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hiking
4 days ago

Well worth the effort. Only a few other people on the trail and had the falls all to myself.

Great trail, well maintained and ability to see 4 falls if you know where to look!

Well-maintained trail, saw a couple frogs and turtles but not much else. Probably prettier in the fall and spring, but hardly any flowers or color. Easy hike with a few hills. Overall, not bad.

hiking
22 days ago

Favorite trail in pisgah! We hike this one every visit. Lots of little creek crossings and just a cool environment. Lightly traveled, we usually only come across just a few people. Dog loves it. We typically start from the Buckhorn Gap trailhead.

Would’ve rated it great but we stayed on the loop specified...was much longer than posted. My daughters app measured 6.5 mile loop.

Great hike! Took me 3.5 hours to do the Loop and clocked more than 9.4 miles total; certainly more than what’s advertised on the site. Waterfalls, thick rhododendron forests, but very muddy and slick in some places. Going up Art Loeb was great and passing by the campsites was fun near dark.

My son (age 4.5), husband, and I did this trail with one modification in June. It was a great backpacking loop for us. The first day we hiked in about 1.5 miles and started to look for a campsite, which we found 0.6 miles off the loop at the intersection of cat gap bypass and cat gat loop. Not liking to back track, we hiked around cat gat loop to get back to the planned route, which we then finished as defined here. The waterfall on this trail was pretty spectacular-- when you are right up close to it to view, it is REALLY LOUD. The trail is pretty, lush, and varied, lovely for a warm weekend with a child in tow. There are no scenic views on this trail. All in all, a trip worth doing but probably not one to do multiple times unless you live close by. On the second day we hiked from 8 am to 3 pm with plenty of breaks for water play as necessary by a 4.5 year old-- his longest day yet at 7.3 miles, but that just goes to show how easy the trail is.
Trail Rating: * Miserable ** Boring ***Good Hike ****Fantastic Hike ***** National Park Worthy Hike

mountain biking
1 month ago

We rode 3 different trails there today. We had the most fun on these trails. Will recommend them to beginners and experts.

really excited about the hike but could not figure out the loop for anything. I'll try again with a map. trail not blazed well.

I love this trail. You have some dirt road, it takes you by an old home site, where the giant oak fell recently. It walks you along the lake and the creek feeding in to it. So much to see, plants and mushrooms and animals. Did someone lose a dog up there? We saw a very skittish small dog on the dam road. Unattended with no person. My app said 5.5 miles. First time I walked it said 7. I wander.

Boring, poorly marked.

Solid run. If you do the loop counter clockwise, you'll be road running all the way to the top and there's a lot of sun midday (so I would recommend this as a morning/evening run). But beautiful single track through the forest on the descent.

I would rate this trail an overall moderate one. Nothing too difficult, beautiful views around the lake! It's a great trail for training or trail running. The only strenuous part I'd say is the foot traffic only portion of Brissy ridge. Overall decent hike, wish there more views.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty Hike, nice falls, but nothing crazy. Nothing strenuous...we carried babies on our backs - very doable

hiking
3 months ago

Nice waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC

Completed a full 7.5 mile loop with a group of 5, varying in experience and fitness level. The only “view” was of the lake, no waterfalls or anything of the like. Still a beautiful hike. Overall a good experience, will do it again.

It’s a great trail but they have a lot of different ones there have to go back and do more. Also you can rent bikes there. Mountain bikes... we will go agains an so soon!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice little trail for how easy it is to get to, right outside of Clemson. Barely marked at all, as others have noted. I meant to hike the Issaqueena trail, but ended up hiking on Collarbone, to Lawrence, before eventually ending up at an intersection with Issaqueena. Ended up at the top of the lake, and hiked down the eastern side to the dam, then walked back on E Dam Road, a dirt/gravel road that lead to the parking area. The lake was very pretty, saw a deer swimming and lots of turtles sunning. Pretty low traffic for a friday afternoon, saw one mountain biker, a horseback rider, and one person walking their dog. Trails were mostly single track, but very easy walking and essentially no elevation change. I would classify this hike as more easy than moderate. Will explore the trails some more another day, I like how close by it is!

We chose this trail as a conditioning trail and the following review is written from the point of view of a backpacker carrying a 30+ lb pack. Fee is now $5.00 per person and you pay at the toll booth, it was early when we arrived and no one was in the booth but they have envelopes to fill out, bring a pen. Started the trails at shelter 5 and 6. Looked like there was a nature walk for kids going on when we started with a Ranger (think this is pretty cool). We walked past them and started up the Sulpher Springs trail. Very shortly the trail came to the first lake we would encounter for the day. Saw a turtle and a lady fall (wear proper shoes guys, there is a lot of rocks and loose debris on the trail). Continuing up the trail we made our way to the waterfall at the dam and the rock tower. Really nice pictures here, the temperature was nice and cool. There are some rock steps that go up to the trail above you that will put you back on track. Once we scurried up those I was feeling good and doubting that this trail was ranked correctly at hard as nothing we had done so far was difficult but my curiosity was soon sated. The incline began and we started up, over rocks, through two streams (very easy crossings), back over rocks, up some more rock steps, leaned against a few trees, and continued on. When I finally came to the top I held up a tree for a good 15 min before the forest sounds finally drowned out the pounding of my heart. (I want to take a moment to mention this trail is very thin at points. Be careful with your four legged pals and children as you go up this section. There is a decent drop on the right side down into a ravine). After a quick break, afore mentioned, we took Fire Tower trail and made our way down this down and back trail. Once we arrived at the burned down fire tower we stopped, had a snack and a decent break. Saw a lizard that was too quick to get a picture of and not much else. Wandered our way back down the trail and picked up Kanuga. Not much here to see until you get to the lake. I do want to mention there are some back country camp sites around the lake. I didn't really venture into them all but there did appear to be enough room for two tents. There is a grated fire pit and a picnic table in the two we did see. As you wander around the lake take a look at the contrast of the evergreens and deciduous trees behind the lake. You are at a vantage point where you can see the difference in colors and it is awesome. The water was really clear as it hadn't rained in a few days but it didn't appear that big fish were not biting as everyone I spoke to only said they were catching a lot of little ones. As you continue over the dam and walk across the little foot bridge (grates) look left down the spillway. There is a lot of debris here and you can imagine the awesome power of water that moved those huge pieces of wood. Walking on around the lake I stumbled upon a couple of more lizards and spotted a duck box, recently put up it appeared, on the far end of the lake. Didn't seem to be much duck activity but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. Next came Pipsissewa trail then Brissy Ridge. At the trail marker we stopped and had lunch and another breather then chose to do the easier side of Brissy Ridge as energy was beginning to fail a little. Down Brissy Ridge the trail opened up and I did get a couple decent pictures of the vista. These were the only ones I was able to get while on the trails. Down Brissy Ridge we went and were dumped into a parking lot. Saw a nice Subaru WRX (YOHB?) in the parking lot but thought for a minute we had lost the trail. If you feel the same way let me save you a little bit of worry, go diagonally left across the parking lot and you should pick up the Sulpher Springs trail. Wandered down to the next parking lot and kept on going. Down hill we continued, passing a tiny black snake and a bunny. Singing is how we finished the trail off as energy was waning and we needed to keep going. All in all the trail is good, I only gave it a 4 star due to the lack of vista views. I was surprised by the amount of people and would expect this area to be highly trafficked during summer. Take plenty of water. Wear the right shoes. Take snacks. Enjoy the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Clockwise from trailhead. Nice hike. Need this app. Trails are barely marked at all. Got turned around twice. Nice moderate hike though. Full 1/3 elevated trail around the lake. Water crystal clear. No power boats. Minutes from Clemson. If in the area should definitely check it out. About 2 hours around. 5 ish miles.

mountain biking
3 months ago

A nice little climb on the way up followed by some intense riding on the way down. Theres a pretty challenging portion with lots of roots, rocks, and sharp turns followed a much flowier portion next to a creek. I entered behind the stables and just kept making right turns until i made a loop.

Great hike today. Was a little confusing at times but we figured it out with Alltrails and a quick glance at a paper map. Maybe some local groups need to volunteer time to refine some of the signage?

Loved it! But...take your phone and this app..markings are very poor and you will get lost. Ran it and it was 5.6 miles per my Garmin watch. Bikers on trail but only a few and were very respectful.
whoopwhoop!
Go runners!

Fun trail! Beautiful lake! I will be making this a regular trail running stop!

Nice trail but needs more blazes.

hiking
5 months ago

It's actually quite easy, with the only real uphill portions being short and not very steep regardless. Definitely a great place for a family trip. We started the figure 8 with turning left for a clockwise loop and by the end of the lower loop, I *think* that the signs pointing you back to the parking lot are...backwards? I hate to say that because I'm sure it's me who read them wrong but I did the opposite of what they said after they led me back to Nook's portion, and I ended up at my car. (?)

5 months ago

This wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting. Nice views from the top. Wouldn’t recommend going when it’s too wet out because I can imagine the rocks getting pretty slick up there. Will do it again with friends/family but avoid bringing any little ones unless we stuck to the easier side of the mountain. Not the greatest views from below but would probably recommend for bikers.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome trail! Directions a little confusing, but we took Buckhorn Gap to the falls and Avery Creek Trail on the way back to the forestry road.

Little bit longer than 5 miles. First time walking and the signs were a little bit confusing. Glad I had my phone to make sure I was on the right trail because I probably would have been lost. Took me about 2 hours but I stopped to take pictures. Moderate is a good measurement. Hills, flat grounds, great views. Very light foot traffic but I also went early afternoon on a Friday.

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