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backpacking
55 minutes ago

My wife and I did this loop on November 3. Plenty of water sources were available along the trail. I found it to be moderate, with one or two short, strenuous sections. Decent amount of other hikers on the trial - lots at the visitor’s center and picnic area.
Spent the night at the Fern Cove backcountry site. Close to water, but the ground was all slightly sloped for a tent. Had a firepit available.

Incredible hike with a gorgeous view. This trail will separate the casual hikers from the more serious enthusiasts in my opinion. The map at the trail head of Cole Gap stated that is was only 5 miles to the fire tower..... I don’t have a fit bit or a Garmin watch but this trail felt way longer than 10 miles RT. I hiked at an aggressive pace and it took me 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach the tower. It was worth the burn to get there.... and it felt like a long hike as others have stated. There were definitely many sections of downhill and traversing to let your legs rest, so the return hike was just as tough. Getting back took some reserve energy, and the return hike took me close to the same amount of time as it did to arrive. Pack some water and a few snack bars and get after it!! Highly recommended!

Don't take a dog that you can't get up a ladder. But this is a great hike.

This trail is definitely strenuous and NOT dog friendly. Badass trail, though. It took me 4.5 hours and I was exhausted by the end.

Our gps said 10.4 . Technically very difficult. Would not go again after any recent rain. The approx 8 waterfall crossings where very dangerous with the steep drop offs and rushing deep water, made my us nervous. Beautiful hike that is fairly well demarcated and we saw no one else on the trail.

Very pretty and quiet trail. Never figured out the loop. Hiked about 4.5 miles up the mountain to find the trail is a dead end. Whoops.

Byron-Reece to Freeman and then up the backside of Blood Mountain via the AT is the easier direction of travel. As other reviewers say, this is a challenge and took a solid 5 hours with stops for pics and lunch, but it’s a great hike in the fall/winter. Trekking poles will make life easier. Be sure to head east on the AT for about 100 yards at the intersection of Byron-Reece and Freeman to see the balancing boulder.

Well maintained trail and beautiful falls!

This is one of my N Ga favorites. Great views at the top, rugged trails, and always a few other happy hikers! All the trails are well marked and easy to follow, but it’s not just a nature walk so be prepared.

I LOVE THIS TRAIL. I’m sad it took me so long to find out about it, seriously. This trail has it all! 3 waterfalls, a river, a mountain, an AMAZING lookout.... I loved it so much. The first two miles are fairly easy, then the last two are climbing up to Pinnacle Knob. I really, really enjoyed this hike. I went on a Saturday and maybe saw about 15 people the whole time. I also took my three dogs and they had a great time. Highly recommend this trail! Parking is nice and convenient too. Also a lot of really cool camp spots. Another thing, the trail has been rerouted since it was last updated on here, so it’s definitely more like 4 miles to the top.

Hiked this past weekend, super crowded day on the AT. Lots of people at all the overlooks. Looped back on the Freeman Trail which was far less populated.

Beautiful! Hiked to all three falls Nov 10, 2018. Well maintained trail and gorgeous falls.

We did the western fork and it was definitely a challenge from the lake to Lookout Point. The lake should be a definite side Trail for you to explore you get to walk completely around the lake.

Fantastic trail with varying terrain and scenery. I love taking landscape photographs and my only “complaint” would be every expansive vantage point was inhibited by fauna (I wasn’t even going that wide at 24mm).

From our campsite in Vogel we tracked this as 8 miles. After the first mile it is all uphill to Blood Mountain. If you are used to hiking elevation it is not bad, if not it will be a challenge. The view at the top is beautiful. You hike a combination of the Bear Hare, Coosa, Duncan Ridge and AT trails. Favor left on the way up and right on the way down but it is marked well.

Fun, pretty hike. Not hard, I did it 6 months pregnant!

Leave it to Murphy for the bridge to be closed the day we hiked, but all that meant was extra cardio! We had to park at the visitors center and walk over a mile to the trailhead. I wish the trailhead sign said “Shuckstack” but just go left on “Appalachian Trail” (not lakeshore) and follow the white blazes. Thankful for those that make recordings so we can be positive of the direction. It was steady uphill all the way up. So cool climbing up the tower and meeting some nice people along the way. I loved this hike!

Great hike with lots of water features along the way. Steady incline towards the top but with a nice payoff.

hiking
15 days ago

First off awesome, burning hike. Lots of ups and downs and long. Be prepared with water and food! Start of hike is fairly simple, then long downhill which means back up on the return. Seems like it takes forever to reach fire tower, but what a site if you have a clear day. Fall is the best time. Hiked this past weekend, 29 degrees on the top. Just perfect.

Go in the fall (we went first weekend of November) and you will get an excellent view of black rock mountain and the southern end of the smoky mountains. Nice waterfalls too. Keeping in the list of repeat hikes.

Pretty walk in the fall season. Walk is on a well maintained dirt/rock road. Look for the trail sign that will lead to the falls. We missed it and kept walking on the road. We heard the falls and realized we were not on the right path. Path to falls is a single wide trail.

beautiful hike and impressive waterfall

This trail was definitely the most challenging I have done. It was scenic and lightly traveled but much more difficult than expected—lots of challenging uphill portions. It appears that the trail is actually more like 9 miles, which for us included a short detour to the lake and then another to the overlook. Overall, I’m proud of myself for accomplishing this, but note that it might take longer than other people mentioned. Also, I live somewhere with no elevation so am not used to this type of terrain.

hiking
16 days ago

Very good for endurance training

Great hike - trailhead is tough to locate, basically marker between the two parking areas (we parked at Warwoman) marked blue/difficult that takes up up some switchbacks to cross the road. A few waterfalls and through some camping areas. Lot of up and down and flat until you pass the camping area and then it’s a steady up for the last mile and a half. Great views but very windy so we didn’t spend too much time at the top. A solid 8 miles and we did it in just under 4 miles with few breaks.

Really fun trail with lots of creek crossings!

This hike was actually further than I thought. I read 1.6 miles to the main falls but it actually seemed more than that. maybe is was all the elevation changes. Excellent walk. The trail actually goes outside of the State Park where it is not quite so well maintained so expect some dodgy bits. At some point in the trail follows the river with several smaller Rapids to view. The Falls themselves are spectacular. Well worth the trouble.

hiking
23 days ago

Straight up for just under 4 miles but was very worth it. Loved the view from the top!

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