Explore spring break 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

spring break 2018 Map
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hiking
11 days ago

Completed the loop 2 weekends ago. Picked the wrong weekend as it was mid-30s and rained the entire time (40% chance of rain for the weekend apparently means 100% rain 100% of the entire time you are there). I would have imagined the views would have been incredible without the dense fog from all the misting rain. Nonetheless, I am rating without consideration of those conditions. Very cool hike for the Appalachia. Very difficult to find hikes with abundant open views like this one. Completed in 2 days, 1 night.

backpacking
17 days ago

Beautiful trail! Well blazed and a great hike!

backpacking
3 months ago

Recently completed the loop, started at Grindstone campground. Worked out very well. Can leave your car there for additional 3 dollars a day. Great price to pay for peace of mind that your car will be left alone. Plus the mount Rogers trail can be reached from within the campground. Some great people there as well. Trip was great, highly recommended. Only downside no horses spotted, plenty of signs on trail to walk around though. On Thomas Knob they have 2 bear boxes for food close by. Electric fence may of been torn down, heard from other reviews it didnt work so well to keep animals out. Bear problems should be greatly reduced, no more treat bags hanging on the trees. Poor trees for hanging at that elevation. Hats off to people doing trail maintenance. Great spring behind Thomas Knob. Plenty of campsites around the shelter to use. The mice were on the active side when I was at the shelter. Spaces between the walls for them to hide. If doing it in 3 days the Old orchard shelter was well kept and in a beautiful setting. I went on this trip from July 28 to 30th. No reports of bears at Thomas Knob for 5 weeks prior. Bear boxes appear to be working.

backpacking
3 months ago

This was an amazing loop! Wild ponies and lots of views. The directions were great and the recording was very useful, especially since you have to use multiple trails to make the loop. Bears are a big concern and they do offer electric bear boxes at certain campsites. However, we were able to hang our bear bag just fine with no issues on both nights (rain worked in our favor to suppress the smell I think). One thing you should look out for is the weather. We did the loop during a VERY rainy week and on the 3 day it became dangerous to cross some of the streams and all the trails turned into mini rivers. It was still fun though! Being in the AT was awesome and definitely were the best maintained. AND if you like blackberries they are everywhere! Huge fields of them and all very edible!

hiking
4 months ago

Did a short hike on the southern portion of the trail but going back for an overnight backpacking trip. Trail was marked well. Nice elevation change, not too drastic. Lots of great areas for camping. Went on a Saturday morning and was on the trail for about four hours. Ran in to trail runners every 20-30 min. Not too crowded. Had a great time with my wife, 5-year old and dog.

backpacking
5 months ago

Enter through Grayson Highlands (Wilburn Ridge), first day of hike. No signs posted, but passed a few campers Approx 1 mile before first shelter. Strongly recommending camping in Wilburn ridge, if willing to add the extra mile to day 2 (shelter doesn’t have 360 views/giant rock outcroppings). Day 2 Took AT SOBO around Mt Rogers. At head of Lewis Fork Trail, took an immediate right onto Crest & started off of All Trails map supplied, cutting off a substantial distance to make up for lost time. ~1600ft elevation gain in ~1/1.5 miles. Highly recommend for those not afraid of taking on an incredibly hard section with dense/lush mossy rainforest. At end & interection with Pine Mt trail, came into a giant blueberry grove, run in with a bear as a bonus. Jumped back on AT. Camped night 2 just before Wise shelter, mid-night bobcat screams to wake up everyone in camp were an additional thrill. Day 3 was incredibly quick (mostly downhill, only hiked about 2 hrs). Would recommend spending more time hiking/camping in the first half of the hike (best views, explorative possibilities, and ponies!), and powering through the last portion in a day.

An absolutely beautiful loop. I love this area of the park.

Kind of a boring hike, lots of geckos and snakes. smelled very good!

we planned on hiking Andrew's Bald, but completely forgot the road to Clingmans Dome is closed until April. So we hiked Sweat Heifer instead. for someone who's not in the greatest of shape, it wasn't that bad. My ankles hurt more than anything. Parts of the trail were icy and muddy slush, which made things even more interesting haha. we took several pictures, so we made several short stops. Once we got to the split, we took a right and stopped at a small grassy area. it was the perfect place to sit down, have a snack, and relax. After seeing more pictures, I wish we would've continued down the trail a bit more. The views weren't spectacular, but seeing the smoke roll in and the parts you could look out were beautiful. this hike isn't too terribly bad, I'd recommend it to anyone, just have good shoes, and water. slow and steady wins the race!! happy hiking.

Fun overnight hike but could be done in a day.

Great trail for overnight backpacking trips. Great weekday hike for peace and quiet.

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked this with my sister who doesn’t have much experience. Very easy hiking, well marked campsites and trails. Great view of the Blue Mountains and lots of ponies. Highly recommend for people who don’t hike a lot but want to get there feet dirty.

A buddy and I overnighted this trail. Stayed at Kephart, don’t let the “moderate” rating fool you this is a tough trail. Sweet heifer creek trail is about 3.7 Miles with a roughly 2000 ft elevation change, not to mention several trees down over the trail. Kephart is a great little lodge with a decent size creek next to it down in the valley. We detoured a bit and went to the jump-off, it’s worth the .6 miles to see it.

backpacking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great 19 mile loop through Grayson Highlands (lots of ponies) up Mount Rogers on the AT past Thomas Knob. Turned right on Mount Rogers trail to Lewis Fork Trail to Cliffside Trail back onto Lewis Fork Trail into Old Orchard shelter area. Got back on the AT SOBO there through Scales and Wise on my way back to Grayson Highlands.

Nice trail, good views, not a lot of people

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My wife and I set out with another couple to hike the trail over the weekend in early June. Unfortunately we had a bit of a late start and didn't get onto the trail until the late afternoon. We started at the southern trailhead and made it about 5 miles before setting up camp for the night. There are plenty well established campsites along the southern portion of the trail, to include spots at higher elevation all the way down to small spots in the valley located next to fast flowing creeks. Plenty of thick overhead coverage to keep you cool, and for the most part the trail was pretty dry. I've noticed there isn't a whole lot of information online about the trail so a few things to note:
-Unlike a few trails in NC there are not pumps or shelters with potable water to access.
-Yates Camp doesn't have any access to potable water despite being a large camp ground.
-The southern portion of the trail is less demanding, and heavily populated with day trip groups such as Boy Scouts, Class trips, and families... it was incredibly noisy in the area even at sun down.
Overall its a great trail with a few sections that are physically demanding and enjoyable. Hope to hike it again in the fall.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My wife and I set out with another couple to hike the trail over the weekend in early June. Unfortunately we had a bit of a late start and didn't get onto the trail until the late afternoon. We started at the southern trailhead and made it about 5 miles before setting up camp for the night. There are plenty well established campsites along the southern portion of the trail, to include spots at higher elevation all the way down to small spots in the valley located next to fast flowing creeks. Plenty of thick overhead coverage to keep you cool, and for the most part the trail was pretty dry. I've noticed there isn't a whole lot of information online about the trail so a few things to note:
-Unlike a few trails in NC there are not pumps or shelters with potable water to access.
-Yates Camp doesn't have any access to potable water despite being a large camp ground.
-The southern portion of the trail is less demanding, and heavily populated with day trip groups such as Boy Scouts, Class trips, and families... it was incredibly noisy in the area even at sun down.
Overall its a great trail with a few sections that are physically demanding and enjoyable. Hope to hike it again in the fall.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A great place to take the family. It offers many things to do.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Hiked and ran 50 miles in 1 day, this was one of the trails I'd hit. Tons of bugs, especially cobwebs in the morning. The middle section with the giant trees and fern was the best. Had to use a bug net over my head due to too many cobwebs blinding me and around 20 or so mosquito bites when they bit through my clothes.

It's true, this trail is treacherous sometimes. It rained and thunderstormed when I was out there and everything became very slippery. You lose the trail the most when it runs into a campsite. Sometimes it's real hard to find the white blaze again. This place is very hilly, which makes it that much more challenging.

backpacking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nice trail with lots of streams to get water. It is well marked but around the streams there are numerous paths made by campers that can lead you down the wrong trail if you are not careful.

backpacking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2nd time doing a full thru-hike of the completed 19.4 mile section. Parked one car at Jumping Off Rock Trailhead and started at the 24/27 Trailhead.
First 6 miles or so we're very wet, lots of stream crossings, but only had one noticable extended uphill. Made it to Hwy 109 trailhead (mile 11) in 5 hours. Continued to the only real bridge near the turnoff for West Morris Mountain Campground. Spent the night next to the river
Next day had several of the larger uphill sections, hiked the remaining 6 miles in about 3 hours.
Good hike, no real overlooks, but probably do it again the the fall when the leaves are changing

Parked at 109 trailhead and headed south to intersection with Dutchmans Trail and back, about 7 miles RT.
No other cars in the parking area Saturday at 1pm. About a mile of the trail exhibits the after effects of a recent Forest fire. Interesting to see that the 2 firebreaks actually worked.
Nice mix of up and down, a few stream crossings, but enough rocked to keep toes dry. One is a log crossing; not difficult, but was giving a group of students pause. Fortunately they let me pass.
One other car in lot upon my return.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

great trail!

hiking
Sunday, February 19, 2017

great trail to hike. I am a brand new hiker and me and my family loved it!!! We hiked it and switched to Keyauwee trail heading back to trail head. sort of creating our own 3.8 mile hike. took us newbys 2 hours. had a great time. will be going back to tey out other trails maybe do entire trail one day.

backpacking
Sunday, February 12, 2017

a lot of blow downs from recent storms but the trail was clear.. heard a tree off in the distance come crashing down yesterday near nightfall. Parking lot was packed..

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

first time out here and won't be the last. trails are marked good and clear. nice scenery.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Beautiful hike through lush rhododendron forests and misty pine forests. Very lightly traveled and even overgrown in some parts. One of my favorites.

Pretty good little trail. Nice view of the river.

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