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Very diverse terrain which makes for an enjoyable, rough hike

hiking
1 day ago

This is a Smoky Mountain classic. The second mile to the overlook is intense but the views are totally worth it! Great mix of forest setting in the beginning to panoramic views at the top. Wife and I had a great time and would definitely would recommend!

hiking
1 day ago

Yup, STEEP. Felt like more than 3-4 miles up to the top, but when you go the way back down, you’ll be “oh that’s all?” :-) I enjoyed hiking this trail even though I had to make some stops to catch my breath! Spot a black bear on the trail, and had to wait some good 10-15 minutes before it left the trail.

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.

Really great hike. Good trail for beginners as there are not many difficult parts to it, but one is still rewarded with breathtaking views. I suggest going around noon or in the afternoon as in the morning the views are a little limited.

Tough hike for me but well worth the views at the top. Will do this one again.

I must see what an adventure

enjoyable hike to the falls. the trail to the top is a workout.

awesome trail with great views. not to strenuous until the last climb to the waterfall. worth the climb.

Great hike especially with younger hikers. Awesome views and a real sense of you made it to the top for the young ones.

Clockwise is the easier route.

Good hike

hiking
6 days ago

I want to say first that I only hike about 3-5 times a year as I live at sea level.

THIS HIKE KICKED MY #%*

I hiked this yesterday and I can barely walk today. I thought reaching the top meant that going down would be easy but it wasn’t. My legs were giving out the whole way down. Jelly legs.

I work out about an hour a day 5 days a week including swimming and weight training. But apparently that doesn’t prepare one for a hike like this!

It was beautiful especially the first half. And the view at the top was nice but not the best I have seen.

Playing in the creek at the trailhead after the hike was a great treat.

My 11 and 17 year old girls made it to the top but my 7 year old stopped at the Ap Trail.

I would do it again but would love to train more for it. A great accomplishment for me and a great memory.

Hike killed me but great view

Went after a heavy rain and waterfalls was amazing!!

Steady climb all the way up. Some great views at the top. Fun trail.

hiking
9 days ago

A coworker recommended this trail to me for my vacation and it was quite an experience. My entire family and I hiked this trail. It is a beautiful and scenic hike but when people says it’s steep they mean it. It is by no means an easy trail but it is very rewarding when you get to the top.

hiking
10 days ago

Definitely got my heart rate going! We went on a foggy day so we missed the beautiful view at the top. The trail itself is quite lovely and I enjoyed it a lot. We found some really neat wildlife along the way too (including a big black bear we just missed on the trail). Can’t wait to come back on a clear day!

Nice, peaceful trail. Saw a small bear by the parking lot.

Arrived at the trailhead by 8:15 on a Friday morning. I came after several days of heavy rain and definitely had to navigate some muddy spots. But it was well worth it. The river was roaring and the falls were awesome. I didn’t come across anybody until on my way back out. Finished and back to the car by 10:15. I thought this a relatively easy hike until the end where you do see more elevation gain. For anybody hesitant to go on this trail you do come across several falls early on and could definitely turn around sooner and would still be satisfied. Followed it up with a trip to Dukes Creek Falls and then some wine tasting in Helen. Lovely North GA day trip.

Nice hike but more crowded than I would like on a weekend. Mid June and the rhodedendrons were just starting to bloom at the start of the trail. Almost no blooms yet higher up. The mushroom and fungus diversity was spectacular.

hiking
10 days ago

youre gonna be high kneeing all the way up. well worth it if you go past the blocked trail top, to the actual tops ( so im told). go early as always with the park for parking is limited.

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.

The parking lot is big but fills quickly so arrive early. There is a short hike up switchbacks and stairs to get to the top quickly or a long gravel road to get there more easily but takes longer. I'm 60 and found the switchbacks to be easy and the best route. I went on an overcast day and found that visibility was 0 feet when I got to the many viewing areas along the SE face of the mountain. However, after lingering for 15 minutes the haze lifted and visibility stretched to the horizon after about 30 minutes. The main trail is well guarded by safety fences but the side trails are not so watch children. I'm posting the hazy pictures but also some unique photos of the mountain taken off-trail. There are many gated communities in the area but the shot of the mountain over the lake was taken on Whiteside Cove Road at 35* 04.035'N and 083* 07.194'W. The clear and sunny shots were taken at a place called "The Spa" along SR-64 between Cashiers and Sapphire. (It is a beautiful place that is not gated and the people were friendly.)

hiking
11 days ago

Tough hike but well worth it for the panoramic views! Will go again for sure.

Great exercise. Limited viewpoints was only negative

hiking
11 days ago

It was pretty rigorous for me. I had to stop a few times in the ascent to take a breather; the incline can get pretty steep at times and there are quite a few stairs. It was fun nonetheless. There are lots of rivers and little creeks throughout the trail, and though the water is cold, it was fun to splash around in for awhile to cool off. And I have to say, the view at the top is definitely worth the effort it takes to get to it.

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

Easy simple and beautiful

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.

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