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hiking
7 hours ago

My wife and I hiked with our 5, 10, 12 year olds. A little muddy will all the rain we had lately, but Perfect distance for the little legs and the view was stunning! $3 to park. So enjoyed the peacefulness and seeing God’s amazing creation!

The end of the trail at the peak of the mountain makes the hike completely worth it! It's a gorgeous 360° view.

Had a blast on the hunt trail. waterfall was awesome. Getting through the boulders was a blast. Tough trail and it's pretty relentless after the first couple miles. I thought the hellbrook on mt Mansfield was tougher but it was shorter. This reminded me of Franconia a bit with the peaks. Hung out in the stream for awhile on the way back down. All in took 9 hours with about an hour of hanging out at the top and awhile in the stream.

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

I only plan to do the Hunt trails to ascend and then do knife edge trail and return.

hiking
7 days ago

Made an over night loop of this trail and a few others. The Mount Mitchell trail is fine, plenty of water sources, really gradual pace to the top and well traveled. The summit was crowed but pretty much what you would expect if you've seen mountains before. The rest of the trails are where this place shines. Every thousand feet the surrounding radically changed from mossy woods, to pine forests and dense brush. The Pisgah is always rewarding.

Challenging hike with lots of rocks and roots. Dense forest most of the way and good views at the top if you get a clear day (hit or miss). Was heavily trafficked at the top by people who drove up. For us, it was a do it just to check the box hike but not the most beautiful or rewarding we have done. 3.5 hours up and 2.5 down. Early morning start (7am) meant cool temps throughout but still very humid in July. Cool that it's the highest peak East of the Mississippi.

Moderately difficult trail mainly due to wash out along the trail. Views at the end were great. Hiked early on a Saturday morning and only saw 2 other groups. Very limited parking at the trail head (maybe 4-5 spots). Trail forks near the end, stay left. Enjoyed the hike but will explore other trails in the area next time

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!

this is a fantastic trail with views to compete with some of the best. difficult but well worth it

Be ready for plenty of roots and rock on this trail. There are a few outlooks but the power lines spoil some of the best views.There is a nice creek near the half way point and a few more near the four mile mark. The forestry young men and women are doing a wonderful job on trail maintenance. Having make this hike 30 times I can tell you it can be a challenge but well worth it.

Ascended on Hunt- think it is a great way to go up- I chose to take Abot down for variety- and think it is more enjoyable than taking Hunt down. A bonus on Hunt is you may end up walking with people finishing the AT as Baxter Peak is the northern terminus. They will have great stories!

I don't think you need to be in excellent physical condition- I know I'm not and was able to ascend in a little over 2 1/2 hours.. I do agree with those that you should hike some smaller mountains first- mostly so you can enjoy what is an incredible hike when you do it -and not pay for it a couple of days later..

If it rains, this is a very different hike- the weather for me was perfect. One short shower gave me a taste of what it might be like if the rock is wet. Still doable, but I would be much more cautious with my steps.

I hope to do it again and plan to Start and finish on the other side. Knifes Edge looks awesome!

Well. We had Mount Mitchell on our bucket list for a while and decided to tackle it around New Years 2018. It was a challenge for sure as much of the trail was iced over and we made good use of the spikes on our trekking poles. Several times we had to cut a new path around the ice and we fell and slid couple of times in dramatic fashion, which was nice to add to our story when we shared the tale of our adventure with amazed friends and family. This hike started as a fun adventure because of the road down to the trail head, the beautiful stream, and nicely packed trail at the beginning. The fun soon faded though as the views never changed and those we did enjoy included power lines. Perhaps we are just spoiled hiking snobs! We read reviews that described this hike as technical but didn't appreciate the validity of that until we were on it and realized that this is a hike you do to DO, not to SEE. Your hiking skills will be tested as you navigate roots, ice (in winter), and sometimes vertical climbs. As you approach the summit, there are signs that teach you about the area and you go through some beautiful forested areas. Emerging from the trail onto the tourist sidewalk was humbling. As we struggled to eat our lunch with frozen hands and melt the water in our bottles, we forlornly watched warm travelers return to their cars, knowing what lay ahead of us on the descent. About three miles from the end, we began singing, "this is the trail that does not end...." Seeing the bridge over the stream at the end felt great, and as we climbed into our car and blasted the heater, we agreed it felt good to have a check mark next to Mount Mitchell, we felt awesome for having done it in freezing temps over ice, and that we did not feel the need to do it again. Hot soup, homemade bread, and a thick beer back at the cabin were much appreciated and we enjoy knowing that we did it.

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Easy for 3 year old and two teens and several dogs. Fun quick hike.

Gets a little steep at the end, but the views are so worth it! When you get to the top, head right for an awesome panoramic view of the mountains! If you go to the left, you can scramble out to some rocks for really good views of Table Rock as well! We started the hike at about 1pm and there weren’t too many people up top which was nice!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful dense forest scenery is the majority of this hike, a few views along the power lines at different points of the ascent, still pretty in my opinion but no denying the best views aren’t until the summit. Challenging hike.

I made it from Katahdin Stream campground to Baxter peak and then took the Abol for the return. I didn’t ask for anything before starting this hike, and ho my god, this was full of surprises and challenging. The view above the tree line is amazing while you climb the mountain.

wonderful views.
great trail maintenance.

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.

My kids and I love this trail.

Incredible hike. One of the most serene but strenuous hikes I’ve done thus far. If you want something that’s challenging but doable in a FULL day this is it. Took me about 5.5 hours to do the whole thing out and back on the blue diamond trail. I’m young and an avid hiker but still not in the best shape so go for it if you think you can. 4 stars because I absolutely loved the hike up and some of the views on the way up (besides the power lines) but if you are going for the summit view, I recommend passing on this trek. Absolutely not worth going into this over crowded tourist spot where you walk into a parking lot. The decent was more tough in my opinion just because you were so focused on dodging roots and rocks. Overall, do it for the hike, not the view.

17 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

We did this yesterday morning before the thunderstorms rolled in. It was humid and not very windy, which is very rare for Katahdin. Started at Roaring Brook, up to Chimney Pond and then Cathedral to Baxter Peak. Took Knife Edge to Pamola Peak and Helon Taylor all the way down. It was a beautiful, warm hike! I’m not good with heights so Knife Edge was tough for me. Some parts are pretty tricky and I would never be up there except on a clear day. I saw people in tennis shoes but I would not have felt comfortable traversing Cathedral or Knife Edge without my boots. There was also a ton of water along the Chimney Pond trail and Taylor trail in the trees (I believe from all the rain the last few days). It would have been very difficult to do this in shoes and absolutely impossible to have kept them dry. We also came across a couple going down Cathedral but I wouldn’t want to mess with that. Cathedral, like other reviewers have said, is a full-body workout (scramble). It’s a TON of fun and exhausting but really great!

If you’re wanting to see Hebron Falls just go ahead and do the entire Boone Fork Trail backward, so you save the falls for close to the end. Nobody likes a there a back hike as much as a loop anyway, right?

Never have I been so scared in my life but it was awesome!

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.

hiking
20 days ago

Pretty easy going hike! There’s bathrooms and water fountains at the parking lot of the trail head.

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