Explore R1 - 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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Loads of fun with three young kids. Wading, running, skipping rocks, hiking, lots of inspiration for imaginative play... oh and hiking! Stream was chilly but the kids left soaked and muddy. Would love to come back and picnic when it’s hot.

I always ignore the trail and rock hop right up the river. one of my favorite places

12 days ago

Beautiful river views along the trail, with many short diversion trails leading to really nice spots along the way. As others have stated, the trail is wide and can be very crowded on a pretty day. But the trail surface is natural, somewhat muddy in places, and an overall nice hike. The falls are beautiful and a look a bit different from every angle. There's also a steep trail up the right side of the falls (muddy, rocky, and slippery with ropes added for stability) that will take the more adventurous to the top, or almost there. Plenty of places for a cautious person to step out on the falls for great views and photos. Obviously popular destination and not a private afternoon by any means but well worthwhile.

Good steep incline starting NW from trail info box on Harmony Lane (that leg actually called Stomping Knob Trail), then along the ridge has nice views especially with winter and foliage down. Rattlesnake Rock looks back across valley to Black Mountain. Easy access for a short day hike.

Nice view of River all along the one mile from parking to falls. Lots of people on trail this beautiful Sunday afternoon!

Excellent trails with great winter views from all ridge lines, not many views during summer. High shoal falls will have way too many people there, hit it early before the crowds then you can have the rest of the park to yourself, literally saw 5 other people away from falls.

21 days ago

Nice hike. Dog friendly. Very muddy.

29 days ago

Used to be a 5-star hike before trail 'improvements' (clearing, widening/grading, bridges) made it more accessible and less of a 'wilderness: experience. Now the crowds (some of whom clearly aren't outfitted with proper footwear or fitness levels) have made this more of a Disney experience. Kind of sad. Plus, always lots of dogs and now more & more poop along the trails
The creek leading to the falls, and the falls themselves, are truly beautiful -+ especially after heavy rains. Alas, like many things in western NC, now that all the tourists have 'discovered' the place, it's no longer as quiet or special. If you come early during weekdays you may only have to share the trail with just a handful of others. Otherwise, the parking area is jammed and the trail is noisy and crowded. Not sure why this isn't considered an Easy hike at this point. But do take care around slippery rocks/boulders. And one portion of trail, about 1/3 of the way in, has experienced a major landslide and is a bit dangerous (until/unless they stabilize the slope and install a fence/railing).
Anyway: 5 stars for the creek and falls; one star for crowds. Three stars overall.

Well marked. Reviews were very helpful - if you start on blue trail marks, and follow big piney, then take the southbound ridge to complete the loop. Steady up hill to big piney and then past that to the ridge intersection. We thought the trail was more moderate but probably depends on how much you hike. Overall very enjoyable even though we went when It was foggy and a bit rainy. Great for a 3 hour little burner

Beautiful! Stunning waterfall :)


1 month ago

Easy hike with a beautiful pay off.

easy family hike & easy access

Great Trail Run , lovely view, hard but rewarding after you finish, we done a Half Marathon here.

This trail was hard, but rewarding, the steps going up to the top of the Mountains are very very steep. We done a Half Marathon Trail Race here January 6th, 2018. Great place beautiful Waterfall.

1 month ago

Heavy traffic. Well defined traik

2 months ago

Great trail! Everything is currently frozen making for an amazing hike!

Loved this trail. The falls were beautiful with ice. As others have said, lots of stairs going along the High Shoals Falls Trail.

Great summer or early fall hike. If you’re in to fly fishing there are some holes along the river that follows the trail that hold not big but wild rainbow and brooks

3 months ago

Awesome hike worth doing if you’re in the area. We did it in our way from Charlotte to Asheville and it was in a very convenient location right off Highway 40. Some of the most amazing falls I’ve ever seen and the rest of the trail follows the river and is wooded. It is short, quick and a relatively easy hike although there is some incline and you need to traverse a few boulders at the end. Would recommend!

Slippery leaves on the way down. But good, steep hike which tops two hills. About 1:40 if you do not stop along the way.

4 months ago

This is a easy hike. I’m not sure why it is listed as moderate, maybe because there is a lot of big rocks at the waterfall you can climb if you want to get closer to the waterfall. It was very beautiful, a number of pretty sights to see along the way. It was an easy path, no mud the day we hiked. I highly recommend, good for kids and pets. Our dog loved it. We kept her on a leash as required but did see some people that had their dogs off the leash.

4 months ago

Nice day hike. Moist ground but not slippery even with the new fallen leaves. Rocks at the very top we’re hard to navigate and the signage denoted the dangerous conditions was heeded that day.

4 months ago

Easy trail and spectacular falls. Packed a lunch to eat on rocks by the falls.

We extended the trail and did 10 miles within the park. A great day!

Go to the left if you want a steep, quick incline. Go to the right if you want a really long gradual climb. Great views and scenery either way.

Steep climb, but worth every drop of sweat. The view is breathtaking.

A short and easy hike to majestic beauty! Fairly crowded on the weekend with plenty of dogs on the trail. Great photo ops along the way, particularly liked the mossy stone ruins with the window!

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