Trail is well marked but rough in places. Great hike and we have done it before. I would grade it moderate to strenuous. We met only three other people all day.

Great hike after being off the trail for a long time . There are lots of beautiful flowers and trees to soak in .

Amazing view

Nice hike but many intersecting trails so you need to pay close attention or you will miss your turns. Old trestle trail is was enjoyable.

2 months ago

The lookout view is nice but the lookout trail is a highway of people. To avoid the crowds and bypass Lookout and get to the spectacular 360 deg view at Rattlesnake peak, when you get to the major trail intersection about 0.2 miles in, go to the right and get on Toll road trail. We never saw a single person and had the entire mountain top to ourselves. It was about a one hour hike to the peak.

This hike is more than moderate for a 72 year old! First mistake was eating breakfast at The Pisgah Inn and then immediately going on a hike we've done at least four other times. We hear of hikers doing this assent in 20 to 30 minutes but we would have died on the trail trying to do it in less than an hour! So we took it slow and caught our breath probably six times but enjoyed the scenery along the way, which a speedy run wouldn't allow.
the trail overall, is well maintained and enhanced by the platform at the top. the views are spectacular even with a tower. The descent always goes easier but caution is the word for the day as one slip and your career is over as far as hiking goes. Recommend trekking poles to steady your climb and return. I believe the rating as most have given this trail, of moderate, is based upon ones age, weight, and attitude. personally I'd rate it "Difficult". See you at the trailhead!

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