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

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I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

hiking
3 days ago

Very fun trail with amazing views! In my groups opinion it wasn’t very hard like the reviewers say (and we aren’t in very well shape like most). Would recommend this trail to anyone.

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

some amazing views. and one amazing waterfall. bucket list this one. you'll thank me

Beautiful hike. Took approximately 3-4 hours for novice hiker.

hiking
9 days ago

It​ is​ place​ to​ visit​ for​ Fall​ season.

Beautiful views.

Moderate hike with phenomenal views! Took our time exploring and was done within 4 hours.

hiking
11 days ago

Moderate climb, muddy with some slick rocks and roots and lots of traffic but 100% worth the amazing 360 degree views of the mountains. Parking was tight, dogs were friendly and people were courteous on the trail when it got a little narrow or tricky. One of the best trails on the parkway!

hiking
11 days ago

Great Hike but very short and easy. Make sure to take a left over the bridge and not a right to get to the top.

hiking
11 days ago

Excellent hike! Not many views on the way up. The view at the top is definitely awesome and made the hike worth doing!!

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Nice easy trail, great views, just too short.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

hiking
14 days ago

The views make this hike a really amazing one. So stellar.

Best spot I’ve found so far to watch the sunrise. Simply stunning.

hiking
15 days ago

This trail was nice! There were a lot of rocks which made it more difficult but it wasn’t the worst rocky hike I’ve ever done. When we went it was extremely foggy and couldn’t see a whole lot.... however we did hike the additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls and it was beautiful!

hiking
17 days ago

A fair amount of climbing for a short trail but the trail condition is excellent and that makes the climb a breeze. The overviews are quite pretty and there's an excellent view of the Linn Viaduct. Not much parking so it's best to visit on weekdays.

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

A bit crowded, but otherwise perfect. Challenging and beautiful.

Great hike- nice climb and scenic view at the top. I definitely recommend taking the left (clockwise) side of the loop on the way up. More scenic and variable terrain compared to taking the side that has stairs.

This is my favorite trail. It is a bit treacherous, especially for an old guy like me. I don’t go on it after heavy rain as it is slippery and mistakes could be costly. But it is beautiful and dramatic and fun.

An excellent quick hike on the blue ridge parkway. Beautiful views.

hiking
23 days ago

Not too difficult. A lot of overlooks on the way up. Nice views of Grandfather Mtn and the Parkway going around it. Some cool rock formations throughout the hike. 2 mile round trip from the parking area.

hiking
23 days ago

I love this hike. If you are wanting a walk in the woods with a spectacular waterfall at the end, this is not the hike for you. This is a moderate hike (IMO) with a lot of up and down with a nice waterfall to relax by at the end. There are a few creek crossings so your 4 legged friend can get drinks along the way. I didn't feel there was anything too technical that would make this trail truly hard. The slope at the end is somewhat steep and could be slippery in spots after a rain. Overall, an enjoyable hike.

Amazing hike! Best yet in north Carolina. Lots of ladders and hard uphills. I’m not sure going all the way to callaway peak was worth it if your in it for the views, the first peak was beautiful and stayed beautiful to the callaway peak but didn’t change. About 4-4.5 hours out and back. 40$ to get into the park for 2 people.

Great hike with a little bit of everything!!

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful views, but rather crowded on a Friday morning. Finished in just over an hour with multiple stops for pictures.

Incredible trails, well marked, wide trails. There are steps on each end of the loop, so pick your poison. Saw wildlife ,views and the waterfall was spectacular.

This was definitely a moderate hike with some pretty steep inclines and rocks at parts of it. The view is absolutely worth it!! The leaves look beautiful from the top and there’s an opportunity to get some really good panoramic pictures!

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