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Local Map

I love coming here in the winter and walking through the morning mist. No wildflowers, but I feel like I’m in LOTR. And not many people make it up here in early winter. If the visitors’ center is closed off, you can park at the picnic area.

Easy to access off Parkway, and heading northeast, a gentle up and down traverse along the ridge through several hemlock groves, forest, a clearing with wildflowers, and a rocky outcrop with views of the Black Mtn. Range. Great!

29 days ago

the trail is nice. if you need to exercise hike to the greybeards summit otherwise Walker's knob on the way is a lot better view than the greybeards summit.

Good wooded hike but no real destination or vistas.

Views were amazing. Challenging trail but worth it.

1 month ago

This trail was nice! There were a lot of rocks which made it more difficult but it wasn’t the worst rocky hike I’ve ever done. When we went it was extremely foggy and couldn’t see a whole lot.... however we did hike the additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls and it was beautiful!

We did this trail counterclockwise. We found the trail easy to follow and pretty well marked (the exception being coming off Little Piney). The uphill was challenging but enjoyable, while the downhill coming off of Little Piney wasn't so fun, somewhat painful actually. Very steep and slippery. You definitely want trekking poles for this hike.
Warning 1: a couple places along the ridge trail from Big Piney to Little Piney some trees had fallen across the trail. It almost appears that the trail disappears. You have to look carefully to see where the trail picks up again after the downed trees.
Warning 2: We came across signs for "Lower" Piney. Not paying close attention, I mistook it for "Little" Piney and followed it right to another trailhead/parking area on Suwanee Drive. If my GPS were accurate, I don't think I would have made that mistake.

We started out from somewhere on Harmony Lane. Map sucks, as we ended up walking up the street to what appeared to be a circular water tower. No trail here. Walked back down to a gate with a blue trail marker and a gravel road. Pulled up the All Trails map and is said we were on the correct trail? Great first part of the hike, following blue blazes and I think it was called Little Piney. Enjoyable hike, came to a nice rock overlook outcropping looking out over Montreat/Black Mountain after about 20 minutes. Trail starts to climb from here and eventually you get your choice of blue or orange blazes. Orange was Big Piney trail, which again kept us on the All Trails map. Some steep, rocky climbs, amd trail well marked. After another hour or so of climbing with some stops we came to Rattlesnake overlook. Beautiful. Up we went from there, another 30 minutes to trail intersection. We too Grey blazes back down the trail, hoping to end up back around where we started, but this is where the trail just ended. 10 minutes into the Grey blaze section the trail just ended, no blazes, no discernible trail. I bushwacked my around for a bit a d though seeing trees with orange spray paint there was no trail?? WTF. This is not a safe practice for a trail, maintain the trail or close this portion at the cutoff. We ended up trekking back the way we came, pissed off our trail was not marked properly. Thus the 3 rating.

Great workout but you don’t have much of a view while on the trail. Still very beautiful and leads you right to an overlook.

amazing hiking in the brush

Beautiful hike and well worth it to see the waterfall.

great trail, I agree, the directions to where it starts isn't correct. it's on your right -you'll see the signage. it just stops at the blue ridge parkway, but if you take a left once you hit it, you can walk down to Haw Creek Valley Overlook. it's not too far down, just be careful.
our dog loved the trail!

This was definitely a moderate hike with some pretty steep inclines and rocks at parts of it. The view is absolutely worth it!! The leaves look beautiful from the top and there’s an opportunity to get some really good panoramic pictures!

2 months ago

The beginning is a little rough with walking through large creek bed like rocks and tree roots. After crossing the creek/river 3 times,The hike gets easier after the first 1.5 miles. The water falls are beautiful. The opening for the over look Down into town was really neat. I’m sure it was due to the rain, parts of it were really muddy.But all in all it’s a good hike in God’s nature.

2 months ago

Nice trail. start at picnic area and go for it! The train is a bit rocky in some areas, but good trail. About a 7-10 degree incline at begin, but easy trail. Remember people, you're hiking a mountain, grab a walking stick, pit on appropriate shoes and go have some fun.

Beautiful and tranquil. We only passed a couple of other hikers. Trail is well-marked and pretty well-maintained, though narrow. Quite steep both ways - great exercise going up but lots of slippery spots coming down... It felt like there should be more switchbacks. At the peak of Big Piney there is no viewpoint, which felt anti-climactic, though there are some other points to snag views along the way.

Great trail! We did about 1.5 hours out and back (3 hours or so total), didn't hike the whole thing but will eventually- crossing creek 3 times at beginning of hike wasn't bad at all. lots of great spots to sit on rocks near the many waterfalls you see along the way, plus hearing the falls the majority of the start of the hike was really lovely.

Enjoyable hike. Previous comments about slipperiness were not exaggerated. If I do this hike again, I will go up Stompin Knob trail instead of down. I think the footing was better for going down the Big Piney trail. Either way is a good workout. Lots of mushrooms and there are still wildflowers.

2 months ago

Easy well travelled trail, round trip 1.4 miles, to a beautiful waterfall. To get there take the 8.8 miles gravel road called Big Ivy. Many mini waterfalls along the Big Ivy Rd too for enjoyment.

Solid climb with nice lookouts and a waterfall.

Should not be advertised as having a waterfall. You can only get to the waterfall by hiking an additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls. Overall disappointing hike. If you go after a rain the clouds will hide any sort of view from the trail.

3 months ago


3 months ago


A good butt kicker...still feeling it almost 2 days later....Straight up and straight back down...
I brought my 2 dogs.. make sure your dogs are athletic

3 months ago

Great hike. Strenuous at times. Go to Walker’s knob for a great view!

Walker knob has the better view if you decide to finish the trail there instead of Greybeard summit. Tough at times but we really enjoyed it. Lightly trafficked, dog friendly. Enjoyed crossing over the stream and the falls

Fun trail! Starts out hard for first 1.5 Miles... then a very enjoyable walk to final uphill... great views... be careful going down the final 1.5 Miles, much more technical than the top..

Too close to the road. Mileage not marked well so I had no idea it was as far as it was to a “view”-when I literally could’ve parked not even 1/2 a mile and walked up for the view. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hike but I didn’t go until later in the day because on All Trails it says around 3 mikes and it’s much longer than that. It’s also mostly all UP, so be prepared for that. All in all from the Folk Art place it took us 2 hours there and back. We stayed at the lookout rock for about 10 minutes but the rest is all hiking.

The view is amazing but if you don’t want a pretty rigorous hike park closer.

3 months ago

My favorite so far. First part of trail follows creek bed so you are always accompanied by the beautiful sight and sound. Difficult hiking, steep, lots of loose rock. Middle section long gentle out and back with what seems like gentle elevation increase. Third section back to steep with loose rock and roots and throw in narrow as it appears not everyone gets all the way to the top. Some great views, waterfall (Graybeard Falls) and terrific woodlands. Saw only about six other people on the trail, all within the first hour or two. After that had the whole trail to myself.

3 months ago

Starts hard, gets easier as you ascend. Water is pretty regularly found so no worries for pets. Good afternoon hike, beautiful views and not very busy on a Saturday

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