Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Nantahala 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.

hiking
5 days ago

Fun hike. Roots fill a lot of the trail. The falls are great with 3 different angles and sections to admire. The trail down is beautiful peaceful. Don’t miss this one.

hiking
6 days ago

We actually decided to hike the adjacent trail , clifftop vista trail, just left of Ranger Falls trailhead. Initially nice across a couple of small streams. It was a hike thru the woods and towards the top of mountain it go quite steep. The trail was full of damp leaves. Kept thinking we would see a “vista” view at top and there is none! So basically good quiet hike in the woods. We walked up and all the way down the other side. Must be careful to stay on vista trail. We ended up above the lake and could easily get back down paved road.

Pictures do not do the view form the fire tower any justice. It is beautiful!

hiking
9 days ago

Did it with my doggy :) The views from this hike are absolutely stunning. Definitely recommend it for sunset or sunrise. Hike itself was really easy, the hardest part was to drive up curvy road to the trail.

Nice albeit similar views from multiple places. Stairs up are a bit muddy at the moment but our 6yo and 4yo still managed without much trouble. Lots of sun on the top. Bring sunglasses and a hat.

hiking
11 days ago

This was a tough hike. Straight up hill for the first mile with no breaks in elevation gain. If that don’t tickle your fancy this one might not be for you. Because after a mild downhill to the creek it’s straight back up hill for another 2 miles. However, crossing the creek several times and seeing the waterfall at the top was very beautiful and rewarding. Also if your bringing your dog and they pull when on leash the downhill will be troublesome. (I have a bruised butt to prove it) Side note: trail is a bit longer than 5.4, we went 6 without getting to the very top

hiking
11 days ago

Nice trail. Well maintained. Lots of stairs. Multiple spots to see waterfalls from viewing points although they were a bit muddy. We did it with a 6yo, 4yo, and carrying a 2yo. Enjoyed it. Probably top end of what they can do.

Amazing! We did it with our 3 boys (4, 7, 9) and they did fine. The views are breathtaking. A little muddy in spots.

Awesome trail. Watch out for All the roots. Other than that, Fairly easy to get to tower. The views are worth it !

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike, path can be a bit Narrow at some spots. Took two inexperienced hikers with me and they did great. Waterfall was amazing.

Super easy, family friendly. Stunning view of a huge waterfall.

Give yourself extra time to go up! Beautiful views, gorgeous weather.

Great hike starting at Hickory Knut Gap on the Bartram Trail. Go across dirt road from parking area and up the cellphone tower road [Bartram Trail] until you take a right turn up Scaly Mtn. You'll take another right where the trail intersects with the trail from the Osage Mtn Overlook on the Dillard Road. The hike is a gradual uphill to the summit with some open balds with views. Nice hike through the woods until you get near the top. Enjoy!

Go back in spring. Great wildflower labels.

Great trails, muddy spots and water crossing. Definitely be prepared for some wet and squishy mud. You may have to cross water and remove your hiking boots. Difficult navigating the walk path trails due to so many fallen leaves. Main trails are fine. The falls are beautiful. This forest offers numerous trails. Could and will go back again and again.

Is there a safe place to park overnight at Betty gap?

Short, steep, well groomed trail to a gorgeous view.

muddy
19 days ago

Great trail. The scenery is beautiful. Several areas to see the different parts of the Falls. A little muddy but a very nice.

Very pretty and worth it!!!

hiking
19 days ago

A lot of families but a very pretty trail

Easy trail. Great view. I gave it a 3 b/c the view is pretty much the same of the valley with slight changes in angle. Also when we went you could hear all the landscape leaf blowers from the “golf communities” below so it was not as tranquil as we hoped. Bring a pen to fill out fee envelope. 3 bucks for a car per day. Will go again during falcon season.

Beaut hike. Parking is at Duke Energy lot. Every other hiker we saw was actually hiking the entire Foothills Trail. There are bridges, ladders and boulders. You end at the upper falls platform then wind your way downhill next to the river the while easy back. Pack a lunch.

hiking
20 days ago

great trail! took 1 hr w 5 and 2yo walking solo

hiking
20 days ago

This is a nice trail with beautiful views of the falls. However the app has you going way past the falls. once you come to the fork in the trail continue right and do not bother with the left trail. The right trail will take you to a small splash area at the bottom of the falls which is the last section. The trail was moderately crowded but not overly so.

nice hike. last 6 tenths to platform is quite difficult.

hiking
bugs
21 days ago

Within the first 10 min on the trail we were attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets who had a nest on the ground right on the trail. They bite and stung us and our dogs. We ran down the trail back to the cars only to be chased and for the bees to fly into our vehicles. Thankfully we had Benadryl in the car but we all went home with multiple stings and pretty shaken up.

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