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This was a great hike with beautiful views. Trail 12 is not for the faint at heart if you go in the counter clock wise direction because almost every step is uphill. My only issue with this trail is its listed as dog friendly, and I would suggest leaving the dog at home if you want to do the whole loop. The park its self was very dog friendly, but trail 14 (the one with the swing bridge) has several spots where you get to a vertical rock face and you have to climb up or down a ladder. So, I ended up having to carry my 50 pound dog up and down the ladders. The other 3 trails do not have these ladders though.

I definitely think it is longer than marked, although it is not as difficult as some hikes I’ve done. All in all a magnificent quest, ending with a very cold summit which adds to the wonder. My heeler, 12 year old, 8 year old, and two year old in my pack did it with only minor difficulty on Monday. My only complaint is that we didn’t get the views once at the top due to the weather, but can’t control that. It was more like 7 Miles according to my Garmin.

8 days ago

Nice hike - would not considerate this moderate - more like easy. 9 year son did this with no issue. View from the top is nice. Busy trails on a Sunday morning but not overcrowded.

Very poorly maintained. Trees down almost everywhere. . .so much so that I was forced to turn around.

Lots of payoff, clockwise is the way to go. harder than we expected as we're not in prime shape but very rewarding. Beautiful hike with several spots to see waterfalls, the suspension bridge was a huge highlight.

beautiful trail for a short hiking

Good day hike close to home...will be back as the leaves turn.

10 days ago

The highest peak in the East has been on my list all year. I'm 58 and started hiking alone from the Black Mountain Campground and caught up with two under 30 hikers who I hiked with for the rest of the day. We all enjoyed the hike with stimulating conversation and clear blue skies. Arrived at the summit in 3 hours 25 minutes. Hung out at the top for an hour with some bikers as we ate our lunch. The view on the observation deck was spectacular. Descended the mountain in 3 hours 15 minutes. Switchbacks made the hiking relatively easy. A local warned me the day before to watch out for bears and rattle snakes. Didn't encounter either. Not as difficult as Marcy or Whiteface. Although there are lots of roots, there's no large boulders to climb over, no rock hopping, rock climbing or scrambling. Thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would do it again next time I'm in the area.

Easy hike with a beautiful view.

My dog and I took the 11 12 14 13 11 route, which my watch measured at ~8.5 miles. Total round trip was about 3:45 (we’re quick hikers). Good hike, but we were fighting through spiderwebs on 12 and 14 was sketchy in parts due to fallen trees and storm debris. 14 has three ladders as well, so it’s not quite dog friendly. Keep in mind that the valley floor is will quite a bit steamier than the overlook, we were hot!

Drove up at 7:00AM to see the summit without all the peoples and so glad we did. Gorgeous views at sunrise. We drove back down to the campground and began our march to the summit. The trail was fairly busy for a Saturday but not too crowded. It was a long, steep walk up the mountain with several flat areas to catch your breath that drops off into a busy parking lot for the viewing tower. I was not able to make the descent as we ran out of time with an inexperienced hiker taking much longer to get up the hill. So this trail is definitely not for the out of shape or casual hiker.

No dogs allowed!

Trails were not too bad. As the other reviews state, there are lots of trees to cross. The trail head is NOT marked at all, so bring your GPS or print off the directions. If you're going just for the falls, take the Lower falls trail (different site) for a better view. Be aware that there is no phone service. I would rate this trail as moderate due to the down trees.

This trail is one of my all time favs!!♡♡♡

Made the hike from Black Mountain Campground to the summit and back 30 times in the last five years. My favorite time for this hike in in the fall. This was on my bucket list. There are two decent water sources. Expect lots of roots and rocks on much of the trail. Some of the trail uses an old creek bed. Be prepared for aburpt weather changes. The trail is becoming better maintained because of those hard young dedicated workers.

1 month ago

An easy calming walk up 3,700 feet of elevation climb...jokes aside it is a fun, strenuous walk. The majority is under tree cover, with an occasional stream or brook. But the end is worth it l, with an open summit area.

Not sure where the poster was at who said Jack's River trail was closed but my wife and I just went up Labor Day weekend. No signs at Dally Gap saying it was closed we hiked in 19 river crossing before setting up camp. yes the storms have drastically altered the trail. Between river crossings 2 and 3 is the most difficult. But after that it got a little easier. I always bring my machete since trails like this change all the time. the next day we made our usual light pack to go the rest way to the falls. unfortunately the trial was too obliterated and I just didnt feel like hacking through it. hopefully they get the crew out soon to do some clean up. even with out the falls it's always great camping trip.

Really peaceful and safe!
I did the full hike and wouldn’t call it “moderate”...I’m used to hiking and this trail kicked my butt. I also had quite a few slips (and one big fall) on the crumbling rock and saw other hikers struggling to keep their footing too. I can’t imagine kiddos being able to do it, but maybe if you take your time ;)
Overall, a good, challenging hike—but a little dangerous when it gets steep.

I did #11, #13, #14, #12 as the app recommend. My app recorded 8.7 in 2:38 non-stop. It was very strenuous and not for the faint of heart. The swing bridge had the best view.

We walked the loop with a break at the seats. It was 4.3 miles and definitely moderate. We enjoyed ourselves and saw people from toddler to elderly on the trail. Though would be nice if slower moving people would slide over so you can keep your pace but not a biggie.

No dogs are allowed (Pooh!) which is why I gave it a 3, but even without my sweet dog, it was nice. I believe there are only 2 trails on the south end of the lake that do allow dogs. With the popularity of this spot I can understand why no dogs but this area in general is just not dog friendly.

This hike took us right at 6 hours with several short stops. It was much longer than 7 miles, my Fitbit registered nearly 13 miles start to finish. It’s more than moderate and a few spots have some ladders/stair cases that are not so dog friendly. Going down dismal and back up the natural trail really takes it out of you so plan to take a long break at the bottom.

As of 9/2/18 the Jacks River Trail is CLOSED due to storm damage. It's an amazing trail and hopefully they will open again soon but as of now, hike at your own risk. There are a lot of rangers in the area. If you do brave it, there is some serious dead fall (full tree piles) on the river side trails you will have to forge around. It's closed for a reason, so be prepared. Beech Bottom to the falls is also closed but see my review there for more info.

1 month ago

I just came back from this hike. The trail is hard and very well mark. We ended with 12.3 miles instead of 10. So be prepare for few extra miles. It has been in my bucket list for a while and it was way worthy. Also we got to eat blackberries almost at the top. Tons of bushes of blackberries. If you are looking for a challenge and a reward at the top this is the trail for you.

Fun and easy hike. Well-marked. Great view. Lots of parking.

This was a Tray Mountain, Brier Creek Bald and Rocky Mountain Trifecta. (all 3 part of the GA 4000 Challenge) Started from Indian Graves Gap at 8:15am. Hiked the trail to Tray Mtn. Couple campsites, one water point and three nice views but in the summer views are limited. Back down Tray to Tray Mtn Gap and headed north on Corbin Creek Rd to Brier Creek Bald (wonder what century Brier Creek Bald was actually bald?) Left the road at Whetstone Gap on an old Jeep trail to about 330 yds from the summit then followed a faint herd path almost to the top and bushwhacked the final 75 yds. The summit is very distinct and there is no doubt if you're on it. There is also a small rock cairn at the top. Back down the way I came all the way to Indian Graves Gap and then up a little over a mile to the top of Rocky and back down again to Indian Graves Gap. If you're tired, the hike up Rocky is a killer (I was tired) and coming back down it's brutal on the knees. It was a long drive to the trailhead from Big Canoe and I wasn't going to make that trip again just for Rocky. GPS says 10.10 total miles, 5:01:20 total time, pace 29.51 min/mile including all stops.

My ten year old rocked this trail with me to help celebrate by ten weeks without smoking. Needless to say when we got to the switchbacks I started to feel the kickback of all those years of smoking lol. Definitely start on gumdrop and work your way down, we did the exact opposite lol.

Great lollipop loop packed with beautiful scenery and very challenging terrain. I've hiked all over the southeast and this trail system is fantastic. Very well blazed. Be prepared and bring a backpack with at least 2 liters of water, plenty of nutrition, and safety items (light, fire starter, safety blanket, map, first aid basics). Trekking poles very helpful for this level of difficulty. I don't recommend unless you are an experienced hiker...Very well worth the elevation you gain to see THE most beautiful mountain terrain in SC!

Easy hike to the overlook. Be mindful of people climbing below you. There are about 10 routes the climbing is easy but people throw rocks over the edge all the time.

1 month ago

Mt. Mitchell has been at the top of my list for a while now and I'm glad that I did this trail. It wasn't as difficult as some of the other trails I have done, but you definitely have to watch your footing because of the roots and rocks. It took my friends and I about 3.5 hours to get to the top and then about 2.5 hours to get down and the trail was closer to 12 miles long rather than 10.4. The trail was very well maintained and marked, so you really have to try to get lost. There weren't many scenic looks along the way - I think there was one spot that you could see out of the trees. However, the view at the top was worth all the pain. There were 360 views of all the surrounding mountains and little plaques denoting which mountains were which. It was a little lackluster because a lot of people drive up the mountain and can park about 500 feet away from the summit. By the end, I felt very accomplished, but I also felt it was one of those trails people do just to say that they did it. Just make sure to pack water (there was a fresh water stream along the way as well) and snacks and be ready for an all day hike!

Would definitely rate this as more than “moderate”. Not sure what I did different but it was 9 mile hike. I did Raven Cliff Falls, down Dismal, up Natureland Trust to Gum Gap/Foothills and back out Raven Cliff Falls. The Falls were beautiful and it was exciting seeing it from the suspension bridge. Had a nice area to put your feet in the water/rest after crossing the bridge. A decent amount of downed trees I have to go over/under and a couple ladders to climb. Maybe my hike registered as longer because I did go to the Raven Cliff Falls overlook and then came back to go down Dismal. Did it clockwise like others recommended

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