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

Local Hikes Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
9 hours ago

Peaceful hike to a gorgeous bald with stunning views. The day we went the parking lot was packed but everybody else went the other way, we had the trail to ourselves, literally, all the way down and back up. Loved the hike. Not too strenuous, and took us under 2 hours.

My favorite hike ever!! We started the hike at about 7:15am so there were only a few other people along the trail so early. Inspiration point at about 2 miles is beautiful! Alum cave was pretty neat too. Above there is where the hike really gets interesting to me. Such amazing views and some of the cliffs you are on just make it a great experience. A long hike but worth the effort. We went to the lodge and Cliff Top. I am so glad we did the spur to Cliff Top, the views were stunning!! Felt like we were on top of the world! Took us roughly 6 hours start to finnish. One piece of advice, bring food, we did not and were starving for the last few miles. The Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg was the best $40 I ever spent afterwards.

Awesome trail, little traffic and awesome views at the top.

This is such a unique hike! You get good views of Lake James early on and they don’t stop as you reach the top and beyond. Lots of ledges to look out on and plenty of great camping spots along the way and at the top. Not a big time commitment either - Really loved this hike.

Best view you will see in North Carolina!! Relatively easy hike with a huge payoff. Highly recommended.

I did this hike today and it was very nice. The view is so beautiful at the end! The hike isn’t too strenuous and I would rate it moderate to hard at the very end. Be careful with yellow jackets (there was a nest), I got stung and ended up with a severe allergic reaction and a rescue team had to come get me. So if you’re allergic, take your pen/meds with you!

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.

Amazing views well worth the trek up the mountain side, the hike will take your whole day. One of my favorite places in the smokies for sure.

Loved this hike! The falls are amazing! We did have to walk through water to get there and the trail has some medium sized rocks in a few spots. I would say moderate is a good rating for this trail. So worth it though!

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.

hiking
1 day ago

Love this trail probably one of my favorites

The end of the trail at the peak of the mountain makes the hike completely worth it! It's a gorgeous 360° view.

This was one of the most beautiful hikes to date.. I highly recommend it but be ready, We did it in 4 hrs but well worth it!!!

hiking
2 days ago

Best hiking trail on the parkway with the best views! It is very convenient and it is located right off of the Parkway! This trail is very unique compared to other hiking trails in the area! If you are planning a hiking trip, this is a must do!

My friends and I were camping in Hot Springs NC, and decided to take a 45 min drive over to hike this trail. The hike to the falls is beautiful. From the trail head to the waterfall is about a 400 ft incline in elevation. Because of this, going to the falls is mostly uphill. There are parts of the trail that is just made up of piles of medium size rocks. Great place for snakes to hide. We saw two along this stretch of the trail. Overall, I would totally recommend this hike!

Did this trail last year. Trail is eroding from not being maintained. Waterfall is spectacular.

First thing to note is that this is a different trail than looking glass falls which several people seemed confused about. The only water fall is a very small one near the start. The trail is not steep but the 3 miles out is entirely uphill. The view at the top is definitely worth it though!

AWESOME TRAIL! The Alum Cave makes a great, scenic half-way point to sit and rest or eat. The second half is way more strenuous, but SO MUCH FUN! Even though it was foggy at the top, the lodge was a joy and the hot chocolate was pleasant. Looking forward to doing this one again.

I must see what an adventure

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

Great hike! We hiked it with our young children and got to see two bears!

Lovely views, lovely hike. The climb is never steep, just steady and moderate. We hiked up for sunset and soaked in our first Eastern sights of the Milky Way along with a hand-full of meteors from the Perseid shower. Other than a few passers-by, we had the place to ourselves.

This was our second time taking this trail up to the lodge. Beautiful trail and the views at the top are amazing. Unfortunately on this trip at the top the fog and clouds were socked in. Still worth the journey up there.

We did this trail and absolutely loved it. My kids 10& 12 rocked it but there are places that are a little scary. During the first mile, there is a picturesque area with big rocks and and a mountain stream to take pictures and play in the water. As you wind your way up, it gets harder and becomes very steep. We climbed through rocky, dense tree areas and then reached the peak by climbing up man-made ladders onto boulders. Several trails merge so it was a bit crowded at the top. Beautiful views! One of our favorite family hikes!

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

This trail was beautiful! We hiked to the bluffs and the view there was fantastic! The scenery, bridges, arch and so much more made this trail very interesting. Something different at every turn. Will do this one again.

hiking
4 days ago

Great views from a number of rocky outcrops, including views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, and expansive Blue Ridge mountain vistas. Budget at least an hour round trip, more if it had just rained or trail is wet. It gets very muddy after rain and the rocks can get very slippery. Multiple parts with steps, no gravel, mostly dirt/rocks combination mixed with tree roots. Good footwear needed; Once I did it in my running shoes - not a great idea. Moderate to hard in places.
Avoid, if possible, during weekends, or after 10am, as it gets uber-crowded. Children over 6 should be able to do it, as well as older adults in reasonably good shape/health.
Overall: great short hiking opportunity;

Note to BRP maintenance crews: trail is overgrown with shrubbery in places, no gravel left either, it's literally begging for some maintenance TLC.

Load More