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

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hiking
14 hours ago

Great trail! Brought my Chacos and they were perfect for crossing the river right before the waterfall. Keep climbing for a bonus waterfall. Love this hike.

Went yesterday. As everyone says, the hike in is easy- back, not so much! But worth it because it’s beautiful right now. Saw wild roses, geraniums, irises, trillium, phlox, violets, larkspur, and catch-fly (bright red). We caught a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker. The water is flowing well. We brought water shoes to cross the creek and were glad because we had dry shoes to hike out. Bring plenty of water!

This waterfall is beautiful after a good rain, during a drought it’s just a trickle. This trail has some beautiful wildflowers as well.

hiking
3 days ago

my favorite by far, it's a 3 in 1 trip with such unique waterfalls. take plenty of water....

Really nice trail. Big surprise was there are two really neat falls to see. The first falls appear to be twins. Once you see this falls continue on the trail to the second one which is really gorgeous. For your return to the trail head you can go back the way you came along the creek. We choose to make the loop so we took the high trail which is
very easy to walk. It is up hill for a ways but
It levels off and your walking the ridge line. You really don't get a good look at the Hawassee river but the gorge is quite interesting. From the hard top road it's several miles on a good dirt road. Go hike this trail it's really a pleasant experience .

Absolutely beautiful!!! The hike out was definitely difficult but well worth it!! Took my 9 year old son, and we hike at least 2x/month, and he said this was his favorite hike so far. I would not recommend this hike for beginners.

Just beautiful, it was well worth the strain of climbing the steps to the top. I would definitely go again!

camping
6 days ago

This was my first hiking/camping trip about a month ago and Ive been wanting to go back ever since. We hiked down to Laurel Falls,Sheep Cave and eventually Virgin Falls. All were a sight to see. Virgin Falls was literally breathtaking if you're able to safely get closer to the bottom. I plan on returning this summer.

hiking
7 days ago

Gorgeous but difficult trail. If you want to avoid the steepest part of the trail when you come to the fork go left to head to lower piney first. Just keep going left
Until you get to upper piney. I fell hard two times crossing over the top of upper. Be careful! I see it is listed as an out and back. It is a lollipop loop actually.

Nice view of the falls. If you have a dog you probably want to skip going up the stairs. They are open metal gratings and many dogs wouldn't use them. Actually saw a couple of people having to carry their dog. Makes a strenuous hike into a stressful hike.

The Eastern Ridge portion has some great mountain views but none of the falls. A good portion is a rutted out old gravel road that was more difficult to navigate.

We got a little more workout than planned for a short 2.1 mile hike. 610 foot vertical puts a lot of strain on your calves. The upper section of the eastern loop, is an abandoned, washed out road with large rocks. The lower section is a nice wooded switchback trail. The steps on the western loop are in good shape, mainly made of steel mesh. Great views. Do checkout the lodge. Great spot to sit on the deck and relax.

We went after a good bit of rain, so the creek crossing (you step on rocks to cross, right before the waterfalls) was close to impossible without getting water in your boots. It was absolutely worth it to have wet shoes, because the water features were awesome. So carry extra socks. Also, due the the uphill climb on the return trip, allow much more time to return.

Visited 4/11/2018. Stunning! Abundance of wildflowers, especially white trillium, phlox, bottlebrush, Virginia bluebells, celadine poppy, purple phacelia. Absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. At the end of the boardwalk, you may take the trail to the twin waterfall.

Loved the trail, it is difficult towards the end. Well worth it!

nice view

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike.. It seams longer then a mile as what the sign says. Be ready to hop rocks.

My family went here in August. We had 3 adults, 1 toddler and 1 elderly in a wheelchair, most of the paths up to the waterfall have tire rubber and so can take stroller/wheelchair, also lots of opportunity to drive up to top so if you can’t make it. It was gorgeous and we had lots of fun (except it was tough pushing my 200lb grandma in her wheelchair!!) highly recommend it, love how you don’t have to be an avid hiker to enjoy it but you also can be because part of Appalachian trails. Can’t wait until my daughter is older and we get to hike a portion of it’s trail together!

hiking
13 days ago

worth the rocky walk.

love this trail. My 2.5 year old climbed all the stairs without having to be carried! Beautiful views!!!

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike and gorgeous views! Perfect for our family and very dog friendly

love the hike and the upper portions are misted by the falls. it's A'1.

hiking
17 days ago

great workout. awesome views

Long drive for a short hike. HOWEVER- this is a beautiful area, offers a nice short hike for kiddos and camping along the way.

The southeastern portion of the trail, which we took on the way down from the falls was the only portion that actually felt like a “trail”. I have the hike a rating of 5 because of how amazing the falls are. The park is very clean and it’s interesting to see the folks that are making their way to the AT. We added about a mile of the Hike Inn trail to give us some time on the trails. Be prepared to get a great workout climbing the falls. If you want to spend some time in the woods on the real trails, I would recommend parking at the bottom, middle and top sections of the falls to get a few good looks at the falls. I would then spend my time on the AT approach trail starting at the top of the falls. You can also take the Hike Inn trail if you prefer.

Short out and back walk. I parked at the dog park and added a little more to the hike. Can be a little slippery after a rain.

I wouldn't really call this a hike but it was nice nonetheless - you take a short (but steep and slippery) walk down to the river. Rock Island seems to be made up of a bunch of little trails so if you want to do some hiking in the park, I'd recommend just doing all the trails. My friend and I did this in a day and ended up with about 7-8 miles total. None of the trails are difficult and most of them are easy to follow plus you get to see more of the park (which is pretty and well-maintained) that way!

The only downside when we went was that they had to close off the gorge b/c of flooding so we weren't able to go into it. I do hope to go back someday when that's not an issue!

Fun trail but as the reviews before me said, it is a valley so the hard part is in the second half of the hike. I think it's a pretty good trail for a range of hikers - if you're an avid hiker it's not a challenge but it's still nice and if you're newish it'll be difficult but manageable. There are definitely prettier waterfalls in this part of the country that take less effort to get to but if you want to get some exercise in it's worth checking out.

The trail is pretty easy to follow and completely empty when I went. I started from the Alabama side though so I'm not sure how it is from the Tennessee side. You hike down through some woods, across a creek, past a small cemetery, and end up in a natural amphitheater. The trail just sorta ends and you can explore the area. I sorta wish I had brought some sandals when I got to the end b/c most of the rocks were submerged so I ended up getting my feet and shoes wet trying to get closer to the waterfall (and hiking in wet shoes is never fun). Do be careful while exploring the area though. I slipped and fell on the wet rocks and got bruised pretty bad.

Beautiful. Completely worth the time and effort!

My garmin tracked this at 4.8 in and 4.8 out. Not sure where AllTrails get 6.6 in/out. Not accurate. It’s well over 8+ Miles. Also, If you are a avid hiker, I would disagree with the rating of Hard. Out is up, but if you are in pretty good shape this is not a hard day hike. Beautiful!

hiking
26 days ago

Ended up on this trail after a few massive rains in February after discovering that the Laurel-Snow Trail was too washed out to use--I'm glad I came! Normally I would have passed up such a short trail, but since my planned hike was out I gave it a go.

The flow rate was INSANE after all the rain we had had, so I couldn't safely cross the upper falls to do the loop. I doubled back and hiked down to the lower falls and was so glad I did-- walking behind a RAGING waterfall is always an epic experience.

I would definitely recommend this quick hike if you're chasing waterfalls--it didn't disappoint.

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