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Be prepared for "are we there yet" questions. Good luck not asking anyone how close to the top you are. The hike itself isn't that tough, just longer than you realize. After a few false hope finishes, you will get to the top and feel like you just found the portal to middle Earth. Extremely rewarding view. Just remember, you have to go back down...finishing the hike back down is the most satisfying.

Steep sections with gorgeous views.

Rather easy, less than 1000 feet elevation gain trail.
We were here on a weekend , so met some people but it was not crowded.
Beautiful waterfalls.
The whole trail sparkles! You need to witness it in order to understand it.
Be prepared for several water crossings specially in wet season. .

Signs or trail markers would have been super helpful as there are multiple forks. It was pretty though!

Great views! It is a tough trail but worth it! It’s April and the vegetation is blooming, beautiful scenery!

hiking
1 day ago

Moderate route without much traffic. You come to a large pasture with some decent views at the top. Did not see any cows there. The way back was much harder! The pasture at the top of the bearwallow mountain hike is much better, however.

hiking
1 day ago

I got to the trailhead just before noon on a Thursday so it wasn't very crowded at all (I saw hardly anyone coming back down). It was in the low 60s with a good breeze which was nice to keep from getting too hot. The first half or so is full of switchbacks and a steady uphill climb, though like others have said it's more moderate than hard. If you're not an experienced hiker and want a good test of your fitness level then this is a great choice. The view at the top is incredible and well worth the trip. It can get incredibly windy up there and the rocky endpoint of the trail is very steep so watch your step.

The Looking Glass Rock trail is very popular and is advertised in local tourism magazines. The parking lot at 35*17.411'N and 082* 46.631'W holds no more than 10-11 cars. On an April weekday morning I was first at sunrise and the lot was packed when I got back down... so go early. The climb is scenic and goes up countless switchbacks so there is no place that is steep, but it's a lot of uphill. Near the top is a helipad at 35* 17.945'N and 082* 47.328'W that is right next to the trail. Next you'll reach the summit, which is an open, sandy clearing. Go beyond the summit and descend a ways to reach the viewing area at 35* 18.262'N and 082* 47.680'W. The viewing area is steep with no fence or barricade so watch the younger kids!. Due to an abundance of rocks and roots at the higher parts of the trail, boots are advised. And you'll also want the extra traction on the rock face. The view is exceptional and gives a 180* panorama to the west. For the classic view of Looking Glass Rock as you leave, turn left onto US 276 and go 5 minutes up the road to the Looking Glass Falls and take pictures then continue up the hill to the Blue Grass Parkway, turn left, and go to MP417. There is a designated pull-off and other nice views of Looking Glass Rock nearby.

Well worth it! It pushed me to my limit, but I would gladly do it again and again. I love this place! The beauty is unbeatable.

Great trail to takes the kids on. It can be overwhelming how many people are out here though. It is a very heavily trafficked trail. But my four year old loves it, sitting and snacking up in the bald is her favorite. If you add the pinnacle trail to your day it makes it a bit more worthwhile. Great hike to take the dog on, just be aware that not everyone keeps their dogs on a leash, and you may run across a loose one on your hike. :-/

Beautiful, easy little hike that ends in a gorgeous little waterfall. Makes for a perfect day of hiking in the summer. Kid and dog friendly. Awesome to take a hammock and let the kids play in the water at the end of the hike and just relax.

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes. So many trails to go on in one area, and kid friendly. The views are amazing! I could stay here forever...

I hiked this trial on the 19th of April. Very steep path, certainly between start and first 1.5 miles. Certainly after 2 miles it gets less demanding. At Governors Rock faced a lot of wind but enjoyed a lot the view. The overlook on top of Table Rock is magnificent. Fantastic view over the massive forests this region has. Definitely worthwhile! All in all this can be a tough hike for non trained persons. I started the hike at 11h30 and got back at the entrance around 14h30. One can do it in half a day. Great to have this hike checked of off my to-do-list. Greetings

hiking
4 days ago

This hike, in my opinion, is an ideal day hike. It has it all: a timeline totally doable in a half day, interesting trail that is well maintained, and amazing views from the top. I hiked this on a Wednesday in April, starting at 7:40 am, and reaching the summit in a little under 1 hr 40 min. I hiked with my favorite hiking companion (my dog), and we had a great time. We didn't see a single person on the way up, or during our 50- minute stay at the top! We had GREAT views from many lookouts on the huge summit. We started our descent a little after 10, and got back to the car at 11:30. We were taking our time on the way down, as I had to negotiate my dog down the steep rock sections at the top, and he had to sniff and pee on a lot of things. So overall trip time was 3 hr 50 min, but only 3 hr of that being actual hiking, with 50 min at the summit. For planning purposes, this hike was not particularly difficult if you are a semi-regular hiker and in decent shape. However, if your idea of a "hike" is something like Yellow Branch Falls (3 miles on flat terrain through the woods), then this may not be the hike for you. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers, individuals who are out of shape, or those with joint issues, due to the steeper sections of the trail. If you are in good shape, you should get a nice little workout doing this. Overall, a great view and experience payout for relatively low time investment. I will certainly be going back!

As Everyone says... Very difficult, but worth it! It had been on our to do list for years. Don't care what anyone says, it's definitely harder coming back down. Great feeling of accomplishment for casual hikers.

nature trips
4 days ago

Beautiful waterfall!

Great hike with wonderful views from on top of the wall to below the wall. Good amount of campsites, some with water sources and some without. Only problem is the bears in the area. They will come into your camp and they are accustom to human interaction, so trying to scare them off is a bit more difficult. Just come prepared for bears if you are camping and it should be fine.

The trail is marked well, a big meadow at the top is nice, sat and had lunch.

6 days ago

No waterfall on the trail to the top, but the view from the top is gorgeous! Looks up at the parkway and black balsom area.

Absolutely stunning waterfall to look forward to at the end! Very strenuous hike, however. Completely uphill, with tons of rocks and roots to watch for. Entirely worth the work to see the falls, though! :)

Great hike! Tough trek but the view atop make it totally worth the torture. The app underestimates the actual elevation gain and loss. The app’s elevation map stars the trailhead starts around 1200’ and the summit is around 3000’ which would put total elevation in the 3400’- 3600’ range and not the 2600’ listed. In other words it’s more difficult than you might think.

So far it has been my favorite hike. It was a beautiful day and early spring so the trees have not bloomed and you get a view most of the way up. I would say it’s on the harder side of moderate. I definitely plan to do this on again.

hiking
8 days ago

The trail is well maintained and has a limited amount of rocks and tree roots. The trail has a few man made steps but nothing overbearing. There are a few areas where other 'trails' may intersect but the signage is very helpful in these areas. There is one section that has big rocks to step over but for the most part, it is a very pleasant trail for your feet. There are a few sections of short 'steep' inclines but the trail is definitely on the lower side of moderate. I think the trail is a great one for beginning hikers or ones that want some exercise without overdoing it.
The endpoint has a decent view but not a great view like some people said while my son and I were going up.

Amazing view at the top. Well worth the strenuous hike up.

The parking lot to the trail was still closed, so we hiked 0.8 miles from the nearest parking and had the trail to ourselves most of the way. Beautiful views at the top, easy hike, good for the pup. We did not hike down to the waterfall. Next time, we’ll be bringing a hammock for some R&R at the top if it’s quiet, again.

Great hike today. Probably the best views I’ve had at Calloway Peak. Strenuous but the views are so worth it.

What a great hike and it was a great day to boot. A tough one to be sure but well worth it when you get to the top. Around the time I reached the Profile Campsite I was thinking "what's the fuss about this trail?" but it really started to take off after that. That stretch after the spring is really tough. Once you make the Grandfather trail it just becomes fun with a couple of tough stretches. I scrambled over the ladders and onto the rocks that look back at the ridge line back to the park and had lunch there. While it took me my expected time to get up, about 3 hours, with a lot of time on the last mile, it took me quite a long time to come down. The terrain was part of it, plus the hike up wiped me out!
Saw a big pile of bear scat early on which was the topic of discussion with all of the other hikers I met. The only thing I didn't like was that they moved the trailhead and instead of cutting a new trail up the mountain, they instead went down to the old trail head. That last 200 feet of elevation was lousy after that hike!

PAY ATTENTION!!! There are TWO parking areas with two trailheads! The trailhead that has all the signage and WARNINGS is NOT the trailhead that you want if you want to go to the waterfalls.
TO THE FALLS! Right across the street and about 50 feet up the road is the trailhead for Little Bradley Falls. Once you have found the right trailhead the guesswork is not over. A few people coming down the mountain told me They never saw the falls. Of course I was confused and frustrated because my goal was to get to a waterfall. The next set of hikers that we’re coming down we’re group of men I asked them if they saw the waterfall? They said yes but if you don’t stay right where the trail splits you missed the falls.
here’s the thing, the trail splits more than once. The best way that I know to describe it is there is a tree across the path and this tree is actually partially buried into the dirt. You will cross other trees that you have to climb over or crawl under but this tree is just across the path and is only raised up out of the dirt about 6 inches or so. this is where the fork is.
DONT MISS THE FORK! When you see the tree that is laying flat across the trail stay right. If you look around you’ll see some faint red paint marked on the trees they are easy to miss if you’re not looking. It’s at this point you’ll go down a very short embankment and cross over stream. Most people can rock hop hanging onto branches and whatnot as you cross.! Once you’re on this part of the trail it’s a wonderful beautiful hike to the falls. You will have to climb over some boulders that block the trail just go slow it you should be fine.

What an incredible day. Mild temps (60-70’s) and sunny. Went during the week, so the trail was empty the majority of the way there and back. The view was remarkable and the hike was challenging in some areas but definitely doable. One of the best hikes I’ve been on.

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