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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short hike, but uphill the entire way ... felt like much longer than 3 miles roundtrip because of how steep the trail is ... beautiful views at the top - completely worth the trek!

6 days ago

My fiancé, my dog (cocker spaniel), and I did this hike after seeing some local photos (we live in Roanoke). Great hike, moderate difficulty, with some truly amazing views. The hike took a little over 2 hours round trip with taking a 15-20 minute break at the top to look at the amazing views. The trail was snowy when we went which made it a bit harder, but overall very enjoyable and would recommend to others and hike again sometime.

It’s steep at first but pence your on top it’s beautiful

loved it hiked the blue to the red and back tracked down the yellow ,we did it with my 9 month old ,very shaded peaceful hike

Long and at times fairly steep but well worth it. Great views!

18 days ago

Not hard, per se, but a sure heart-pumper if you take the loop trail first and finish with the direct descent back to the parking area. Definitely worth the payoff view at the top.

Loved this trail! Super rocky on the way up... a fun challenge! Great view at the top!

My dog and I did this trail 2 days ago. great hike! Very scenic! We took Lewis fork and wow did I under estimate the trail, it's pretty tough. I enjoyed every step though. I will definitely visit the surrounding trails! the horses are so cool. they were on the trail and refused to move so we scooted past and pet them on the way past!

Having done the Profile Trail many times over the years, I was surprised to see the new entry off the highway, registration area, restrooms and parking area. Wow! Very nice! The 1st 1/2 mile from the registration area is new trail. It’s a nice warm-up but it tacks on the extra mile round trip which was unexpected. We went past Shanty Springs this time and had heard it was extremely difficult. We found it to be the best part of the trail. It’s challenging but really fun..not scary like I thought.

29 days ago

Completed the hike 2/20/18 to bag the state high peak. The lush, mossy forest made for neat scenery but also made for a wet and rocky trail. Majority of the trail, as well as the summit, is in the trees which leads to a fairly underwhelming view, but none the less an enjoyable hike with some scenic views here and there. Wish the ponies were out! Trail is longer than the 10.8 mi posted, RT from the trailhead is 12.6 miles. Glad to have VA's tallest peak in the bag!

amazing views, wild ponies, doesn't get much better in the south east

Great cardio, very light traffic on the trail even on a weekend. The parking lot, picnic area and lake was packed but this trail was quite. Incredible views at the top

I’ve never hiked the entire black mountain crest trail but this review is for Ben Clark. What an incredible story man, but I can’t help but laugh because I’m the guy on the atv ! I offered to help you guys out but you didn’t really seem like you knew where you were going or where you came from. I thought you were just some college kids from cattail creek hiking up to the mine so we never thought anything of it. You guys were on the old mining roads and most of them aren’t on google maps. Don’t go by just what you saw though man the views are amazing up there and I don’t have any idea how you ran out of water because it’s everywhere lol. We’ve got property at the base of the mountain so I know the area pretty well. Shoot me an email if you want more info on how to get around without getting lost. Sorry y’all had to had to suffer but when we came back down we never passed you so we went on to the house.

PS: I have to rate the trail so I’m going with 5 Stars. I’ll hike it someday but I don’t live there and my time is always limited. That area has become my favorite place on earth and I intend to live there permanently one day.

1 month ago

Went on a day I only saw 2 other hikers but that was because it was a bit icy. Beautiful views,

1 month ago

This is probably my favorite hike on the east coast. We did this over a cold winter weekend. The wind was fierce atop the mountain, but the views were breaktaking. The wild ponies were definitely the highlight of the trip. Be careful and pay attention to the route - we ended up getting lost more than once. I reviewed the trail in great detail here for thoes who want to check it out before making the journey! https://adventuresinroamance.com/backpacking-in-the-south/

Amazing views of the mountains and multiple waterfalls. Hiked this trail but didn’t hike all the way to the top of grandfather because I had my dog with me (can’t get him up the ladders). I recommend using poles when it’s wet or icy in winter!

Love doing this trail starting at 105 or the brp then going up and to the bridge then back down

Do not underestimate the difficulty of this trail. First of all, if you are climbing from Bowlens Creek, the first 4.5 miles is the EASIEST climbing portion of the trail. For some people to say that the first 4.5 miles is the hardest, they obviously didn’t complete the entire trail. The AllTrails app is incorrect, it is more like 12.5 miles to Mount Mitchell from Bowlens Creek. We completed our hike in January of 2018 and the trail was very icy, making it very difficult to climb the rock scrambling portions of the trail. It really doesn’t get difficult until you start making your approach to Winter Star Mountain. From Winter Star Mountain to Mount Mitchell is some of the most strenuous hiking that I have done considering the iciness of the trail. There is a portion on Big Tom were there are ropes attached to two separate angled rock faces to assist in your scramble up the rock. I would recommend doing this trail in the summer when you do not have to worry about ice. Also, DO NOT expect to camp at Mount Mitchell in the winter. The campground is closed during winter months and they do not allow camping. DO NOT take on this trail unless you are a well prepared, experienced backpacker. We spoke to the park ranger and he said they are constantly rescuing unprepared, inexperienced hikers because they bite off more than they can chew. Luckily we were well prepared and were able to finish.

1 month ago

Husband and I wanted to get into hiking and while on vacation in Virginia, we made this our first hike. We had a blast! We’re in moderate shape and we definitely had to rest a time or two seeing as it’s all uphill with lots of steps but we’re hooked. We went at the end of October when the weather was amazing and the colors were unreal. Great time and great memories!

I hiked this in October 2017.. I am also afraid heights. I was ok with the climb and elevation just rest if you need to but the ladders were a big challenge for me considering they are on the edge of the mountain. but I am so glad I did it. It is beautiful at the top . McRaes peak and attic window are amazing views.. lots of great hiking here.

Enjoyable short hike, nice view of the valley from the top.

Well maintained trail. Winter wonderland for sure. Trails were iced over, trekking poles were a big help.

1 month ago

I really enjoyed this hike. I went after one of the snowfalls so there was barely anyone of the trail and the views were gorgeous. I am excited to come back and do this one again in the Fall.

Great hike and work out. Used profile trail to the top and went over and down Daniel Boone Scout Trail . was amazing in the snow and ice. Definitely trekking poles were nice, wish I had brought ice grips though. Trails were covered in ice.

Wonderfully difficult climb to one of the best trails in western North Carolina!!!!

on Moores Knob Trail

1 month ago

I love this trail. Started off early this am - first in carpark and making new footsteps for the day in the snow. Climbed around the lake - which was partially frozen - and took the red/white circles trail up to the top of Moore’s Knob. Beautiful crisp day with lots of animal tracks in snow - deer, squirrel, small mammals, birds and turkey. Trail was snowy, but not too icy. Wind blowing pretty good in carpark, but it was very calm and warm along the trail up the mountain. I wore layers and was too warm by far. Stopped in at balanced rock near the top. Was hoping to be first up there for the day but got passed by a guy about 3/4 way up - the recent flu bug has left me so fatigued..! Got to top and wind blowing around the rocks - visibility pretty good. Could see pilot mt and Winston Salem pretty good - also could make out grandfather mt with my binocs. Top of tower was surprisingly protected from wind - it really was extremely pleasant up there. Spent some time taking photos etc and then heading down. Met a lot more hikers on way down. The route down seemed slippery than on the way up - I was glad of my hiking pole. Overall a very nice moderate hike with fantastic views at the top.

One of the most rewarding trails I’ve hiked. I’m absolutely terrified of heights, and wanted a challenge. This trail didn’t disappoint! The pictures of the ladders don’t do them justice, they’re straight up and down at points- a few in a row with only a tiny ledge to stand on in between and a straight drop down. Not for the faint of heart. I saw a few people try to attempt this with dogs, would not recommend doing that. Beautiful views, would go back in a heartbeat.

Hard and rewarding hike. It keeps things interesting with the ladders and cables, definitely would not recommend to someone who is not experienced.

I love this trail. I have done it a few times in the past but never in the winter. I did a quick up and back on Jan 14. The trail was icy and the temps cold but the views were amazing and well worth the effort. I highly recommend trekking poles for this trail and they're necessity when it's slick!

2 months ago

Probably would have enjoyed this hike more if we went in a warmer spring day. We went on a windy, very cold, January day. Hike to the top is short but all uphill with a good amount of steps. We took our dog with us but I don’t think he enjoyed the steps at all. View from the top is great but the wind was ripping and we didn’t stay up there long. Wanted to check out Buzzards Roost but didn’t have the opportunity today.

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