Explore NC Nov 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

NC Nov 2017 Map

The hike was great. Definitely come early to get parking since it’s limited. I would also rate it a moderate hike. Good hike for families to bring kids. The falls was beautiful. Saw two salamanders when I got it the falls.

4 days ago

This is a quick, steep hike up to the top that will get your heart pumping. Pretty heavily trafficked trail but when we went we got to see why they're called the Smoky Mountains because the mists filled the valleys below all the way to the top. Still beautiful though.

4 days ago

This trail was perfect for my wife and I, who only get to dust off our hiking boots about once a year. We took our 1 and a 1/2 year old, 50 pound pitbull mix with us and she did surprisingly great, even towards the rocky summit. I did have to lift her a couple of times to pass some of the more challenging spots. I would not bring an older or out of shape dog on this trail, i kept ours leashed and clipped to my belt through most of the hike just in case she fell. Challenging terrain with views and steep climbs that will take your breath away. The trail is marked with purple and yellow markings on the trees. We took our time and lots of pictures on our way to the summit. At the top the views are amazing, but they are only 360 degrees, not the 365 degree views that we were promised in other reviews ;P. We packed a lunch and ate at the summit before descending back down through the beautiful mossy forest. This trail is challenging and beautiful but not for everyone. I recommend bringing hiking poles, check the weather because rain might make some spots dangerous, and prepare to do a little rock climbing and scaling near the summit.

7 days ago

Easy walk through mostly dry river bed when we were there (Aug 28th) I really enjoyed the views of smooth side walls and searching for the pictographs. We found them in two completely different areas. Met a local and explored the opposite direction of the waterfalls after we were done there. Lots of rocks, boulders and cairns along the way until we saw a cave up high to our left. It looks like a big sand castle! Not a challenging hike but fun to explore.

Amazing views all around

This is a great trail for hikers who like crossing through fields of wildflowers and high grasses. Watch out for snakes, of course, and don’t worry about the bees everywhere because they’ve got plenty to focus on other than you. The top of the hill provides nice views from flat rocks (again, snakes on warm days), so bring a camera and a snack for the summit.

10 days ago

not very scenic

This was our first Trail on our family vacation to Gatlinburg. We thought it would be a good introductory Trail for our 5-year-old son and we were right... he loved it! There are quite a few creeks/streams to cross and views of the mountains. We were lucky enough to spot a few bear cubs along the way! Of course the falls at the end were the biggest hit - my son loves water, climbing, and salamanders so he was in heaven. I would strongly recommend this hike - the only downfall is the limited parking at the trailhead...plan accordingly

Beautiful views, hiked on a cool sunny day, trail had some mud and several downed trees. Trail is not marked we parked at Browning Knob overlooked crosses the BRP and found an opening through the trees where the trail begins. Once on the trail trees are marked along the trail that guide you to the summit. Walked through berry bramble along the trail that grabbed at us . The rock climbing along the trail to arrive at the summit was challenging glad we had our hiking poles. The trail was up and down most of the way with beautiful views along the way. Once we arrived at the Blackrock Mountain summit the flies were very annoying but the view was 360 and beautiful. I would rate this trail more than moderate and the miles longer than stated.

so I have to give my daughter a shout out she is only 5years old and she hiked from Daniel Boone boys scout camp to the summit of Cold Mountain and back in one day. We hiked it as a family I carried our 2year old in a pack on my back and the wife carried all our food and water. We started at 9:15am and made it back to the truck at 7:25pm. it was tough and we had to take plenty of breaks but I don't know how many other 5year olds can say they have done it. Next time I believe we will camp though.

Great hike. Got started at PL at 0900 and up we went! Still wet from thick fog. Took our time and made it to top in 30 minutes. Too foggy to see much but still a great short hike. A definite recommend. Watch rocks they are slippery. Paved all but last few hundred feet.

the views at the top are amazing. can see sylva and th surrounding mountains. the "Pinnacle park" is fun you can walk down to about 3-4 different rock faces all with amazing views. the hike is tough!!! straight up no breaks! when you see the start of the trail behind the gate, it stays at that incline basically the whole way. I started at noon. got to the Pinnacle at 2. left at 2:30, back at trailhead at 4. beware tho, I saw a few people turn around and couldn't make it. it's a hard trail. it follow a forest service road. it has a fire campsites at the beginning next to the creek. also one at the top, but man, I personally wouldn't want to lug my gear up that incline ! lol there is a short "bridge" trail. take it to the right it looks like your going behind someone's house. it's a nice trail , not forest service road, that follows the creek and you pass over a few small bridges. it's a nice trail. nothing spectacular but the creeks are nice. good for dogs. the hike to the top was worth it though!! I was going to do a 7mile loop? but got confused and tired.

At times the trail was a little narrow with how much foot traffic there was but there was a lot to see and we hardly broke a sweat.

on Grotto Falls Trail

16 days ago

beautiful and love how you can walk under the waterfall

Great Short Hike! It was uphill most of the way, but the view was worth it!

I gave it a 4 because of the view at the summit. The downhill on the lower east side is brutal. There are no bathrooms at the trail head. The waterfall was very small. The 1st 2 miles up is steep but when you make the turn to see the pinnacle ridge it is a nice stroll. I would recommend knee braces for the decent if you are not in top shape. My knees were shaking the whole way down, not to mention the obstacles. I enjoyed the work out.

Lots of uphill but worth it

Beautiful!!! Would rate as moderate to get to top but well worth the trek!!! Beautiful panoramic views at the top!!

Difficult trial and very rocky but nice scenery.

We had our 5 year old and 2 year old (in my pack) and were able to move through with ease. Highly recommend this hike for families. Beautiful falls, great photo opportunities, and a cool spot to soak your feet at the falls.

19 days ago

Great trail. Good hike, lots of traffic.

This is a short hike in and out. There’s at least two different trails you can take to get to black balsam. One is very steep and rocky with roots sticking up everywhere, and the other is not so bad. ;). Very open and airy hike with wonderful views! Views aren’t as good in the summer because of haze though. But like all of our beautiful hikes here, it’s over crowded. You’ll have a hard time finding a parking spot on the weekends and the same goes for a camping spot. And no you can’t just make another spot somewhere. “Leave no trace” please.

Wonderful, diverse, rugged and challenging with rewarding 365 degree views at the end. We took both of our 45-50lb Australian Shepherds and they handled the trail very well including navigating over the big rocks. The trail was up and down the whole way and just enough for us “vacation hikers”. We parked at browning knob overlook and walked down across the BRP into an opening in the trees where the trail started. There was nothing on the road to indicate there was a trail.

23 days ago

A popular hike due to its proximity to Gatlinburg but definitely not the best. No views. a few streams to cross. Water falls are nice and you can walk behind. Not extremely impressive, but perhaps I’m spoiled by Vermont waterfalls. Small pool at falls bottom but it is cold!! Rocks are nice to sit and rest. Passages are narrow at certain places which proves a challenge when encountering another group. Would not recommend for young children, unless they are conditioned for hikes on roots and rocks. Some steeper inclines bit nothing too intense. Bring a walking stick or hiking pole if you can. For a much more exciting hike, Id recommend visiting the Cades Cove area.

23 days ago

Great workout! Trails are mostly rocky. The trails feature views of streams a waterfall and beautiful wild flowers that line the trails! The view at the top is fantastic!

A fun family hike

23 days ago

This is a steep trail. It is dog-friendly but it can be very tough on many dogs. It is very rocky and sandy most of the way up and is going to be a tough go of it for older or unconditioned dogs. I guess this goes for people too. Even better trails that both come off of the paved part of this trail is the MST in either direction.

24 days ago

Great trail! Rocky and steep in places especially in the first half of the west fork. Challenging, but worth it for the beautiful views from the top.

26 days ago

Just a nice walk to a lovely water fall. Not too hard not too easy of a walk. Just right. Go early to miss the crowd. A lovely drive up and out.

26 days ago

Great trail, pinnacle is an amazing view. Lots of wildflowers and therefor lots of honeybees. Had a great time.

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