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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.

Absolutely awesome 5 miles with a first teaser view at Jones Knob, where you can see the cliffs of Whiterock Mtn. Then back down and onward, the trail is pretty level most of the way, then you come to a fork with the Bartram Trail and only .3 miles left to the top and cliffs of Whiterock Mtn. Make sure you go down to the end of the trail for the payoff. Take a picnic lunch. It's a great place for admiring the views. The trailhead has been corrected. Start at Jones Gap at the end of the gravel road at the small parking area and start uphill to the right. Highly recommended.

hiking
3 days ago

Pretty great views and the rock structures are great for running and jumping.

Numerous beautiful views on this < 2 hr loop trail. A little muddy today and lots of fellow hikers but worth it

Great hike -nice mix of several rock overlooks, small waterfall and rugged hiking in the backhalf. BUT THIS HIKE IS A FAIR AMOUNT LONGER. My Strava said 12.5 miles. Also, backhalf (big piney ridge trail) is not for novice hikers as trail is not as well worn, although probably partly due to fact was fall with plenty of leaves down camouflaging trail.

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!

The walk in was steep and slippery in spots. Bridge crossings where slick and had ice. Snow closer to the Falls. Was worth the hike! 16,433 steps according to my watch. Recommend for those that want to see beautiful water falls. We did see a huge buck driving in. Then we saw a bear both going up and heading down.

this is a relatively easy moderate Trail with beautiful views. It's nice to do the hike up over the Ridge and get away from the loud sounds of the river and end of The Quiet of the forest. the signs are pretty good at showing the way.

Hard but lovely

It’s lovely !!

Awesome view!

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

Just completed this section this week as my first foray onto the AT. Spectacular views from the balds. Last 6-7 miles to 19e were difficult and challenging. Spent night in Overmountain shelter. Great spot. Plenty of water available on the trail. I agree with other posters that the distance is more the 13.6 miles posted. Absolutely worthwhile trip

nature trips
6 days ago

Not familiar with this area but took a stroll on the trail to the waters edge and to the docks. The big trail with the loop was closed. Bummer.

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

Great views. Trail repairs very nice.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful! using Mark Swope Sr 's directions, which were spot on and easy, from parking to falls and back was only 0.4 mile. So if you're looking for a very short easy get-away, this is perfect! Colors were gorgeous and the falls we're beautiful!

Very nice area to hike on a day trip from Charlotte

Gorgeous falls, fantastic viewing area, perfect for everyone!!

Marginal at best.......not the greatest or the most beautiful falls but easy for all family members to accomplish. The trail is marked well.

not much to view, couple of stream crossing, mostly walk through the forest, some elevation gain.

More on the easy side than moderate. Views are amazing though!

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!

hiking
9 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.

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked this trail in the early morning hours of a Sunday (started at 8am) and half the parking spot at the trailhead were already taken. So go early. First half is a well-trod wide trail with a steady incline, but easy going; runs along the river with plenty of photo ops. Once you hit the switchbacks it does get a little steeper, but very doable with a steady pace. Falls are spectacular. We climbed up to them (despite a sign advising against it). =) Just be careful and use common sense. Pictures don’t do it justice. Beautiful hike in the fall with plenty to see.

Can combine this with Rich Mt beginning @ Rich Mt Rd & create a 12mi loop with plenty of elevation gain & loss. Good for trail running.

hiking
10 days ago

Very awesome! I climbed behind the waterfall itself. It’s slippery and there are signs saying to be careful, but I’m a dare devil and was determined to do so. Hike itself wasn’t too challenging. Saw a deer, climbed up a fallen tree! Enjoyed it very much. Will do again

beautiful hike and impressive waterfall

I hiked from the trail head to shinning creek path, camped and then came back. This was an extremely strenuous trail but the views were incredible.

Beautiful waterfall and a nice leisurely walk along a wide path. Plenty of parking and many other trails to explore if you feel like venturing off. Quiet area and peaceful.

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