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this was a great all day hike with family!

This trail is great. It has beautiful overlooks and cool natural features. It isn’t very hard either.
Also near the beginning of this trail, there is a short trail that leads to a waterfall. This trail is kind of hard but worth it.

Nice less traveled trail with a lot of elevation changes which at times are very steep. I suggest Spring winter or fall as it gets a bit overgrown in the summer, although if warm enough there is a great place to swim in Center Hill lake about 3.5 miles in as you turn to start back. Just make your way down to the rocks on the lake 15 yards from the trail. Also nice half way point to have lunch.
Wildflowers are beautiful in the Spring.
This is not a beginner trail run or hike. Runs more like 10 miles but is a blast to run.

Great trail with wonderful views! I was impressed with how well the trail is marked throughout the route. I would also strongly echo what others have posted - go clockwise (big creek gulf first) or else you are in for a very steep scramble at the end of 9 miles!

I hiked with my dog the mountain trail to Grindstone to ledge ridge, then to the summit. The total mileage was a little over 10 miles. I agree with other reviewers, the trail rating is hard is because of the total mileage. I had a great hike during the week, encountering very few hikers. I’ll be back.

So much fun! 6 miles round trip, 9 river crossings. Deepest part was up to my knees and on a couple crossings, the current was strong! Each crossing has cables so that was helpful. The waterfall, the window cliffs view at the top and the water crossings make this a new favorite!

hiking
28 days ago

It was in the 40’s when we started the hike. The Water crossings were frigid! All crossings were mid shin to mid thigh! Not a good hike if your wanting to stay dry! The waterfall was way rad! The cliffs at the end of the trail were an awesome to eat some food and enjoy the view! On the way out it was in the 60’s the water was still cool but much more tolerable. The last thing you do is walk up 300 ft of elevation right before the parking lot. Probably not a good hike for small children, but very fun!! Will do again!

Tough terrain but definitely worth the hike. It took 8 hours and we didn't stop for a long period of time to eat or break. We were trying to ensure we got out before dark. We parked at Foster Falls and had Dorothy take us to Grundy to begin our journey.

Not hard, moderate at best. No hard climbs, but a few of them add up. First one on the trail at 9:30 on a Sunday morning, lightly trafficked is accurate. I went after the leaves fell, so lots of crunching underfoot. I can see how it would be difficult after a solid rain, it was dry on my venture. No access to the lake unless you trailblaze a bit on your own. Different topography hiking along the ridge, but lots of time in the forest with not much to see. Lake is very pretty, but you’re never real close to it unless you go off trail.

Many options along this trail to circumnavigate, take steep short cuts and explore. Very rocky with railroad tie re-enforcements, swing bridges and scrambling. Beautiful falls, sunsets and foliage.
If you take the steeper route down, your knees will do the work. If you take the steeper route up, your lungs will take the brunt. The Falls are worth the challenge

Did just the Moore’s wall part of the trail today and it was absolutely lovely!! The trip to the top was a good workout but totally doable. Views spectacular without having to go all the way to the “big” mountains of N.C.!!!

Awesome trail. The views are excellent. We did the full loop clockwise, which I would highly recommend. Going down into the gorge was very steep and rock filled. The gorge itself was lovely, and the river was flowing pretty strong. The way back up to the rim was not near as steep as the descent (again why I would recommend clockwise). Overall a good challenge but very doable if you are active.

We tried this last year starting at Grundy and heading towards Foster Falls. We didn't allow enough time and eventually turned back due to loss of light.

This year we tried again. We decided to start at Foster Falls and head toward Grundy. We actually think this was better as we were going down a lot more than going up (going from Grundy to Foster would be a lot more "up.") There are a few places the white trail markers on trees aren't easy to spot. And several more where the tree with the marker had fallen down. Just pay attention to where you are going. Piles of boulders do not scream "trail," but that was usually it.

This trail is gorgeous. Going in early Nov provided us with the lovely leaf color that got better with every bend. There are many waterfalls that aren't on the map and you even pass under one. That was a pleasant surprise (don’t worry, we hardly got wet.)

I would recommend having a hiking stick (or 2 if that's what you prefer.) It's helpful to have a little more stability in most of the areas.

The trail took us longer than we thought. We started at 7am and needed our headlamps by the time we finished at 6pm. (Needing these would depend on the time of year you go.)

All in all- prepare well and you can enjoy this beautiful trail!

(We took Foster Falls to Grundy Trail. We did stop and go down to Ravens Point (very pretty, but if you are short on time you could bypass since other overlooks have a similar view.) We took the Dog Hole trail back to the Grundy parking lot. (Its nearly the same distance as the other but the Fiery Gizzard trail goes along the bottom and climbing over boulders takes more time.) We bypassed the Grundy Loop trail (due to the sun setting) and made it back to the parking lot. We parked one car at each lot ahead of time.

It would be wonderful if the trail had mileage makers throughout as you truly have no idea where you are. Most of us had cell service throughout. Downloading the Alltrails map ahead of time is very helpful. The trail was incredibly clean.

*The Blue Hole falls are best seen in daylight as the hole really is blue.  

*Foster falls is also best viewed in the daylight. (Obviously)

Depending on where you start/end, which time of year you go, and how quickly you walk, one or the other may be in the dark. Both are worth seeing you may just have to choose which. The entire trail is filled with spectacular views and lovely reminders of how beautiful the world is.

Enjoy it!

This was the most difficult hike I've ever done. I hike a lot of trails this length, but with this trail it's less about the length and more about all the climbs. lots of rocks, stairs, and mountain sides to climb up and down. This trail is a beast.

That said, there are beautiful views, valleys, and water falls all along the trail that make it all worth it. We also met a lot of really nice and helpful people.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike during the first Hanging Rock State Park "Reach the Peaks" event on National Public Lands Day in 2013. Lots of views, great ups and downs and be prepared to sleep well after.

Hard with some scrambles but the views are worth it.

hard but worth it. cross water 10 times

Truly a real gem. This was one of the best hikes. Tough but rewarding.

on Five Peaks Hike

1 month ago

Fun exercise, especially in the fall! The best way to do it is start with Moore’s Wall...700+ stairs to climb...but CLIMBING stairs is way better than coming down that many. Too hard on the knees.
Check in at the Visitor’s Center and tell them you are doing the Challenge. They’ll give you a paper to log your times at each Trailhead.
I took the MST trailhead, at the Visitors Center parking lot, to the lake, and started Moore’s there. The Visitors Center people will tell you to walk up the road through the camp ground, if you start with Moore’s Wall. But I would much rather walk a trail!
When you’re finished, turn your times in and you can get a ‘5 Overlooks Challenge’ patch. Pretty cool.
For a real challenge, you should add the Indian Creek Trail for another 8 miles...total of around 18. Now that’s a challenge and a GREAT day :)

on Five Peaks Hike

1 month ago

the park does offer a five peaks challenge historically in September but have heard that will now be held in the spring 2019.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a really nice hike. We did, in fact, go counter-clockwise and started with Moore's Knob, which is what I would recommend. Strava says 10.5 miles with a little under 2000' of elevation change. Moore's Knob and Hanging Rock are the coolest, the other "peaks" are cool too, but the other definitely stand out. Great trail for dogs, mine had a blast. The entire trail is well-shaded, so cool even if the sun is out. A bit out of the way for us in Raleigh, but was definitely worth the day trip.

1 month ago

Maybe I should rate this poorly to keep it secret... bring your water shoes. Lots of stream crossings and a tough short hike at the halfway point for a great view

hiking
2 months ago

From the Dan River to the Hanging Rock State Park parking lot, this trail takes you across maybe 10 creek crossings, with several up to ankle deep as well as takes you to Window and Hidden Falls near the top; I hiked this during the Pilot Mtn to Hanging Rock 32 mile event., as 100s of runners came down the trail as I was going down and up. Nice cool fall day and a great hike!

Absolutely gorgeous, both along the rim and through the gorge. I started at Stone Door and hiked the loop clockwise, going down through the gorge first, and finishing the loop by hiking the trail along the rim. The trail through the gorge is difficult, trust the reviews and be prepared for uneven terrain and a strenuous climb out at the end. Also, watch your step. We saw 3 snakes while at the bottom of the gorge, and 2 of them were copperheads. Regardless, this hike is incredible, one of the best I've found among the dozen or so areas I've hiked through in TN. After emerging from the gorge, the hike along the rim is pretty easy and there are multiple overlooks that are ideal for taking in some stunning views of the gorge from above. This one is definitely worth the effort!

Angela Jones and I had hiked over 10 of 13 miles at Fiery Gizzard yesterday before realizing that we were not gonna make it out before dark. We never thought it would take us that long but there were miles and miles of huge rocks we had to climb over so it took way longer. Last minute prep we bought these cheap little headlamps(lesson learned)which gave us just enough light to make sure we didnt fall off a cliff, in many places the trail was on the edge of a drop off, but it didnt give enough light far enough to see the markings on the trees. Thankfully we found someone to help guide us out the last 2.5 miles. So tough but so worth it. Just make sure ya have good headlamps.

Started in the trail at 8 am with full packs on an 80+ degree day. The first several miles of the trail were beautiful and peaceful. Light broke through the trees while walking along a stream. Next we began the boulder portion of the trail ( my least favorite ). It was hard to view the scenery due to constantly watching where you had to place your footing. We were moving at a mile per hour.
Once we passed the boulders we came to Ravens point which was awesome. We stopped for lunch and took in the views. Several other hikers were there and we all swapped stories of different trails we had taken in the past. Our next portion of the hike was the newer sections, the ups and downs of the stairs. Wow what a beast of trail on the legs. After we completed this section the trail began to smooth out and we were able to pick up our pace as we were worried about not reaching camp till after dark. We were able to get to Father Adams campsite just before dark and enjoyed a great meal then turned in for the night. This trail
Is amazing and I would recommend it as one of my favorites. I had been wanting to hike this trail for years and am finally able to check it off as completed.

2 months ago

Save some energy going the last stretch back to the parking lot...its all up hill for a good workout. Beautiful hike! Good idea to take a pair of dry shoes to change into because the ones you wear to hike in will get wet.

Great hike. The gulf will test your meddle a little. Took the trail clockwise saving the push up out of the gorge until after the creek trail. It will give you a great cardio workout, Was tougher than the climb down from the Stone Door area other than the rocks but they were not bad at all. Watch out for the climbers by the SD. Didn't want to put on water gear to cross to Ranger Falls. I will catch it next time. Creek was high and running fast. The rim is good but there is a lot of forrest time. Great overlooks just would love to have seen more. There was a group of Hawks hunting up and down the gulf flying right above my head. Really a great tough hike. I clocked in 10.2 miles and 1945 feet elevation. And 4 hours of moving time. (Take your lunch down at the creek bed you will love it.)

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