Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Jefferson National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

So after my last review, I decided that I was going to go all the way to the end of the trail even though we couldn't find the blazes the last time. we ended up veering to our left after the 3rd stream crossing, and when the forest opened up. look for a blaze next to a rhodedendron then travel directly west (you'll go uphill a bit) until you see a log sawed in half. after that, you can see the trail. Be warned though, there are some very long and steep climbs in the near future. the trail is actually 5.0 exactly from the trail head to High Butte. so make sure to pack enough water and snacks (also a small trash bag because you dont want to litter). there is no stream once you cross it the 3rd time so I cant stress enough to bring a good amount of water. I brought a 2L bladder and almost went through it all.

the overlook is mesmerizing, though. well worth the hike. I would give this hike a hard rating, though because it is definitely not for the faint of heart. be prepared to climb over some tree and twist your ankles through an old dried up creek bed.

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing trail. beautiful scenery. only thing is, after you get through the 3rd stream crossing, the forest opens up into almost pure hardwood - the blazes then disappear and there no service to check to see where the trail will continue. aside from that, it was a lot of fun! not too technical after the first stream crossing and the landscape plateaus once you get past the first crossing as well. makes for an easier trek.

edit: see updated review

Myself and a couple buddies hiked the first leg of this amazing trail last February mid-winter be it. The water crossings were kind of a pain, was not expecting so many, and with the water levels being up we had to resort to making rock bridges to keep our feet from getting soaked. Roughly 3.4 miles from coming out at Bark camp lake you'll follow around a mile or so of a rocky cobblestone path along the trail which made for somewhat rough going to be honest. We only hiked the first 11.4 miles from High Knob Tower to Bark Camp Lake but this spring i'm intending on doing the entire trek solo and planning on filming the entire trip. Here's a link to our first experience of the famous Chief Benge Trail. Check out the strange find we encountered near edith gap. To clear things up the trail is actually around 20+ miles, not 16, of moderate to strenuous hiking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL1bdKxunuY&t=17s

***WARNING***
***DANGER***

As of 3/3/18 there was a mud slide near the viewing platform of the main falls. The trail has been washed away leaving a 40 foot drop mud slide ledge. If hiking from Hanging Rock viewing upper falls will be very difficult or very dangerous. If hiking from northern trail head you will not be able to make it to base of main falls without a very dangerous shimmy across a 40 foot drop or a strenuous re-route through loose leaf covered boulders and thick mountain laurel. Repair of this section will be very difficult to achieve also.

hiking
6 months ago

it was good hike, best to go early in the morning .Rocky terain. the trail breaks off a few times but that's not necessarily a bad thing. the scenery is great all the way the the falls.

It was a cool Sunday morning for August, upper forties as Boy Scout Troop 86 started out on a 20 mile hike to complete the hiking merit badge. We started at High Knob tower on our journey. The sun was shining bright across the distant mountains with hints of fog in the low valleys. You could feel it was a great day for a hike.
By the the end of the first half mile it was time to shed the light jacket. At mile one was the flat still water of High Knob Lake surrounded with mountain laurel. The overlook at the dam is a great backdrop for pictures. From this point on it was a fast pace to Mountain Fork. We stoped for a quick break and a snack. The trail to this point was well marked, and a down hill grade was making for a fast hike. The first five miles went quick. However at about mile six we turned to a uphill grade not bad but still uphill. Then the cobblestone type rock started for the next two miles. It made for a little harder hike. But still a great day to be in the woods. As we neared Edith Gap we ran into a horse trail blazed with orange paint. It was better marked than Chief Benge Trail. Some of the orange had faded almost looking yellow. This almost caused a wrong turn for us on the trail. At Edith Gap we took our next stop and ate a light lunch.
After lunch it was back to a quick pace on our way to Bark Camp Lake. From this point on it was back to a downhill grade for the most part. It was a welcomed site to see the long foot bridge of the backwaters of Bark Camp Lake. We knew we were over half way through. As we rounded the lake it was obviously low on water. We made it up to the dam and found out why. The Lake was drawn down to make repairs to the dam. We ran into signs saying Trail closed for construction. At this point we were not turning around and going back, so across the fresh graded soil we went. We seen several critter tracks in the damp ground, one of witch was a black bear paw print. It was as big as my hand, quite impressive I must say. At Bark Camp we made a quick stop to rest some tired feet before continuing on to Stoney Falls.
As we started back on the trail it was back through the dam construction. This made it harder to locate how the trail progressed below the dam. But yellow blazing was found and on to Stoney Falls we hiked. Still on the downhill grade it made for easygoing. When we arrived at the falls it was obvious it was a popular place to visit. Over ten vehicles in the parking area and several families out enjoying the day. From the falls on it is a beautiful three miles to Hanging Rock where our ride awaited us.
All in all it was a great hike with a total of fifty nine stream crossings. I would do it agin if I have the opportunity. But it does make for some tired Boy Scouts.

walking
7 months ago

Clear trail, lots of running water to listen to, not ideal for trail running though as it has many slippery points, jagged edges, and roots

the trails were so grown up with weeds...nevermind the tree blocking the path. we gave up and turned around. however the sights at the beginning were beautiful.

great hike with 2 beautiful falls and lots of smaller casades. trail follows the creek the whole way. went in late August and variety of wild mushrooms.

I enjoy this walking trail!

Trails all over the place but over all very nice place. It's local for me and I just go up there hiking every where!

I really enjoyed this trail. I didn't happen to look how far the trail went or where it went to. I just walked about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. I'm not in the best of shape but I found this trail to be comfortable to me. Didn't have to go very far at all to see the beautiful falls!

Not a bad hike. It has a lot of rocky areas so be prepared to slow your pace in some areas.

great shirt hike. Beautiful falls

All I found were Forrest roads. The description says camping but there were very few places you could even use to camp. Nothing to see but a steep wall on one side and a steep drop off on the other. We drove forever and just pulled off onto one of the few places you could actually pull over and set up for the night. Left as soon as we got a break in the rain. Very disappointing after visiting Pisgah National Forrest trails in NC.

Beautiful! Wonderful trail!

backpacking
9 months ago

Challenging hike. Trail follows a saw-tooth ridge so expect a lot of elevation change. Trail was overgrown this time of year but was still enjoyable. Next time I'll try it in the fall. Recommend heading to the nearby Kingdom Come State Park and hitting some of their day hikes as well.

One of the gems of JNF.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice stroll through the woods. The park could really use better markings for trails. Personally, more maps would have helped me. We stayed with the markers as best possible, but ended up walking back on the road.

This was a good hike, but the trail needs some maintenance. Several trees are down, the path is grown up & lots of weeds. There is one section the trail is washed out.

Great little hike. I thank God for my eyes for seeing the beauty and my ears for hearing the musical water rushing down the mountain!!

Expect bear.

great views easy walk.

Excellent. Little Stony is gorgeous and awesome trout fishing! 10/10. Plenty of water to be filtered out. Water will need to be crossed.

One of the first trails that I completed on the knob. Completed this trail prior to it being maintained regularly. 100-200 yards of steep uphill hiking but other than that, it is very easy. No access to water so pack it in!

This is an incredible trail and my favorite to date. Beautiful scenery. Tiny waterfalls, and amazing native brook trout streams along the way, all leading to the High Knob tower or to Little Stony falls depending on where you begin the trip. I recommend starting at the tower because Little Stony is a marvelous destination. It is very well marked and there are lots of water crossings so plan accordingly. I have completed a 2 day hike and a thru hike (8 or so hours) on this trail. I would consider myself an experienced hiker and would rate this trail as hard but not treacherous by any means. Plenty of access to water that can be filtered or boiled almost the entire trip.

wonderful trail couple wash outs not bad. we will be back. recommend to anyone.

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail. Wide open paths that taper down to narrow ones for a short time. Mostly up and then down on the way out. A lot of fun!

Loved this trail. It's an easy trail with beautiful waterfalls!

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nice easy trail !!!

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