Explore Nantahala National Forest - 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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Stumbled onto this hike because the one we wanted to do was closed. Beautiful falls and river. Long steady climb almost the entire way. Last .25 mile was straight up, not as steep as Brasstown Bald but close. Overlook at the Pulpit was awesome. Don't forget to stop along the way and see the views on both sides of the ridge. Poles very helpful. Pretty wet and muddy in areas due to higher than normal rainfall in Dec. Parts of the trail are quite narrow. Not much level or flat hiking. Will do this again and bring our hiking pals.

Great hike and great waterfall. My husband and I went in December with 40* weather, we wore proper attire and the hike was doable. It also provided a quick work out and moderate 1 mile loop. Trail is clearly marked. The waterfall was beautiful and some aspects were frozen, which was neat to see.

hiking
1 month ago

I love this trail. it's short but you get 2 waterfalls on the way. totally worth the trip and hike.

Awesome. The thick fog moving through the forest and the sound of raindrops, were beautiful. Can’t wait to get back there and do it again when the weather is cleared up.

hiking
1 month ago

Short hike, not too strenuous. Brought the dogs too, they enjoyed the walk. Definitely recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

this was an excellent hike with a great view of the waterfall.

Nice short hike, beautiful scenery!

Great hike, uphill the whole way! Make sure to turn left at the “William’s Pulpit” sign to get to the overlook... Bartram Trail continues for another 100 miles. Great views! Hike has a few waterfalls along the way too.

Did this hike in early November 2018.... Great five mile climb that is moderately difficult, last quarter of a mile is the toughest. The mileage is wrong as it is calculated using GPS and doesn’t add in the distance caused by altitude gain. This adds .3 of a mile.

Wonderful view at the top!!!

The actual trail is kind of hidden to the right once you get on the gravel path. Make sure you don't keep walking down the gravel path because that is not the trail.

My new favorite hike! Nice, moderately strenuous secluded walk on the AT with fantastic payoff with 360 degree views at the top of Siler Bald. Highly recommended midweek to avoid the crowds!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice short hike. Not too strenuous. There are a few places where you either need to rock hop or get your feet soaked. The falls are gorgeous! I went yesterday and there was very little fall color. But it was still beautiful and tranquil. My only complaint is that the trail is too short!

I am so glad I picked this trail. We started from Backcountry Info Booth, right near Standing Indian Campground.

We started counter-clockwise on the Kimsey Creek Trail from the Campground and hiked about 5 miles until we reached Standing Indian shelter, where we camped for the first night.

Day 2 we walked around 15 miles northbound on the AT. When you reach the junction to get on the AT at the end of Kimsey Creek, make sure you go North, which will be to your left (this happens before Standing Indian Campground). We hiked all the way until the summit of Albert Mountain and camped at the top. The best parts of the trail are immediately before you begin the ascent to Albert Mountain and the views here. I would also recommend staying at Carter Gap shelter if you’re looking to shorten the mileage / day. We stopped here for lunch around 4:00 pm after leaving Standing Indian Shelter at 11:00 am.

Day 3 was very quick, purely downhill 5 mile finish back to our car. Nothing too remarkable.

Overall, some inclines that are challenging, but the two newbies with me never felt really exhausted. I would recommend going clockwise if you want to avoid a very steep climb over rocks up to Albert, but those with some experience I do endorse the counter-clockwise route.

Great weekend!

We loved this trail! It was a good little workout and the view was amazing, just watch out for bees when you get to William’s Pulpit!

on Rufus Morgan Trail

3 months ago

nice hike to very tall waterfall

Perfect trail for a leisurely hike. Absolutely beautiful, with only a couple other hikers, it felt like we were secluded into a deep forest. A bit too early for fall colors, but did find some red, orange and yellow leaves dotting the path. Will definitely recommend.

This is a great 3-day hike that you can do as a loop from the Standing Indian Campground. We enjoyed hiking North to South, starting from Standing Indian, going up the Long Branch Trail to the AT, then turning right and hiking until the Kimsey Creek Trail, then back to the campground.

We camped the first night at Long Branch Shelter (great water source, new shelter and picnic table), and the second night at the Beech Creek tenting area. We loved both spots. This hike isn't super strenuous, goes through pretty canopy and has some pretty vistas, especially at the top of Albert Mountain from the firetower. We carried a bear canister and had no problems.

I didn't love the Kimsey Creek trail - it's very wet and slippery, with a lot of fallen trees crossing the trail. Otherwise, the rest of the hike was wonderful, with well maintained trails.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail to the left looked washed out so instead of the loop we went right and back the same way (see recording)

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail ending with a good looking waterfall

Great little hike!

Very solid and well maintained trail. I'd recommend using Guthook's Guide as well as AllTrails app since you are walking the AT for most of this loop. It'll help with planning your water stops. Finished the trail in 2 days, but I'd recommend 3 if you want to have a more casual time. The shelters and sites are spaced pretty well if you'd rather average 8-9 miles a day.

I headed counter-clockwise down the Kimsey Creek trail first. It was bit overgrown and there were several blowdowns for the first half mile or so, but as long as you are paying attention you shouldn't have any issues. This portion follows and cuts across streams almost constantly so you will have no problem with water. I'd suggest filling up before heading up to Standing Indian mountain though, just in case.

After Carter Gap shelter, it's pretty much smooth sailing until a couple miles before the Long Branch junction. On my trip, there was a massive blowdown fully blocking the trail. I climbed over the tree, but I would 100% recommend that you try to squeeze under it or maybe hike up the mountain a bit to walk around it. It had rained earlier that day and everything was slippery.

If you are heading NOBO, the hike up Albert Mountain is pretty intense. It's half stairs, half rock climbing. There is a bypass you can use which follows a forestry service road for a bit and reconnects on the other side. It took me roughly 30 mins to climb the 0.3 mi from the base to the fire tower. I hiked this part after it rained, and the rocks were pretty slippery. You can always do the bypass then just hike SOBO up to the tower.

It was a great hike not too long, but you definitely get a workout. There are some cute waterfalls along the trail, however, the view is not as great as expected.

Great short trail with waterfall. The road without a name off Wayah rd. is Forest Service Rd. 388. There is a sign on this road @ 2 miles in for the trail.

7/26/18 - We had a blast on this trail. The drive to it was extremely easy and it’s really close to Franklin. It’s a long hike with some elevation so be ready, but the view from WIlliams Pulpit is worth every step. We went a little beyond the pulpit but stopped shortly after as we knew we still had 2 miles to make it back to the car.

hiking
5 months ago

This looped trail is really fun with great waterfall views. The road leading to it is 2 miles long of one lane section and can be a little dangerous, but we made it up and back just fine. If two cars need to pass in opposite directions, be cautious. Key is....be smart and drive up it slow.

Mellow trail out and back with a few pretty waterfalls and a nice payoff view. We are avid hikers from Colorado and it took us a little over 1.5 hours (out and back) at a relaxed but brisk pace. Would recommend for a close day hike to Franklin, NC

hiking
6 months ago

these directions are wrong. loafers glory is on SR 1442, not 1448.

July 3, 2018. Enjoyed this trail with 11 and 13 year olds -- 4 hours to summit and back including snack and rest at the top. It was definitely a moderate hike, challenging but fun -- no climbing over boulders.

Awesome hike! Completed June 2018. We had an age range from 4 to 75 and everyone managed just fine. The littles ran ahead the entire time and the elders took their time and used walking sticks. Steady incline, single file. Georgeous forest, many fun stream crossings, two waterfalls. Love that it's a loop. Follow blue trail markers. Hike is marked with a sign as you're driving on Forest 388. Enjoy!

This is not a hike but a lovely community greenway. We parked at the trail head (I believe) and my 6 and 4 year olds had a blast. There are restrooms, playgrounds, and a small splash pad. Greenway had a walking picture book that my boys had a lot of fun with. Paved trail goes along river and had blackberry bushes and beaver dams (so cool!). No waterfalls, not a hike, but a well-used urban greenway.

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