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#2 of 42 state parks in North Carolina

Best trails in Gorges State Park

1063 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Gorges State Park, North Carolina? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 6 moderate trails in Gorges State Park ranging from 0.7 to 10.3 miles and from 2,096 to 3,234 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description
Plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and one of the greatest concentrations of rare and unique species in the eastern United States are found within Gorges State Park. An elevation that rises 2,000 feet in only four miles, combined with rainfall in excess of 80 inches per year, creates a temperate rain forest and supports a collection of waterfalls. On April 29, 1999, thanks to a unique partnership of industry, the environmental community and the state of North Carolina, 10,000 acres of the Jocassee Gorges in Transylvania County were placed in public ownership to be preserved for future generations of North Carolinians. The property was purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation, and the transaction created a 2,900-acre gameland managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Currently, Gorges encompasses nearly 7,500 acres and is the only state park west of Asheville. Because Gorges State Park is so new, the park is still in its planning and development phase. Currently, the park staff is working with local citizens, the park's advisory committee and design and engineering contractors to develop permanent facilities. The road and infrastructure project, begun in the Spring of 2007 affects use at the Grassy Ridge Access. Visitors wishing to visit this area are encouraged to call the park office before visiting for current park conditions.
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Map of trails in Gorges State Park
Park information
Acreage
7500 acres
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Mailing address
Gorges State Park
NC 281 South
Sapphire, NC 28774
Contact
(828) 966-9099
Top trails (10)
#1 - Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls Trail
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(884)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 5 m
As of May 2020, facilities are closed due to COVID 19. This short hike along the Horsepasture River features outstanding views of 4 large waterfalls and good camping. Start the trail by descendingShow more
#2 - Bearwallow Falls
Gorges State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(57)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 51 m
Gorges State Park is one of North Carolina's newest state parks, and the property was recently purchased by the state from Duke Energy Corporation. The transaction created a 2,900-acre gameland managShow more
#3 - Canebrake Trail to Lake Jocassee
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(41)
Length: 10.3 mi • Est. 5 h 24 m
This hike follows the Canebrake Trail to the suspension bridge and primitive campsites at the Northern tip of the Jocassee Lake along the Toxaway River. The trail is blazed with yellow squares. Show more
#4 - Canebrake Trail and Foothills Trail
Gorges State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(13)
Length: 19.1 mi • Est. 9 h 50 m
Canebrake Trail and Foothills Trail is a 19.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is priShow more
#5 - Sidepocket Falls
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 30 m
Sidepocket Falls is a 2.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nShow more
#6 - Auger Hole Trail, Foothills Trail, and Canebrake Trail Loop
Gorges State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(3)
Length: 16.2 mi • Est. 8 h 42 m
Auger Hole Trail, Foothills Trail, and Canebrake Trail Loop is a 16.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as difficult. TShow more
#7 - Auger Hole Trail
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(13)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 3 h 44 m
Auger Hole Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used Show more
#8 - Bearwallow Overlook Trail
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(5)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 24 m
Bearwallow Overlook Trail is a 0.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarilShow more
#9 - Wintergreen Falls
Gorges State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(3)
Length: 10.7 mi • Est. 5 h 26 m
Wintergreen Falls is a 10.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used forShow more
#10 - Upper Bearwallow Falls [CLOSED]
Gorges State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(34)
Length: 0.5 mi • Est. 18 m
Upper Bearwallow Falls [CLOSED] is a 0.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily useShow more