Explore road trip south - 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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My first hike I loved it

This is a great trail with so much to see and so many places to explore. Our family of five with two teenagers and a standard poodle had a great time but we managed to get off the trail by half a mile by taking a fork in that appeared to be the correct direction but wasn’t. Still a beautiful, fun hike.

The turn off NC 215 is clearly marked by a Forest Service sign opposite the turn. When you reach public land, there's a gate and a sign. Beware of the rutted bump filled with deep gravel at this point. We parked at the junction where FR 4663B takes off to the left from the main road, so we'd get a little more exercise. The road surface to that junction was well maintained. The map accurately shows the distance from there to the falls foot trails as .6 miles. Our Trails Illustrated printed map showed 4663B as gated, which may have been so at some point, put isn't the case now. We enjoyed a nice walk on the fairly flat road, which gave us a chance to view the surrounding forest. Even though 4663B is not maintained to the standard of the main forest road, it's passable by cars of standard clearance. The trail to the lower falls was easy, even though there was a tree across the trail at one point. We highly recommend this easy hike to a lesser-known, but lovely, waterfall.

hiking
21 hours ago

Walked this trail on the 18 of July, started around 0900 and finished just before 11. I hike fast when I'm by myself but enjoyed this trail. The trail does have a descent amount of elevation gain and the trail has a good width to it since it is designated for horses. This would be a good quick hike or can be combined with others to make a full day.

hiking
22 hours ago

Great hike. Had a full family of all ages. Our 3 year old didn't complain about being tired on the hike. It was easy enough for him. Not a large elevation gain. Very beautiful throughout the hike with all of the rocks and roots along the trail which does make it a little tough to maneuver. Not paved. The waterfall is so pretty!!

This trail was relatively easy. Other trails we have been on became part of the terrain, whereas this was a “trail” the whole way. Rainbow Falls was beautiful- wished we had seen a rainbow! Worth the view for the distance of the hike. We enjoyed it!

I need to go back and ride my bike early morning. I went during the afternoon and didn’t see any wildlife.

hiking
1 day ago

Short hike just visited to kill some time for 441 to reopen. I’ve definitely seen better falls.

A pretty easy hike and the waterfall is beautiful. You can walk behind the falls. Even though it’s a short, easy hike, I would recommend take no water.

Really pretty hike. Saw a black bear cub on the hike less than 15 feet off the trail.

We absolutely LOVED this hike. Very lush, several waterfalls and great exercise coming back up.

Beautiful trail It is all uphill, so not really for those who have difficulty walking. We loved it and are looking forward to hiking it again.

Panthertown is my home and is run by a great conservation group. This is a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Don't be afraid to get your paws wet.

I took a guided hike led by the conservation group. A little steep in a few spots for my over the hill owners. They just took their time and stopped to breath a lot. The rest of the group had no problems. Those young bucks. Dog friendly.

Enjoy.

Five woofs!

Easy access. Easy parking. Paved trail. A little step but not very long. Spectular views. Its a must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dog friendly.

Five woofs!

hiking
2 days ago

Nice easy stroll/hike. Longer than most “easy” rated trails which is nice and it’s not too populated. Follows a nice stream.

Great trail. Astonishing views, and fascinating flora on the other side.

walking
2 days ago

I gave this a three due to road noise.
It is a nice trail to stretch your legs and walk your dog. The kids we saw while taking this walk enjoyed playing in the river.

Get there early if you want a more quiet walk. Many families there by mid morning to tube in the creek. (Which looked fun!) The trail was manageable for my older parents and younger kids. The waterfall and creek make for beautiful photos with the family.

My husband & I hiked this trail yesterday with an early start. Beautiful trail with lots to see. Love to hike with water features from the creek raging along the trail, waterfalls, & peaceful trickling streams trailing down the mountain, its here. Calm pools for fishing, wildflowers & rock formations, you won't be disappointed! Glad we arrived early as we finished our hike, loads of eager tubing fans were trekking up the trail to get a chance to ride the waves of cascading water in the creek. There is something for everyone here. A great day all the way around!

hiking
2 days ago

Not steep but long climb, the first mile was a very wide pathway but after that it was more of a trail. Overall good trail. 3 waterfalls along the trail. Some difficult parts but mostly easy

I would not rate this as moderate, it is very easy- the trail was filled with families with small children. I am 26 and moderately in shape. Beautiful forest trail, heard lots of birds. I would definitely recommend exploring the base of the waterfall, as the top portion was crowded with so many people it felt like Disney World. If you can climb down, the base is very peaceful.

It’s very slick coming back on part of the paved trail. I prefer gravel or dirt trails but paved it better for kids. Both of my kids fell. I fell with my 3 year old on my shoulders due to slick pavement. But worth the hike there and back. Does get crowded in the early afternoon. Morning is less crowded.

Great easy hike!

Great hike but definitely more on the difficult side going up. It had recently rained so there were parts that were very muddy. We passed a lot of people that had slipped and almost slipped ourselves a few times. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s a beautiful hike, shaded in most parts with pretty water scenery.

hiking
3 days ago

If there hasn't been a lot of rainfall lately, the falls won't be much of a falls. In that case, it's more about the journey than the destination. There are a lot of fallen trees to go over/under, and since it is an unofficial trail it feels a bit more like you are just exploring in the woods. We hiked on a Saturday after camping nearby. We saw about a dozen other people on the trail as we went. I will probably come back sometime when there is more water flow.

backpacking
3 days ago

This trail has something for everyone, scenic views, fly fishing, water falls, and just enough incline for a slight challenge. The trail is well maintained and clean except for horse manure. Lots of trails in this area are horse friendly ( so watch your step).

hiking
3 days ago

great walk! saw a huge bear about 15-20 feet away from me, we smelled each other and guessed what's the other's next move.. ended up alive to tell ;) was amazingly thrilling!

Enjoyed the walk with the family. It's well traveled and easily marked. The uphill climb was a surprise but I probably should have done more research on it. The family had a good time looking out over the mountains and, even with the fogged-in views, weren't disappointed in the least.

Amazing!!! Love it every time.

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