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Can be a bit of a treacherous descent and a hard climb out, but well worth the effort.

nature trips
1 day ago

The road up there was gravel and bumpy, but any car can make it. The hike itself was beautiful. Definitly wear good shoes because some spots are slick. Beautiful was tho. Make sure to take North Side trail. I'm a chunky woman and it was still easy for me:)

hiking
1 day ago

We've started taking our 6 year old son hiking and he absolutely loved this one. We used Google maps to get there and it took us right to the trail head. He loved getting in the little pools of water hiking up to the main fall. This trail is definitely kid friendly.

One of the shortest, but most difficult hikes we've taken. Straight up and down, but the falls and swimming hole were worth every step!

Amazing hike, we hiked it on a rainy day but it was still a great time. I highly recommend for everyone!

hiked this trail at 730am and it was beautiful and peaceful. The only strenuous part was the stairs coming back up from the falls, very rocky.

A really nice trail. The waterfalls at the end are excellent but the trail makes you work for it. Trail is a mix of flat walking and quite rocky. There are 4 water crossings which were manageable even with the wet summer.

This trail is PERFECT for the beginning hiker who is in average physical condition. The falls are beautiful and worth the walk!

We did this trail and absolutely loved it. My kids 10& 12 rocked it but there are places that are a little scary. During the first mile, there is a picturesque area with big rocks and and a mountain stream to take pictures and play in the water. As you wind your way up, it gets harder and becomes very steep. We climbed through rocky, dense tree areas and then reached the peak by climbing up man-made ladders onto boulders. Several trails merge so it was a bit crowded at the top. Beautiful views! One of our favorite family hikes!

hiking
12 days ago

Make sure you screenshot or have a hard copy of directions to get there as there is no cell service most of the way. The trail is very steep and can be done in chocos but I would not recommend it. It is beautiful once you get to the bottom and definitely a challenge but very fun.

Some steps, some switchbacks but generally a moderate climb. The parking lot leads down a winding trail for over a mile, so the return was a bit tougher than usual out and back climbs. Pack a jacket for the gusty stuff up top.

Hadn’t hiked the falls in probably 8 years or longer, but had a blast. Took the kiddos (4 and 6) and they did very well. Trail is in good shape, creek crossings were fairly deep in places since all the rain lately in the area. The falls were beautiful, again from all the rain lately they were flowing heavy! I definitely recommend this trail for some beautiful scenery. I have hiked this trail since I was a kid and have always loved how it follows the creek up the mountain.

Very well-maintained and challenging trail. We (three 50+ year-old ladies) hiked GFM Trail yesterday; started at the parking lot for the swinging bridge, climbed to McCraes Peak, then on the advice of other hikers took Underwood Trail back to GFM Trail to return to our car. We are regular exercisers who are training for a Grand Canyon hike in October, and only hike occasionally. Although challenging mentally and physically (we climbed 10 ladders total, I believe, and relied on cables to pull ourselves along a few slippery spots), we had good hiking shoes with good tread (essential), plenty of water and comfortable backpacks. Conditions were very wet yesterday and a thunderstorm was predicted in the afternoon. We had intended to climb to Calloway Peak but decided to shorten our hike due to the storm. The trail took much longer than we expected, since rocks were slippery. Took us 4 hours. We will be back to accomplish this one in better conditions! Be prepared to pay $20 per person (ouch!) to enter the park on the side where the swinging bridge is, otherwise do the Profile trail to park for free (a longer hike). I think there were 7 or 8 ladders going up the way we did, but only 2 going down since we used Underwood Trail to return. Best hike yet and amazing views!

Diverse and beautiful hike with a glorious view at the summit. Took us 5.5 hours up and back. Not a trail for those with balance or knee issues- parts of the trail flooded very quickly in the rain, and wooden steps and rock scrambles became very slippery - but would happily do it again!

I only spent 3 months living in North Carolina, but as a native westerner, I was impressed at the natural terrain I found in this part of the Appalachians. Grandfather mountain comes close, in a few ways , to the foothill type peaks I have around my home in North Idaho, but with even more lush and green scenery surrounding it. Being very developed, the trail head is easy to find, and the main challenges are steepness of the ascent and (certain times of year) slippery rocks and exposed roots. This is not a trail area for out of shape people, but with proper pacing, it can be done. Prepare for some scrambling in sections, but a benefit is that there are many potential view points once you get up top. In September, when I visited, it was misty and moist, but not cold, which made for some great hiking weather, but less than ideal under foot conditions. Heartily reccomend this trail.

This trail was great. It is mostly shaded the whole way up. It was mostly on an incline till you get to the top, so some in the group had some struggles. We only saw two large waterfalls, but they was magnificent. I will definitely do this hike again.

Wow! My husband and I hiked this trail today. We knew it would be good but we didn’t know it would be as beautiful as it was! It’s hard and takes time but it’s so worth it!! Wear good hiking shoes and bring water.

Great trail not too hard and awesome view the entire walk but but not marked well so make sure you just keep to the right at every turn on the way up. Taking the left goes up rattlesnake Ridge and hits no water and a very like hike still a great view but much harder and no waterfall

22 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

rock climbing
23 days ago

hard going down and up but when you get down and to the falls it's worth it

also watch the drive going up to the parking, lots of deep holes. we bottomed out our Chevy Cruze

No view on this hike during summer.

You get a little bit of everything with this hike. Views, bouldering, and a great workout. Took us a little under 5 hours with plenty of stops to sit and look out at the scenery. Be ready for ladders.

Great hike with classic Appalachian beauty: big rhododendrons, views of rolling blue-green hills, ferns, a lovely creek, and large flat boulders at the top. The trail was nice in most places, with patches of slippery rocks and roots. I was visiting NC from my home in WA state and this was a great "bang-for-your-buck" hike to experience this area.

Based on other reviews I thought it would be more difficult. Although it wasn't exactly easy, I made it to the top in 2 hours, but maybe it's because I'm fortunate to be able to hike hilly trails a couple of days a week at home. When I got to the top there were patches of clouds blowing in and out, so there were only partial views, but it was still worth it to hike through the lovely green forest. All in all, maybe not for the out-of-shape or new hiker, but if you are an avid hiker, it's not too bad. :)

Hard going down, but worth it all! You can even jump off the first waterfall!

hiking
1 month ago

Road going to trailhead is very very rough. The falls are easily accessible and very pretty. Did not go on the south (right) fork since most reviews say it goes nowhere

Absolutely one of the best places to hike! It’s got bouldering, scenic views, more moderate trails as well as very challenging ones

I only hiked to Macrae's Peak. It was beautiful and well-maintained. Definitely challenging though and I would recommend that you wear a good pair of tennis shoes with grip. some of the ladders are nerve-wracking if you are scared of heights, but really aren't that bad. I would recommend being in good shape. It's worth the $20 fee to get into the park! Just know that you have to be back by 6 pm.

Great Hike, the best I have done in a long, long time. It is very hard at the end, you need to be in pretty good physical shape. Ladder 6 is the tricky one, and going down is more difficult than up, of course. The views are outstanding, and the hike is fun as hell. The guy below me is commenting on some other hike, not this one. This hike is a class 4, and takes 2-3 hours. NOT DOG FRIENDLY! It's possible you could get a mellow dog up the 6th ladder, but you are not getting him down GFM unless he is strapped to your back. We witnessed several folks attempting to do this and they wisely gave up.

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