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

NC Trails Map

We drove up and there were trees across the road, so we had to walk the last 1/2 mile to the parking area. Some corrections to the description. From the parking area to the summit is 2 miles exactly. I measured it with a Garmin Hikers MAP75 GPS, and using MAPMYRUN on my Iphone. They both show the same distance, going up, and then again coming down. The "Trail" is a no longer used road. You can't not follow it. The steepest section is hard, very steep, and very washed from rains. I went just after Florewnce, but they really didn't get that much rain.There are 2, maybe 2 waterfalls that are quite nice. Good looking water if you are prepared for drinking that. I brought my 5 month old shepherd, he had a ball !! Though he is still skittish of everything black. The view from the top was about 5ft in front of my face.... due to the fog. Not the best day to climb a open top mountain, but it was still fun. It took this old man an hour and 10minutes to get to the top, and 50minutes to get back down. It is much harder on the knees coming down, and the rocks tend to move when you step on them going down, not up. Its a great workout, I'll be back when I'm a little younger ! Video of the hike https://www.youtube.com/ricks41at

Solid climb with nice lookouts and a waterfall.

Just hiked this section this weekend and absolutely loved it! Instead of staying the night at Overmountain shelter I hiked the extra ~2 miles on day 1 to stay on top of Little Hump and it was well worth it! There are a few grassy areas that are perfect for pitching a tent and you wake up with the most breathtaking views. Also, as a female solo traveler I felt like this trail was very safe and easy to navigate since you don't have to jump from trail to trail. This part of the AT is very well maintained and blazed and I never felt worried about getting lost or in an unsafe situation. The downhill slopes after Doll Flats are tough though and I was very glad I brought my trekking pole for some extra support! Overall amazing section with some incredible views!

Nice hike, great views and wildflowers.

One of my favorite places on Earth.

Great hike, have done this a few times but this was the first time in the wet. Definitely not for children under 12 or so. After mile marker 2.5 it begins to get steep and the trail goes thru some small boulder fields which makes climbing difficult and with rain it can be even more dangerous. Be careful and have fun!

It was my first hike but I was with experienced guys and it now has me hooked on hiking. It was difficult but well worth it.

Took my 2 & 5 yo. Perfect little walk to enjoy a picnic. Very easy to find. Once you get off interstate, I took a left onto the road and went for about 30 min on a paved rd although it had a little gravel over it. You can only go 10-20mph on this windy road. Takes about 30 min on this road but totally worth it!!!!

11 days ago

Loved this hike! It's all uphill switchbacks to the summit, but it's gradual enough to enjoy for two miles. The mile markers every quarter mile are a nice reminder of your progress! The trail is well-maintained and shaded in trees until the last quarter mile or so, at that point it opens up, gets a bit overgrown, and the bugs showed up. You can hang out at the North or South summit viewpoints once you reach the top. They're close enough that you should definitely see both, but I think the North is a more impressive view to take in. We actually enjoyed the view and weather from the 1-mile marker perhaps better than the top - it was shaded, no bugs, and had a nice breeze. Certainly worth the trip regardless of your preference for a 2 or 4-mile roundtrip hike!

Excellent workout. I've done this up and back in one day. The ladders with high winds are a bit unnerving, hold onto your hat and camera. Always worth every step.

This one has it all....great views, length, technical elements. Be prepared to spend several hours doing the hike if you're going to Calloway's peak and back. It joins the Grandfather Trail in time to get some of the best elements - the chute, the ledge and the alpine meadow...not to mention the peak. If it's been raining, the lower couple of miles gets pretty slippery due to the clay. The steps added to the new section (trailhead to where it joins the old trailhead) help with traction. Fantastic hike!!

Well maintained trail! Gradual uphill incline makes it a pretty easy hike. Beautiful views at the top. No tree coverage so very hot in the summer.

2 ways to reach the top. Once is via the AT the other is via the trail behind the gate. Take the AT but know it is more noderate. The other path I will try after the snakes disappear once the cold hits. Great view at the top, better than Brasstown. I did fly my drone around so make sure you take a look at the video. https://youtu.be/mUU41Hg4pa4

Full of leaf lookers, come early if you want to be able to park.

19 days ago


19 days ago


Max Patch did not disappoint! I took my elderly parents to this awesome trail on 9/2 and it was just an amazing time. Unfortunately, my 82 y.o. father couldn’t go all the way to the top but even with just 1/3rd way there, he thoroughly enjoyed it. This spot is probably awesome year round but the Falls must be pretty majestic. I’m hoping to make my way out there next time to camp over night, catch the sunrise, and stay for the sunset!

20 days ago

About 4 miles r/t. Beautifully maintained and well-marked. A couple of 40-somethings and their 6 yr. old dog did just fine. We were huffin' a bit going up, but the view is absolutely worth it!s

21 days ago

This is a moderately strenuous, very well-maintained trail with fantastic views at both the 1-mile mark and at the summit (North and South views). This a great trail for some cardio and miles, but not technical or overly long. The mile markers are new and the trail is clearly marked with blue diamonds. I was impressed by the lack of litter along the trail. As an aside, the Ranger was extremely nice and gave us lots of helpful information about the park. This is the first time we've hiked this trail, but will definitely be back!

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 family hike if it’s not the first time your kids are going to hit the trail. For perspective, our boys have hiked all of Stone, Grayson, and Crowders and are 8, 5, and 3: we didn’t have any issues. 8 year old breezed through, and it was just enough to push the 5 year old and make him feel like he really accomplished something. Packed the 3 year old on my back.

We started at around 10:45 and told the kids we would break at Jane Bald (the 2nd of the 3 balds on this trail). It was a good stopping point as most of the rigor in this trail lies between Jane and Grassy Balds.

The views are wonderful and are right up there (if not better than) the views at Grayson Highlands. Lots of great rock outcroppings which make for fun obstacle courses for the kids. It is a balds hike, so bring your sunscreen.

Bottom line: if all you’ve got is an ergo baby and this is your kids’ first foray into hiking, there are better starter routes that are less demanding but still fun. But if they’ve got a few reps under their belt, this is a trail that everyone in the family can really enjoy.

Scenic all along the trail. As a hiker who backpacks approximately twice a year, it was difficult but the views were 100% worth it.

Tough but doable for 2 65 year olds with bad knees. We intended to only do first couple of miles, but pushed on to top which really wasn’t too bad. Hike down was rougher, lots of slippery rocks etc. A better plan is to go to both Calloway and then swinging bridge area and have someone pick you up there!

Amazing scenery! Many different species of plants. I think we saw 3 different species of goldenrod alone. Azaleas and blueberry plants were awesome.

23 days ago

Great easy hike with awesome views from multiple outlooks. The road up is very narrow and rough so definitely be careful especially if you don’t have a car made for rough terrain (also takes about 30 mins to drive up this road the trailhead from the base of the mtn). Be careful not to miss several outlooks before hitting the main outlook...some are not as obvious from the Trail but have just as spectacular views at the end outlook.

Great hike. Strenuous at times. Go to Walker’s knob for a great view!

Walker knob has the better view if you decide to finish the trail there instead of Greybeard summit. Tough at times but we really enjoyed it. Lightly trafficked, dog friendly. Enjoyed crossing over the stream and the falls

The trail was mostly uphill but doable. It was beautiful and worth the time. It was a great view from the tower. Our group had a wonderful time taking pictures and seeing the 360 view from the top.

Hike is 1.4 miles in rather than the 1.1 miles listed. I would rate it closer to moderate than easy. We had some folks with us that were expecting an "easy" hike. They all made it to the top though. Everyone felt the hike was well worth the effort. Fantastic views. I will definitely hike this trail again.

Free access parking off 105, restroom facilities, plenty of parking.

Trail is moderate in the beginning, strenuous the rest of the way after mile 2.5 or so. Watauga view and Foscoe view well worth the climb! Elevation gain over 700 meters within the 4 miles to Calloway peak! This one's a monster! I'd say, no small kids or small dogs, and probably good idea to avoid when trail is wet, especially going back downhill. Some trail-running possible, however, lots of roots and boulders in the latter part of the climb. Made it up and down in about 3 hours; some trail-running, but mostly trail-jogging, and even trail-crawling at spots. =)

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