Explore To do - 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
1 day ago

was super stoked to hike this trail today
the view from the top made it worth it for sure

*rocks on the trail were a little slippery and muddy but nothing too bad!

hiking
1 day ago

Spur-of-the-moment decision to get a hike in before we left for home... We had a great hike, saw a few deer, and just did get caught by a rain shower right before getting back to the parking lot... Very nice trail

1 day ago

Great hike and beautiful seeing the sunrise. Just watch out for your early morning crazies. Went out before sunrise and heard a blood curdling scream. 3 people eventually emerged after the fact and told us they were "screaming at God." As far as I know no human sacrifices were made as we later found no bodies. Either way, mega creepy. Trail itself is beautiful

Amazing view

Awesome, awesome hike!! Although the mileage seems low, it is a very strenuous and technical hike. There are lots of ladders, cables, and big rocks that you have to climb up and over using your hands and feet (these were all reasons why I loved this hike, but maybe it's not for everyone!). The grandfather trail is an awesome mix of woods and walking along exposed rock faces which makes for a very dynamic hike and incredible views along the way! When I went (mid-late Sept) the leaves were just starting to change, but I bet in a few weeks (mid October) the colors will be amazing up there. Good hiking shoes with good traction are absolutely necessary - many spots of the trail were very wet/muddy when I hiked it yesterday (partly due to the hurricane, but regardless...) the steep/smooth rock faces can be very dangerous when wet, so the more traction the better. I saw a few people slip pretty bad wearing sneakers. I am a 23 year old in good shape, and a pretty experienced hiker. I hiked all the way to Calloway Peak (stopped for a bit to enjoy the amazing views at McRae peak on my way) and completed the full thing in 4 hours (this included a couple snack/water breaks and picture taking). The men at the gift shop said the hike to Calloway and back is usually completed in 5 hr for the average hiker (3 hr if just going to McRae and back). The $20 entree fee is of course a bummer, but in my opinion very worth it and they do a great job maintaining the trail (the ladders/cables are in great shape). If you are hiking on a weekend (I was there on a Saturday morning) be sure to get there early before they open (9 am) so join the line of cars that will already be forming. The parking lot all the way at the top that you will park at is right below the mile-high swinging bridge, so be sure to check that out once you finish your hike!

It’s ok. View is good but this trail is extremely crowded and is honestly a gravel road a lot of the way. If you do this one I would not do it on the weekend or expect a huge crowd.

Beautiful trail leading to very nice falls.

hiking
5 days ago

One of my new favorites off the blue ridge parkway! So many spots to look out and see the 360 Mountain View’s!!!

One of my fav hikes in North Carolina. Have done it several times and several different routes. From Profile Trail to paying at entrance. Either way, worth the time and the money. I just remind myself that the money goes towards maintaining Grandfather Mountain! So I have no problem paying the fee!

My wife and I did this hike with our 9 mo. daughter in a carrier and thought that it was on the more difficult side of moderate, but not quite strenuous. Great hike, but if we did it over again, we could have just gone straight to Hebron Falls (so, go right at the fork instead of straight) and backtracked the way we came in. Going the full loop seemed a little tedious because after you see the rock community and the falls, there really wasn't much more of interest (except for a bunch of little creek crossings and a very brief section in a meadow). Plus, the full loop has you walking a couple extra miles through a large camping area and along the parkway which was a little boring. The best part of the hike is definitely the 1.5 stretch straight to the falls. Lots of awesome places for getting in the water, and beautiful variety in terrain.

A bit more challenging going up than expected, but we were also trying to keep a fast pace. Slippery in spots when coming down- hiking boots recommended if it’s rained recently. Saw a mother bear and her two cubs in a tree which was awesome! Pretty trail and pretty falls

Beautiful falls! Worth the hike!

Favorite Hike in NC so far! Did it early September and it was nice and cool, a little rain which helped cool us off also! Did the profile trail to the grandfather which added some mileage but didn't have to pay, and then hitchhiked back to the profile trailhead from grandfather mountain!

Loved it you can swim and walk they the water

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail and pretty falls. Just a warning...we were there yesterday and there was a fairly large and active yellow jacket nest in the ground right next to the trail. It’s maybe a half mile and those suckers were aggressive. I was stung a couple times and heard of others that were as well.

hiking
14 days ago

my favorite trail yet

hiking
15 days ago

The terrain here is beautiful, and the altitude changes nicely (but be careful about loose stones and slippery wetness). If you want to see how the different faces and altitudes of the region affect the trees and local insects (open grassy fields, hickory, berries, oak, various evergreens, bees among the rhododendrons and ragweed, flies on the bear and dog scat), this is a good trail for that purpose over just a few miles. Also, there are several crossing routes and side trails so that you can modify your hike to your needs, but remember to walk the extra mile or two to catch all of the falls.

hiking
15 days ago

Ahhhhh... Back in the Appalachians. Despite my relatively high ratings of trails in (flat) Michigan and Florida, this one is qualitatively different. Superb. The system needs more than five stars so that I can nudge those others down a bit, but this is a real five-star trail. Pretty, well maintained despite its popularity, hilly, green and alive with a variety of flora and fauna, and punctuated with a lovely waterfall that’s a great place to watch people, to get wet, to picnic or hang a hammock, and to marvel at Nature’s creative paths and tableaux during her slow march forward. P.S. Remember to enjoy the drive along the Bluegrass Parkway with plenty of time for stopping at overlooks.

hiking
16 days ago

I'm not sure I would classify this trail as "hard," but it's definitely got some elements of difficulty, especially near the falls. There are some uphill climbs that can leave you a bit breathless, but the falls and the rocks are beautiful. If you hike the trail counter-clockwise, you will get to the falls (along with Hebron Falls) in a mile and a half or so, leaving the easier portion for the end. There are rhododendron thickets, a open meadow-like area, camping area and fir forest to be enjoyed near the end. This is a really beautiful hike!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike. Very vertical on the way up! Great workout.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. Almost no one on it. Start the loop by going straight at the fork. Gorgeous when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail, beautiful waterfall

Great hike. Have hiked this trail about 3 times and it is just lovely. Hard in some spots but well worth it. Pack a lunch and enjoy the river and views.

trail running
17 days ago

great trail! a little scrambling and ALL uphill! hiking is very manageable, but even the most experienced and fit runners will need a walk break! along the way, you can see remna ts of the fire that took place here but also the recovery, simply beautiful. i swear some of the trees here would compare to the Sequoia's in CA. the falls at the 2.5 mile marker are a welcome sight and resting spot...even managed to crawl behind the falls for a cool spraying! as stated only currently open friday-sunday and there are signs warning of bear activity. well worth the effort put in to see this gem!

hiking
17 days ago

This is THE best section of the Tanawha Trail (Rough Ridge to Wilson Creek). The views from the boardwalk and the summit are unrivaled along the Tahawha, and the underwood garden (about .25 miles south of the summit heading toward Wilson Creek) is amazing - flowing plants line the path with butterflies and hummingbirds everywhere. The trail as a whole can be moderately strenuous with abundant boulders and tree roots. If you're going to hike the Tahawha, this is a must-do.

My friends and I completed this hike in May. It takes you to a beautiful overlook. You will not see much on the hike up, but since it’s a relatively short hike, the view is absolutely worth it. We went early and had the overlook to ourselves for some time.

hiking
18 days ago

Review of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, and Graveyard Fields Loop, hiked with one dog, two children ages 7 and 10 who are intermediate hikers. 

I grew up hiking this trail and today I passed the torch on to my boys (7 and 10). Graveyard fields is a well known and popular hike for locals and tourists alike. During the Summer time and weekends you can expect heavy foot traffic. Being a Tuesday we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. We started off by visiting lower falls just under 1/2 mile from the parking area down several flights of stairs. This area is a popular swimming area and where we saw the most people on our trip today. If you have very young children, older dogs, or anyone in your group with difficulty getting around this will be your go to spot. This spot offers several large boulders to take a breather on or sunbathe. A small waterfall you can rock hop your way up to. There are also a couple of small swimming holes for everyone to cool off in on warmer days. Be sure to rest up and keep in mind the stairs can be tedious on the way back out. If you are looking for a more adventurous hike then head back up the stairs and to the fork you passed on your way in. Keep right to start a 1 mile hike to upper falls. Note this trail is not well marked, and underbrush often takes over the path. You will be forced to hike single file, wade through mud, rock hop across several creeks, and navigate over tree roots, rock steps, and boulders. This trail is not recommended for young children, or pups that might struggle to get around well. Several of the areas are slick from the cooler wet environment and can be challenging to navigate in areas. As you hike you will come to another main fork go left to take graveyard fields loop or veer right to continue on to upper falls. This is where the trail can become challenging, as you make your way to Upper Falls. Once you arrive at upper falls you can choose to stay where the trail meets the water or continue to hike on up either the boulders or along a small trail that will take you parallel to the water and to the top of the waterfall. There are several areas among the rocks where you can wade through the water and admire the waterfall. Be careful though as these rocks are often very slick and can be tricky to navigate. There are several trees that offer the opportunity to hang up a hammock for a nap after a nice picnic. Once you're ready to head out, back trackthe same you came in. You will once again find yourself at the fork for graveyard fields loop which will bring you out at the lower end of the parking lot or you can follow the same route you hiked in on. This hike is a great way to spend the day relaxing with friends and family with beautiful flowers, ample views of water it will feel like your own little paradise. Come prepared to get your feet wet and muddy and bring towels for your four legged family members. 

Been hiking here for years! Beautiful views from up top!

hiking
20 days ago

nice waterfall!

This was a fun hike. Definitely take your time going up especially with kids. We had a 7, 9 yr old and two toddlers in backpacks... slow and steady was the rule. Took us about 5.5 hours with lots of breaks going up.

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