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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hiking
2 days ago

Gorgeous Waterfall at the end

Very beautiful and fun place to swim, but also very crowded with lots of families. Short and easy hike, I would not rate it as moderate.

Amazing views! A religious experience and I’m an atheist.

hiking
5 days ago

This was a nice, easy hike to take up an afternoon. We took the high trail and it was easy to miss the turn down the stairs to the falls. It’s a great place to take a dip

trail running
8 days ago

Easy loop around Price Lake; multiple access points off of the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Trail itself can get quite muddy and there are lots and lots of roots and small rocks/boulders, so trail running shoes are a must if you're planning to run it; Most of it goes through the forest around the lake, so you only see the lake at certain points; Great views of Grandfather mtn from the opposite side of the lake. Trail goes through the part of the campground parking lot and it's easy to lose it; Overall, not the best trail around Boon/B.R.

Very well-maintained and challenging trail. We (three 50+ year-old ladies) hiked GFM Trail yesterday; started at the parking lot for the swinging bridge, climbed to McCraes Peak, then on the advice of other hikers took Underwood Trail back to GFM Trail to return to our car. We are regular exercisers who are training for a Grand Canyon hike in October, and only hike occasionally. Although challenging mentally and physically (we climbed 10 ladders total, I believe, and relied on cables to pull ourselves along a few slippery spots), we had good hiking shoes with good tread (essential), plenty of water and comfortable backpacks. Conditions were very wet yesterday and a thunderstorm was predicted in the afternoon. We had intended to climb to Calloway Peak but decided to shorten our hike due to the storm. The trail took much longer than we expected, since rocks were slippery. Took us 4 hours. We will be back to accomplish this one in better conditions! Be prepared to pay $20 per person (ouch!) to enter the park on the side where the swinging bridge is, otherwise do the Profile trail to park for free (a longer hike). I think there were 7 or 8 ladders going up the way we did, but only 2 going down since we used Underwood Trail to return. Best hike yet and amazing views!

this is a fantastic trail with views to compete with some of the best. difficult but well worth it

I only spent 3 months living in North Carolina, but as a native westerner, I was impressed at the natural terrain I found in this part of the Appalachians. Grandfather mountain comes close, in a few ways , to the foothill type peaks I have around my home in North Idaho, but with even more lush and green scenery surrounding it. Being very developed, the trail head is easy to find, and the main challenges are steepness of the ascent and (certain times of year) slippery rocks and exposed roots. This is not a trail area for out of shape people, but with proper pacing, it can be done. Prepare for some scrambling in sections, but a benefit is that there are many potential view points once you get up top. In September, when I visited, it was misty and moist, but not cold, which made for some great hiking weather, but less than ideal under foot conditions. Heartily reccomend this trail.

hiking
16 days ago

1 mile round trip moderate hike with beautiful sites along the way, from views to flowers, and natural beauty everywhere you turn. What an incredible view from the top too, and the scents of flowers fills the air.

We were there all of 15 minutes. Within that time period we witnessed 2 complete dumbasses jump from the falls. One of which was covered in Swastika and white supremacy tattoos (he grazed the cliff on the way down).It was crowded with a pretty colorful array of people. We pretty much ran out of there. Skip this

hiking
17 days ago

Parts of trail are easier than others. Going counter-clockwise from lake overlook parking area you will encounter many roots, low hanging branches and a very muddy area around a stream to cross. The area from the camp ground through the amphitheater and boat house and around the lake is flat and graveled- an easy walk . As you get further around the backside of the lake you will encounter muddy areas again. The north east side of the lake has some rocky areas in which one should be careful if it is wet as they can be slippery.
As other reviewers mentioned it is not a trail for vistas or extended views of the lake but the areas you hike through are varied and on the north east side there is a great view of the backside of Grandfather Mountain.

Wow! My husband and I hiked this trail today. We knew it would be good but we didn’t know it would be as beautiful as it was! It’s hard and takes time but it’s so worth it!! Wear good hiking shoes and bring water.

18 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

Not that much to write about. Super easy, mostly flat trail. Great for taking the dogs out.

hiking
20 days ago

This was a pretty easy trail to get to the top. We were up and back down to the parking lot in an hour, with a few stops to enjoy the view.

You get a little bit of everything with this hike. Views, bouldering, and a great workout. Took us a little under 5 hours with plenty of stops to sit and look out at the scenery. Be ready for ladders.

First real trail we’ve hiked since moving to North Carolina. It’s definitely our new favorite hobby. We went down the lower trail first and somehow found out way back to the upper for a complete loop. It took us right about an hour. Beautiful views

hiking
22 days ago

Today was our first time on this trail... if you aren’t familiar it can get sorta confusing! Once you come to the first split, it’s A LOT shorter & easier instead of cutting left.. (like we did) the waterfall is DEFINITELY worth the hike! We ran into 4 snakes, 2 were very close we could have stepped on.. wasn’t very crowded at all with several places to stop; so much beautiful scenery.... overall it was an amazing hike!! :)

A beautiful trail and destination! the view of the mountains from the upper falls and the water slide at the lower falls makes for an amazing hike.

Steep and lots of roots. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
27 days ago

Mostly easy hike. There were some short sections that might be just a little challenging to those who aren’t as coordinated (me). Loved the fact that the trail followed the river for a good bit.

Absolutely one of the best places to hike! It’s got bouldering, scenic views, more moderate trails as well as very challenging ones

I only hiked to Macrae's Peak. It was beautiful and well-maintained. Definitely challenging though and I would recommend that you wear a good pair of tennis shoes with grip. some of the ladders are nerve-wracking if you are scared of heights, but really aren't that bad. I would recommend being in good shape. It's worth the $20 fee to get into the park! Just know that you have to be back by 6 pm.

Beautiful views and very worth it. There were too many babies when I went. Do not take babies passed the first bald. It becomes much more strenuous and easier to slip. Also the change in elevation will make them cry

Great Hike, the best I have done in a long, long time. It is very hard at the end, you need to be in pretty good physical shape. Ladder 6 is the tricky one, and going down is more difficult than up, of course. The views are outstanding, and the hike is fun as hell. The guy below me is commenting on some other hike, not this one. This hike is a class 4, and takes 2-3 hours. NOT DOG FRIENDLY! It's possible you could get a mellow dog up the 6th ladder, but you are not getting him down GFM unless he is strapped to your back. We witnessed several folks attempting to do this and they wisely gave up.

Great hike and amazing views. We actually went farther then the Grassy Ridge spot. Trail goes about a mile farther then dead ends.

Good easy hike for family even with small kids. Watch out for snakes along river.

My wife and I are experienced hikers and do several hikes a year. That said I would rate this as a moderate to almost difficult trail. It is very poorly marked. We walked to the upper falls route going in and didn't see a blaze until we were almost down to the river. On the way out blazes were sporadic at best and many that were there were very faded. That said it was a great waterfall hike with a lot of off shoot trails that take you to several swimming holes. This is a good hike for everyone including families that are looking for some cool water swimming. We'll certainly return with our swimwear.

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