Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Easy hike for a 360 degree gorgeous view of the Appalachian Mountains. Perfect spot to pitch a tent and watch the sunrise.

Used the gps here to get to the falls, however, it doesn’t lead to a trailhead. Ended up not being able to find the trail.

Well worth the short hike to the overlook. We stayed and just enjoyed the solitude and watched as the Falcons flew on the wind currents.we were actually there on August 31 but just now posting.

5 days ago

Didn’t quite make it to the outlook because we ran out of daylight but it’s very peaceful and I highly suggest going down to the water. It’s very beautiful and refreshing!

6 days ago

Easy trail but not well maintained.

I enjoy hikes that make me work for a view...I even enjoy hikes that are really strenuous without even offering a great view. I just enjoy feeling the burn. AND...this hike definitely deserves the title of most challenging. We started around 1:45 PM, taking our time, enjoying the scenery and the light drizzle of TS Florence on our skin. According to my FitBit tracker, we arrived at the fire tower after 7.32 miles. Another 7.52 miles (we made a small detour with our dogs to explore the trail to the parking lot at the top) and we arrived back at the car.

Most definitely pack a lot of water, and plenty of food to fuel the hike back. The return is pleasurably painful, but It's worth every moment. Almost 15 miles.

10 days ago

The trail to the left looked washed out so instead of the loop we went right and back the same way (see recording)

Magnificent place to photograph, short walk/hike and a great place to hang your hammock

AMAZING trail! My husband and I did this and loved it. It was tiny bit challenging but not bad at all. The terrain was diverse and the falls were amazing. I loved every moment.

13 days ago

Nice trail ending with a good looking waterfall

Awesome views! Trail was easy and beautiful.

Love it! We’ve been going for years and the views never get old

Extremely easy walk along a paved path from the parking lot. Seemed like a ten minute walk at most. But the waterfall is beautiful and you can see it from an observation deck.

2 ways to reach the top. Once is via the AT the other is via the trail behind the gate. Take the AT but know it is more noderate. The other path I will try after the snakes disappear once the cold hits. Great view at the top, better than Brasstown. I did fly my drone around so make sure you take a look at the video. https://youtu.be/mUU41Hg4pa4

Great little hike!

Beautiful views from a number of lookouts and cliffs, wildflowers all along the way in August/early September. Great for dogs on a leash, kids of all ages, only about an hour roundtrip unless you stop for lots of photos or a picnic (both of which are highly recommended).

mountain biking
18 days ago

Great flowing trails. Clear and clean. Took the entire family even my 5 yr old bmx track racer had fun. Well his breaks went out on a downhill fun causing him to eat it at the turn but all in all was a fun trail and lots of options to take harder trails.

Great hike for myself, 2 teenagers, and a grandma! We completed both loops (upper and lower) fairly easily using the trail in a figure 8 pattern which is well marked out for you at the kiosk. Very well maintained and at an easy grade. Bathrooms located at the parking lot. Total distance is about 2 miles.

20 days ago

Hard is right!

Great hike. Got started at PL at 0900 and up we went! Still wet from thick fog. Took our time and made it to top in 30 minutes. Too foggy to see much but still a great short hike. A definite recommend. Watch rocks they are slippery. Paved all but last few hundred feet.

We never found the trail head ! The path we did find if you are unable to have sure footing it is not. Walk for you. It was a very short distance but tricky!

nice trail. follow directions on the webpage link. no 4wd needed. great views ! Jones knob spur trail is a must. steep... but worth it. can see whiterock mountain from Jones knob among other mountains.. then retrace your steps and then head to whiterock. I camped there. theres two fire rings and spots for tents and hammocks. make sure you walk all the way down to the bare rock face. it's down the hill a bit. amazing views here! hard to beat these views because of the large rock face.

22 days ago

Great easy hike with awesome views from multiple outlooks. The road up is very narrow and rough so definitely be careful especially if you don’t have a car made for rough terrain (also takes about 30 mins to drive up this road the trailhead from the base of the mtn). Be careful not to miss several outlooks before hitting the main outlook...some are not as obvious from the Trail but have just as spectacular views at the end outlook.

We didn’t go all the way around but enjoyed the trails very slippery at some points of the trail though

Great Short Hike! It was uphill most of the way, but the view was worth it!

Short easy trail. Seeing the old growth trees is awesome. Walking among those ancient trees - and knowing some were alive when Columbus arrived is both surreal and humbling. I’ve hiked this twice this year.

22 days ago

Glen Falls is one of the most popular hikes near Highlands. For that reason, I’d say to avoid it if you are one that looks to avoid crowds. The falls are beautiful, but the sheer amount of people and dogs takes away from the enjoyment. If you go past the railing at the bottom and continue down the ‘trail’ it will put you out at the very bottom of the falls, which is a nice treat.

Nice little uphill hike that ends with a few different ‘lookouts’. It starts at the entrance to Glen Falls (go right instead of left). It will wind it’s way slightly downhill to the creek and then begins a slow climb along the creek, passing thru the water a few times. There are plenty of adequately placed stones to stay dry. Once you get to the last crossing, if you turn back to the right, apparently that takes you back up to a parking lot (so we were told). Hang to the left and start the ascent up Chinquapin. You’ll arrive at a fork to either head right to Little Scaly or left up to Chinquapin. Head to the left and eventually you’ll arrive at ‘Lookout 5’, which is the best of the outlooks. Head up the trail if you wanna check the others, but 1-3 or more of a hike thru the brush and not located directly on the trail. We quite enjoyed it!

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