Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Excellent moderate loop trail. Stunning views from the top along the ridge. Well maintained. Will do this again.

Beautiful day - excellent trail - very challenging!

On a nice day, the wind up there will cleanse your soul. Gorgeous views, even when it’s cloudy.

I took a right at the junction at the beginning of the loop which was more of a challenge then just taking the gravel road to the top, lots of steps. Either way it was beautiful. Very wet and muddy in spots. I love all the trees and green all around. The top was awesome with amazing panoramic views. I was fortunate enough to watch the sunrise and see clouds hovering around the trees down below. I had it all to myself.It was pretty epic

Great hike! Other than a few rattlesnakes it was spectacular!

Just did this loop on 5/18/18. Altered the trip slightly and took the spur trail from the AT to Siler Bald Shelter for a quick stop. Took us 1 hour 50 mins to get from the start of the trail to the shelter. The trail from the shelter up to the bald is very steep, but the views at the bald are gorgeous. We initially planned to camp somewhere near the bald/summit, but bad weather was rolling through so we hiked back down. All-up about 5 hours including stops with ~20lb packs on our backs. Nice trail - Would recommend.

An incredible hike with an incredible view! Being from South Florida, the elevation was quite difficult to adjust to but the view was definitely worth it! Also totally recommend hiking up to slide down turtle back falls.

My husband and I drove to this trail today. We paid the $5 fee at the entrance, drove another 20 yards and then encountered a sign that said ALL TRAILS CLOSED. Would have be nice if the put the sign before the spot where you pay to enter.

Super fun trail, with great views if you enjoy waterfalls, and natural streams! It had a good amount of hills to walk up so be advised young children (under like 6) could get tuckered out on the hike back. Overall 4 mile round trip.

Went a while back really enjoyed! A lot of people!

beautiful trail - took 2.5 year old daughter and 4 month old son and was easy enough to carry both and enjoy the views

hiking
18 days ago

Love this trail and love this website. However... dogs are NOT welcome on this trail even on a leash. The ONLY two trails in the park that allow dogs are Oconaluftee River trail on the NC side and Gatlinburg Trail on the TN side. Don't know where that info came from. It is absolutely false.

Wow. Great run/hike. Enjoyed this one lots! What a view on a clear day

Mostly uphill. Trails are not clearly marked so it's easy to get confused. Trail had lots of tree stumps and rocks. Great bathing area for dogs and kids once you get to the Schoolhouse Waterfall.
Not a huge summit but a great place to hike to just for the view.

Beautiful falls, especially after several days of heavy rain. Not a rough hike, but definitely merits a moderate rating. Great places to rest by the falls and take in the view from a well-placed hammock.

Was a beautiful and amazing hike. last 15 minutes got me but well worth the veiw!!!

Wow! The falls are so impressive. The hike was super easy — all downhill until you get to the area just before falls. It’s just a short climb that’s mostly fueled by the adrenaline you get from the sounds of rushing water and the anticipation of seeing the waterfall. I was worried that the return trip would be exhausting since it’s mostly uphill to the parking lot but the incline is gradual. Next time I would plan a trail run here!

Awesome views from Whiterock! Super easy hike!

We've done a good number of trails in the area and this one is still hands down our favorite. It's a bit of a harder hike if you're not in shape/prepared, but 100% worth it. These are still the coolest falls that we've seen in a long time and I would absolutely do this hike again in a heartbeat. This app also says you cannot take dogs on it, but we took our lab and ran into no issues with that. We even saw other dogs on the trail.

What an amazing view! It was worth the drive up for sure! It’s a little steep but doable. We went for a family outing, my husband, our daughter, our 6 month old son, and myself. I carried our son and our five year old was able to do the whole hike. Loved every minute of it. Highly recommend, even if you just go up the paved route to the look out over the falls, worth the trip!

hiking
1 month ago

Very well marked trail. Some trees are down after Irma.
Pretty sleep elevation gain, so it was a great work out. We did it on a foggy rainy Sunday and didn’t meet any single person.
Flowers along the way and mossy trees.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike and amazing views at the top.

Rather easy, less than 1000 feet elevation gain trail.
We were here on a weekend , so met some people but it was not crowded.
Beautiful waterfalls.
The whole trail sparkles! You need to witness it in order to understand it.
Be prepared for several water crossings specially in wet season. .

I absolutely loved Joyce Kilmer!! The hike was beautiful and the trees were breath taking. There was something magical about this place. The hike itself wasn't challenging but still felt very rewarding.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike with wonderful views from on top of the wall to below the wall. Good amount of campsites, some with water sources and some without. Only problem is the bears in the area. They will come into your camp and they are accustom to human interaction, so trying to scare them off is a bit more difficult. Just come prepared for bears if you are camping and it should be fine.

Great Hike. As with all the trails in panthertown valley, take a GPS or a trail map. Portions of the trail (Panthertown Valley Trail) are well-marked, but other parts (Wilderness Falls) is not marked at all. Lots of overgrowth made staying on the trail difficult. Bring water shoes or prepare to cross streams without boots in the rainy Spring and Summer seasons here as water levels are high.

It was a great day hike trail. Not mark very great, but me and some friends managed. One thing that did catch us off guard is that to get to the trail head, there is a ~5 mile long gravel road stretch that essentially takes you halfway up the mountain.

nature trips
1 month ago

Not a bad loop. Good for a warm up quick nature hike

Rainbow and Turtleback are gorgeous. lots of stair climbing and elevation changes (103 floors per my fitbit) but its all worth it. My 8 year old and I enjoyed the trail, waterfalls and all the cool spots to walk out on the rocks in the river.

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