Explore Trails I might want 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.

Trails in this list seem interesting and I would like to one day hike them.

Trails I might want to hike. Map
VIEW FULL MAP

I've hiked this trail twice now and it's probably my favorite on the east coast. It's definitely not for the inexperienced or out of shape, but the grueling path is more than worth it. The MacRae Peak path features stunning view after stunning view. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to take them all in and enjoy the fantastic vistas in all directions. The ladder climbs and rock scrambles can be nerve-racking but are a lot of fun at the same time. I took the Underwood Trail on the way back down which is a bit less strenuous and having gravity on your side makes the going a bit easier. It's easy to see pictures and hear from others about the sights along the way, but one thing you have to experience firsthand is the smells on the trail. You're hiking in a mostly alpine environment and the conifers give a refreshing piney scent for almost the whole way; it's like walking through a christmas tree farm.

An exciting hike! We went in November and the path was so icy we almost turned around a few times. The views were worth it! We took grandfather trail up and Underwood back down, made for a great loop!

absolutely beautiful trail. overnight tent camping at the top. make sure you wear good hiking shoes or boots the trail can get slippery. HIKE THIS TRAIL you won't regret it.

Hands down the most fun trail I have ever hiked! Extremely strenuous, so be careful. My only problem is I hate that you have to pay so much to get to the main trailhead. You can access it from the parkway, but it becomes a pretty long day hike.

Lots of fun. Very well marked and the ladders are a blast. The view from the top of McRae is fabulous. We went up the Grandfather trail and back down Underwood. Underwood is much more in the woods and bit more rocky/rooty. You get much better vistas from Grandfather trail, though it was fun doing both of them. The trail past McRae peak is a less travelled, as many seem to turn around at McCrae.

This is my favorite trail. It is a bit treacherous, especially for an old guy like me. I don’t go on it after heavy rain as it is slippery and mistakes could be costly. But it is beautiful and dramatic and fun.

This is a very difficult trail- lots of water crossing and elevation change. You definitely need a day’s worth of food and water. I’m very grateful we had poles and good boots. If you are well prepared and in somewhat decent shape, this is a phenomenal trail. I would definitely do it again.

Amazing hike! Best yet in north Carolina. Lots of ladders and hard uphills. I’m not sure going all the way to callaway peak was worth it if your in it for the views, the first peak was beautiful and stayed beautiful to the callaway peak but didn’t change. About 4-4.5 hours out and back. 40$ to get into the park for 2 people.

We started at Pine Gap and hiked as far as we could south. The first night we camped right before Spence’s Ridge would meet up with the Linville Gorge Trail. Hiked about 10 miles including some spurts to Babel Tower and the end of Pine Gap. The second day we hiked as far south as we could but there were two major landslides and we couldn’t find the trail after the 2nd one. We were probably a mile from where it ends. We turned around and hiked past where we spent the night before, probably 1.5 miles south of Babel. Hiked out from there the next day. There are plenty of campsites on the south end, especially around the Conley Cove access. Plenty of water stations! It is a beautiful hike and wasn’t as bad as we were expecting. It is very rocky and there are lots of down trees! Probably could cross the river at the south end but would not rely on crossing near Devils Hole or Spence’s Ridge unless you are prepared to swim against a raging river and get entirely wet!!

Trail was pretty muddy in spots possibly due to the rains from recent storms. There are lots of alternate routes to get around the mud without too much problem. I liked the challenge of finding the path of least resistance. Otherwise it’s nicely packed with roots and stones for steps and bridges when necessary. Plenty of shade and cross winds for a pleasant temperature. To get to the very top of the falls one must climb a short path which is very steep but worth it. This is a technical trail due to some of its hazards but they are only a small part of the overall hike which allows you to keep going.

nice trail, a bit muddy, and watch the manure

We went on a Saturday in early Oct. and got to the park right as it opened at 8am. Parked in the lot just below the very top lot and hiked the short hike up to the swinging bridge. Then walked across the top lot to the start of the grandfather mt trail. We started the hike at 9am, made it to Calloway peak by 11:30, spent 20min at the top for lunch and then got back to our parking lot via black rock trail by 1:45pm. Round trip was about 5hrs and that is with us stopping for views and really taking our sweet time. We hiked about 5.5miles. My advice. Keep right on the underwood trail? On the way up to do the cables and ladders (which weren’t as scary as I was expecting) and then keep right at the same split on the way back for the easier descent. Calloway peak actually wasn’t as impressive as macrae peak was, so if you wanted a shorter trip just go to macrae. But all in all the $20 was worth it and this is one of the best and most fun hikes I have done. 5stars! If I can do it anyone can, just take your time on ascents and descents, but honestly they weren’t too bad. Oh, and start early!

Truly the best trail I’ve hiked in the entire Blue Ridge area. The hike did take a lot longer, because of all the heavy traffic, but it thinned out the higher we hiked. The trails had more views than I would have thought possible(due to all of the edges of the cliffs that the path etched through).

Path to Upper Falls not marked well but came across other hikers who missed it too and guided us in the right direction. Make sure to see both falls. Great hike and the dogs enjoyed it. Lots of water access for them!

birding
1 month ago

Now this is a trail. Love it.

fishing
1 month ago

The Hyatt Ridge Trail part of the hike is a long incline and a bit grueling. I saw a few black bears around the top of the ridge where The Hyatt Ridge Trail and The Enloe Creek Trail meet, so that was pretty cool. I could see why considering that the trail was covered with acorns. Raven Fork is definitely the highlight of the whole experience. I fished down stream for about a mile and I must have caught 50 brookies and rainbows all together. The trail only crosses the creek at one point (the bridge), so I had to move downstream on the creek to get to the good spots. It was tough day, but a day well spent.

Best hike east of the Mississippi so far!

Lots of deep mud! A soggy & slippery scramble. Thunderclaps as I was coming down luckily avoided rain. Overcast with clouds surrounding mountain and wind gusts. Enjoyed it!

Awesome, awesome hike!! Although the mileage seems low, it is a very strenuous and technical hike. There are lots of ladders, cables, and big rocks that you have to climb up and over using your hands and feet (these were all reasons why I loved this hike, but maybe it's not for everyone!). The grandfather trail is an awesome mix of woods and walking along exposed rock faces which makes for a very dynamic hike and incredible views along the way! When I went (mid-late Sept) the leaves were just starting to change, but I bet in a few weeks (mid October) the colors will be amazing up there. Good hiking shoes with good traction are absolutely necessary - many spots of the trail were very wet/muddy when I hiked it yesterday (partly due to the hurricane, but regardless...) the steep/smooth rock faces can be very dangerous when wet, so the more traction the better. I saw a few people slip pretty bad wearing sneakers. I am a 23 year old in good shape, and a pretty experienced hiker. I hiked all the way to Calloway Peak (stopped for a bit to enjoy the amazing views at McRae peak on my way) and completed the full thing in 4 hours (this included a couple snack/water breaks and picture taking). The men at the gift shop said the hike to Calloway and back is usually completed in 5 hr for the average hiker (3 hr if just going to McRae and back). The $20 entree fee is of course a bummer, but in my opinion very worth it and they do a great job maintaining the trail (the ladders/cables are in great shape). If you are hiking on a weekend (I was there on a Saturday morning) be sure to get there early before they open (9 am) so join the line of cars that will already be forming. The parking lot all the way at the top that you will park at is right below the mile-high swinging bridge, so be sure to check that out once you finish your hike!

Again, all trails mileage description is WAY off. The actual mileage for this loop from Turkey Pen gap to wagon to South Mills River was 11.86 miles. The two swinging bridges were fun to cross and there weren’t any incidents of wet feet during this hike. Road going up to the parking lot was in good condition there were not any views though perhaps there will be more once the foliage is down. Next time I will bring a bathing suit though because there are certainly a lot of places where it would’ve been easy to swim in the river on the way back to the car. Note: you will see mountain bikers on this trail.

One of my fav hikes in North Carolina. Have done it several times and several different routes. From Profile Trail to paying at entrance. Either way, worth the time and the money. I just remind myself that the money goes towards maintaining Grandfather Mountain! So I have no problem paying the fee!

Favorite Hike in NC so far! Did it early September and it was nice and cool, a little rain which helped cool us off also! Did the profile trail to the grandfather which added some mileage but didn't have to pay, and then hitchhiked back to the profile trailhead from grandfather mountain!

hiking
2 months ago

The terrain here is beautiful, and the altitude changes nicely (but be careful about loose stones and slippery wetness). If you want to see how the different faces and altitudes of the region affect the trees and local insects (open grassy fields, hickory, berries, oak, various evergreens, bees among the rhododendrons and ragweed, flies on the bear and dog scat), this is a good trail for that purpose over just a few miles. Also, there are several crossing routes and side trails so that you can modify your hike to your needs, but remember to walk the extra mile or two to catch all of the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Review of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, and Graveyard Fields Loop, hiked with one dog, two children ages 7 and 10 who are intermediate hikers. 

I grew up hiking this trail and today I passed the torch on to my boys (7 and 10). Graveyard fields is a well known and popular hike for locals and tourists alike. During the Summer time and weekends you can expect heavy foot traffic. Being a Tuesday we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. We started off by visiting lower falls just under 1/2 mile from the parking area down several flights of stairs. This area is a popular swimming area and where we saw the most people on our trip today. If you have very young children, older dogs, or anyone in your group with difficulty getting around this will be your go to spot. This spot offers several large boulders to take a breather on or sunbathe. A small waterfall you can rock hop your way up to. There are also a couple of small swimming holes for everyone to cool off in on warmer days. Be sure to rest up and keep in mind the stairs can be tedious on the way back out. If you are looking for a more adventurous hike then head back up the stairs and to the fork you passed on your way in. Keep right to start a 1 mile hike to upper falls. Note this trail is not well marked, and underbrush often takes over the path. You will be forced to hike single file, wade through mud, rock hop across several creeks, and navigate over tree roots, rock steps, and boulders. This trail is not recommended for young children, or pups that might struggle to get around well. Several of the areas are slick from the cooler wet environment and can be challenging to navigate in areas. As you hike you will come to another main fork go left to take graveyard fields loop or veer right to continue on to upper falls. This is where the trail can become challenging, as you make your way to Upper Falls. Once you arrive at upper falls you can choose to stay where the trail meets the water or continue to hike on up either the boulders or along a small trail that will take you parallel to the water and to the top of the waterfall. There are several areas among the rocks where you can wade through the water and admire the waterfall. Be careful though as these rocks are often very slick and can be tricky to navigate. There are several trees that offer the opportunity to hang up a hammock for a nap after a nice picnic. Once you're ready to head out, back trackthe same you came in. You will once again find yourself at the fork for graveyard fields loop which will bring you out at the lower end of the parking lot or you can follow the same route you hiked in on. This hike is a great way to spend the day relaxing with friends and family with beautiful flowers, ample views of water it will feel like your own little paradise. Come prepared to get your feet wet and muddy and bring towels for your four legged family members. 

Recently moved to eastern Tennessee and wanted to do a fun local day hike. This was such a good choice! Initially I was a bit disheartened at the 45 minute queue just to get into the park (it was Labor Day weekend so I wasn’t surprised) and the $40 we had to spend to gain entry, however I would still highly recommend this hike! It was definitely worth the wait and the price. The hike itself wasn’t really that difficult. You do have to be fairly fit to make it to the summit, but with the assistance of cables and ladders it was quite doable. The trail is well marked and maintained. It definitely gets your heart pumping, but at no point did I fear for my life. The first summit has a beautiful 360 view, great photo ops. A fellow hiker told us the second peak wasn’t much different but we continued on anyway. I’m glad we did because the views are even more breathtaking and the photo ops there are bomb. There are rock climbing elements all the way up and lots of fun ledges to dangle your feet off of if you’re brave enough!

Very nice hike. Went to the lower falls then graveyard ridge trail.

If you like Chutes & Ladders and a little boulder hopping this is your kinda hike. Amazing vistas and a great cardio workout. It’s my fav❗️

hiking
2 months ago

Once again, this used to be a favorite hike for us. That was when there was no restroom and the parking lot held 5 cars but there was usually only 1 or 2 there. Now if it’s a weekend, be prepared to walk from a half mile down the road with the rest of the cars lined up along the way. This is a steep hike at the beginning and end with an easy to moderate hike the rest of the time. You have two waterfalls to choose from, the upper falls or lower falls. The upper falls is a longer harder hike, and the lower falls has a swimming hole. But be prepared to fight for space among the 30-60 other people trying to swim in that one little hole. Also please watch out for rattle snakes. They are very abundant in the fields.

hiking
2 months ago

Tooooo many people!!! Trails in the park are super cute and easy tho if you’re looking for that, or have children

Truly difficult but so worth it. The views were amazing and the cardio workout even better! Wear those hiking boots, for sure!!!

Load More