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This trail is one of my favorite trails in N.C. It has beautiful water features in the first section of the trail and stunning views from the top but do not expect this hike to be easy because it is a burner, especially towards the top. I have two dogs that I’m glad stayed at home for this one since it is, in some sections, very technical as there are ladders and exposed rock faces where a slip or loss of balance could result in injury to you or your dogs. Also, I would caution anyone who is hiking this in winter weather to be prepared with the right equipment.
I hiked to Calloway Peak and then went over to Raven Rocks before heading back down. Spend some time at the top because the views are awesome. All in all I hiked a little over 10 miles in about 5.5 hours according to the AllTrails app.

September 2017- such a pretty hike on the NC/TN spine. The overlook was very cool. Would highly recommend this one at the park. Took us about 4 hours.

hiking
13 days ago

I came over from the Tanawha Trail and went right (easy part first). That side is easy but boring. The other side of the trail is gorgeous and definitely more challenging, but nothing the average person can’t accomplish. Be prepared to stray from the trail at creek crossings or to hop from rock to rock.

hiking
15 days ago

An excellent hike. I left from Massie Gap parking area in Grayson Highlands State Park and it took me about 5 hours round trip. That included some time for detours to scenic spots, snapping photos, and sitting down for a quick lunch.

The summit is surrounded by trees, so there is no view. However, not far away there are some some outstanding scenic overlooks.

The map and some of the posts are a little misleading in that there are three routes to the summit starting at these areas:
1) Grayson Highlands State Park
2) Grindstone Campground Trailhead (this is the route shown on this posting)
3) Elk Garden Trailhead

Fees for parking in the state part are $5 for VA residents and $7 for non-residents. Here is the link to a helpful map for Grayson Highlands Park: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/document/data/trail-guide-graysonhighlands.pdf

I will also post a pic I took of a poster with information on Mt. Rogers. It has history and shows the three routes.

I proposed to my Fiancée at the top. She said yes.

Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

hiking
27 days ago

Worth the hike. The view is something from a lord of the rings movie making it very rewarding from the climb up. The horses are beautiful. It has became a yearly visit from PA.

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Today was beautiful for a hike!

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

This is such a fun trail! I started off at 8:30am on a weekday, went up seeing only maybe 3 or 4 other people, and had the Bunion to myself for a good 20 minutes. The view is absolutely stunning! On the way back, I turned on to Boulevard Trail to go to The Jumpoff. The fall colors were brighter than anywhere else, and the view was definitely worth it. My GPS clocked it as 9.5 miles (and 2500 calories burned, so bring snacks to keep up your energy!)
I wear trailrunning shoes, and found most of the trail pretty easy to navigate. Definitely wear appropriate shoes; running shoes are not gonna be a good idea. By the time I got back to Newfound Gap, it was busy with lots of people heading up.

Wonderful hike w amazing scenery but was very wet and slick. You have to take very deliberate and cautious steps.

This was a great hike. The ending was epic! So glad we did it!

Awesome hike! But very busy, we had to pass and stop for people coming the other way quite often. The scenery was beautiful and the view at the end was worth it. The trail was rocky with lots of roots so you have to watch your footing!

hike is great, but dogs are not permitted at Old Rag - please correct your information!

Very nice.

Great hike! Very rocky and uneven in parts but the view is worth it. We also hiked to the Jump Off and it was just as beautiful! Great hike all around!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! My girlfriend and I did the Rip Rap/Wildcat loop as a two day backcountry camping trip and had an excellent time. The NPS Guide recommends camping somewhere just after you turn onto the Wildcat Ridge trail off of the Rip Rap trail but we opted to get in another mile and half or so to shorten our hike the next morning. We hiked about 6 miles the first day and the remaining 3.5 the following morning. We managed to find a nice little spot to set up camp after about 6 miles, and realized hiking out the next day that we found one of the only decent spots to camp in that mileage range. You'd either need to hike almost clear to end of the loop or camp back at the trail merge otherwise. The first six miles had a few great views from the ridge line and then some cool stream crossings, small waterfalls, and a deep swimming hole as you hiked through the valley before heading back uphill again. I highly recommend bringing a change of socks as some of the stream crossings can be sketchy and there's a chance you're going to put a foot in the water... All in all, great hike, great way to see the leaves change.

Awesome trail! We started to the left, like other hikers mentioned and I’m glad we did. The trail was a bit steep toward the end, but we were commuted by then and the kids couldn’t poop out. Three young kids with us and they did great! Lots of beautiful waterfalls, lots of great climbing trees, one great scenic view, and breath-taking scenery everywhere! Definitely want to do this hike again!

we did this and branched off to include the jump off and everthing totalled out to 4hrs 23min and 8.8 miles. i think it was a total of 3.9 miles uphill. i slept good that night!
i usually start early (6am) but since the sun is coming up later we started at 9am. it still wasnt crowded and having the sun directly overhead at the bunion really helped with some good pictures

This was my first hiking experience with backpack and friends. Excellent experience. Trail was well marked and maintained. A little muddy at times.Could be challenging if you are not in good physical condition. Plenty of places to rest and enjoy nature. Great half day hike. We stopped at Profile View due to time restraints. 2.hrs up and 1.5hrs back. Did this for my 60th birthday. Will return to go to Calloway Peak.

The view from Charlie’s Bunion is amazing. When we hiked up it was cloudy foggy and cold on the way up. Once we cleared the tree line the clouds started to lift and clear. When we got to Charlie’s Bunion it was clear and the view was amazing. Well worth the hike up the hill. Recommend you hit the trail early to avoid the crowds. Hardly anyone on the trail on the way up however on the way down there was literally 50 to 100 plus groups on the way up.

Really good hike. Went in about 10 am. Wasn’t too busy. Came out about 2pm and it was very busy. Get there early.

Hiked this trail yesterday on a beautiful crisp day with my dog. I took the advise of others and started the loop on the left side. Good call as the harder portions and sights were in the final portion of the hike, versus the beginning of the hike. I did encounter some fellow hikers at the end of the hike. Be aware this hike is wet and muddy, and dress appropriately. Great hike, and I recommend it.

nice hike, a few views on the way up. we started early in morning in heavy fog. it opened up by the time we reached the bunion. the forest was great in the fog, lots of good pics. if it's a clear day do the jump off for a added bonus.

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