Explore To Hike - 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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1 day ago

Pretty mild at first, but once you get past the waterfall you’re on a pretty steady upward hike, the last leg to the gazebo and outlook is the part that gives the trail it’s rating. Lovely outlook at the top. Remember to bring water even though it’s only a couple of miles. We did the blue trail up and the orange back down—will definitely hike again!

This is what a good hike looks like - plenty of tree cover, views of the lake, hard-packed trail and episodes of elevation without exhaustion. Lots of hikers on a gorgeous spring day., but didn’t seem crowded. 4.5 miles of joy.

hiking
17 days ago

Fairly easy trail mostly along the shoreline of Badin Lake. Keep an eye on the trail as there are many small rocks and roots to trip you up.

hiking
19 days ago

I found this to be a challenging and interesting hike. If you find this to be "boring" or "not real hiking" as a few others have said, hiking may not be your thing. Sure, there's no amazing overlook, mountain peak, or waterfall you're hiking towards, but the lake is beautiful and just being surrounded by nature is what it is about. The trail is clearly defined but is still very much a hiking trail, not paved or gravel. The trail has a well established trailhead and small parking area at the start/finish. The trail is very well marked and has mile markers and wooden benches for resting at every half mile. The trail seems to get progressively more difficult as you go along, with the first couple miles being relatively easy and directly on the lake shore, while the last few miles take on a more woodland feel (though still quite close to the lake) with increasing hills. I found the last mile to be quite challenging, as there is a prolonged uphill section starting at mile marker 4.0. There is an opportunity to cut the trail short or add a small side trail to increase its length, however I just did the standard loop. I'm not sure why the distance on AT lists this as 4.8, the trail markers clearly mark 5.0 miles and the end of the trail is another tenth or two further than that marker. I hiked during midday on a weekday during a school break, and only came across a few other hikers. It was quiet and peaceful.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike, the views weren’t amazing but parts near the lake and river were nice. Fun wildlife lots of spring peepers, snakes, and ground skinks

Did it a few years ago. Loved it

Awesome afternoon hike. Takes about 1.5 hours at a good pace. The trails in good condition and the views are nice. I suggest going counterclockwise if you prefer having a steep short climb toward the top, and then a gradual descent.

I went the weekend after the controlled burn. Lost the trail for a little ways when I ambled around that giant felled oak near the peak, but I moved toward the ridge and picked it back up. It was unbelievably beautiful despite the ash, with amazing views of the valley and the lake. Most of the trail is pretty easy, and the strenuous segment (maybe 2/3rds of the way through the loop) is well worth it. I picked up the trail on the Bridle Trail side (the first right turn once you’ve entered the park). Can’t wait to go back in Spring to see the regrowth.

hiking
2 months ago

Good stuff would love to come back and do a solo overnight and maybe even take advantage of the lake in the warmer months ahead.

Easy walk, some nice views along the river

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I had to visit Shelby NC today and we needed an afternoon adventure. This was a great trail to take our time and just enjoy a quiet afternoon in the woods. Although muddy due to the time of year (snow melting), we anticipated much worse. We actually found the trail quite easy with lots of areas to stop and rest along the way. I get in a lot of hiking on a regular basis but my husband has difficulties on most "hiking" adventures. He brought a walking stick with him and with the benches along the trail he was able to stop and rest when needed. Although we live an hour away we would definitely return for another visit.

Hiked this trail on New Year’s Day. The temp was in the low thirties, and we hardly saw any one else out there. Not challenging with regards to hills, but ground leaf cover did hide many loose baseball sized rocks that made me keep eyes down for stretches. Lake was beautiful, the woods were quiet and peaceful. We will go back in the spring to see how the park changes. GPS measured the hike at 5.5 miles.

I started on the red trail heading away from the mountain to add a little distance, connecting to the blue trail on the way up to the observation area and returning on the orange and red trails. The trails are well marked and maintained. The climb to the top is somewhat steep in places but very manageable. It gives you a nice workout for a short hike. And the multiple trails allow you to alter your route if desired on return visits.

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoyed my Christmas Day walk. I would like to see the stretch south of Hwy74 in as good if shape as north of 74. We encountered many mud holes -- More gravel please! Very nice Bridges -- Love the suspension bridge!

hiking
4 months ago

I enjoyed this trail. I got to the Cove Boat Ramp area around 12:30PM, had my dog along with me, and didn't see a single person for the entirety of our hike. I imagine it would be prettier in the spring or summer, but regardless of season, the trail has a nice balance of wood/lake views. The only reason I'm giving it four stars is there were a few points where the markers were difficult to spot. I walked through several spider webs, but I'm happy to take that in exchange for a quiet, peaceful trek and lovely scenery :)

6 miles of trails. Take your pick on which side of the loop to start at, plus trails that are inside and outside of the main loop for added mileage. Not too difficult. Nice view of the Catawba Valley at the top.

hiking
4 months ago

We loved this trail! Over 1/2 of the trail was along the lake and the rest were in beautiful wooded hills. The only difficulty in the hike was the length of the trek. Look forward to doing it again in the spring.

Morrow Mountain has several trails and I his one is moderately easy with only a few climbs. The views are fantastic and the trail is well marked.

walking
4 months ago

This is the perfect thanksgiving day walk location it's easy and along the lake. If you're looking for a local place to get outside this is nice but it is not a great hiking place. Very popular. Not challenging. gravel paths

hiking
4 months ago

5 mile round trip. View at the summit kinda blows. Too many trees. Cool forested hike to the top, though. A lot of inclining and declining, but never too difficult.

walking
4 months ago

Nice trails consisting of 3 loops connected in a figure 8 fashion. Located on a peninsula of High Rock Lake in Rowan County. Check the website for hours of operation. Only problem I have is that it is not open 7 days a week. I work on weekends so I can rarely make it out there.

4 months ago

Enjoyed this trail on Thanksgiving. Beautiful scenery on a beautiful day.

hiking
4 months ago

What a great hike! We were completely disorganized today and didn't get started on the hike till around 3 or 3:30. The trail has lots of nice fresh white blazes today, so no worries about losing the trail, although we did have to look sharp a time or two when the trail turned but we didn't. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we weren't the only ones on the trail, but there were moments of pure quiet, of wind in the trees and nothing else, and we city folk don't get that often. There are pit toilets at a couple of points on the walk, and we parked at a picnic area (something Point) and there was drinking water we could pump there. Great to have a nice, hilly, woodsy hike with views of a beautiful lake!

birding
4 months ago

Wonderful easy wide path with marked trees along the Plant trail. The red trail route leads to a few areas with beachy shores and views of the lake. Benches periodically too. Great birding in mixed pine, oak, maple, other trees.

walking
5 months ago

Great trail for any age. Few small bridges including a suspension bridge that is a great photo opportunity. Several benches along the trail/river for resting. Great to run or just take an afternoon stroll. The two train trestles are awesome and take you back in time.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a decent trail. Wish there were more views from up top but the river walk at the end was really nice. So much burn area there was a horrible stench of burnt wood most of the hike. Would recommend more in the fall/winter for more views.

walking
5 months ago

Walked it with my mom and two kids, we never quite figured out the way to the overlook (it started pouring so we turned back), and there is no waterfall, just a very small creek. There were some amazing carved hiking sticks for the taking and nice clean bathrooms. A cool stone chimney, some cave type boulders and amazing fall colors.

Went on a whim to get out while the weather is still decent enough to enjoy it. Went from the trail marker sign around to the left, and it is quite a steep climb. Probably easier to go counterclockwise or to the right of the sign. Either way, great views from the top

Great loop trail for a quick workout.

6 months ago

The other reason I'm giving 4 stars is that we both felt that the trail was not moderate and actually quite difficult when we hit the inclines on the blue trails. Not that we would have turned it down otherwise, but we maybe wouldn't have taken our elderly dog (though we learned on this trip that he can totally handle it way better than us). The view was great at the top and we loved that it had a little of everything (streams, heavily wooded, rock formations, history). We would definitely go back!

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