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
13 days ago

simple hike of the highway

PROS - Very pretty and clean area with the sound of rushing water nearby. Impressive and very tall falls. Open trail without much traffic.
CONS - Steep hill all the way. The road to the parking area had a huge mud puddle that made me nervous about getting the car stuck (it has rained recently).

Great trail running. Beautiful views at the top!

An ok trail to hike especially if you are camping at Davidson River. Nothing really stood out.

It is a hard trail very rewarding.

Good hike If you want a workout. The trail is steep. Beautiful views. Trail was very busy when we visited in late summer on a Monday. We ended up having some good conversations with other hikers.

Incredible view! Earn it with the length but easy to moderate trail. Can run and bike it. So worth it no matter how you climb it!

on Laurel Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

have been doing thus trail for 40 years now every since i moved here from California. My husband(at time friend/boyfriend) and his three cousins walked it and swam at falls and along tge way everyday for the first 2 months of my moving here. It is a wonderful hike. Easy except for going back up rock steps if you take the high route. We still take the route that follows the river all the way. A flood took out part of that trail and that is why they rerouted it up the jigger trail which also makes it higher. Since you are already on higher trail when you get to the stop over for gikers to camp go to left of it and follow that trail to a pretty waterfall sliding down a huge rock not far out of way and beautiful

1 month ago

real pretty falls. it is a lot bigger then they say. Has a cauldren type going on down from the falls and when you reach the very bottom go to your left and about crawl threw the rhodedenrons and there is another fall with no name and it also has a cauldron type on down from it. the main trail is more climbing then walking with all the rocks. i dont suggest a dog on this hike my two and my daughter in laws didnt like it the rock and falls close to them is hard on dogs and small children. it is worth seeing though have been there 3 times the last time was april 2018

I’ve always wanted to revisit this section of the trail since I thru-hiked the AT in 2007 and I wasn’t disappointed. Big Bald is one of my favorite spots on the entire Appalachian Trail. It is a very challenging hike, but the 360 degree views make it well worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty good hiking path that is worth the adventure.

2 months ago

very dangerous hike down to the falls slippery Rocks more like hiking down a cliff but the waterfall was beautiful

awesome hike wore the dig down pretty good.

hiking
2 months ago

My 3rd trip to this beautiful waterfall and I would definitely do it again! I definitely think you should take the trail by the river, over the trail by the campsite because of the better view.

2 months ago

been 3 times and each time it was just as beautiful. would never be bored going to see it. there is also a waterfall at tbe base to your left just crawl threw tbe rhodadenrons it us worth the crawl also

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous Waterfall at the end

hiking
3 months 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

Short, mostly uphill. The wet and rocky path made the walk difficult for some of our group. At the end of the trail marked on this map, there is a steep scramble path down to the base of the falls.

No view on this hike during summer.

hiking
3 months 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!! :)

Amazing!, I have 2 kids 12 and 14 and a boxer. The entire family loved it, it was difficult hiking the closer you got to the fall; that said it was well worth the hike down. If you have small children just beware some of the rocks can be very slick and if you fall it’s a ways down.

hiking
3 months 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.

Great hike and views. Steady incline the whole way up.

This is a pretty extensive hike. It should actually be placed in the hard column. Especially if you start on the Watauga Dam side. If you do this point to point start on the Hwy 91 side. Did see a bear and a cub so beware.

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

Probably didn’t plan (food mostly) as well as we should have for a 13+ mile out and back but once we started we were committed to reach Big Bald. Gave it 3 stars bc it’s 95% forest with only 1 vista before the summit. While it was a good physical challenge it got monotonous at times. Didn’t see much wildlife - one deer, a few birds and some butterflies. Big Bald was glorious so there was THAT! Took us 6 hrs including a 20 min rest at the top. Saw only a handful of people the entire trek.

one of my all time favs if for no other reason than nostalgia.

Very tough trail. Harder than I thought it'd be. View from top is gorgeous.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was amazing! I went with one other women, both of us in our 20s, and neither of us felt that it was that difficult. It was definitely a climb rather than a stroll. The waterfalls were so beautiful. Definitely worth the hike for us!

Good hike, not a long distance but somewhat hard since I have short legs

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