nature trips


wild flowers

trail running


dogs on leash

kid friendly

mountain biking





dog friendly



Very easy to medium hike only about an hour and fifteen minutes to do the whole loop. There are a ton of stopping points with GREAT views!

Easy. Short, pretty trail.

Beautiful falls and a great hike with the dogs!! Great little pool for them to get in and cool down!!

beautiful views on a easy to moderate. Great exercise.

Hiked this from the north side of the mountain and much shorter than the buck Creek entrance. The view and tower were great. Will definitely do again!

Awesome hike! It took me about 2 hours of steady uphill to get to the junction with the AT. Then turn left to get to the tower and hike another 30-40 mins. Round trip was about 4.5 hours a including 30 min break at the top. Beautiful views, but like others said there were some downed trees to climb over.

I almost didn't do this hike because another commenter said the distance of 6.6 was not accurate. I disagree. Don't let that comment discourage you.

short hike, fairly rocky

At first I was like this trail is .9 miles and moderate...whats the catch. It is very steep but well worth the stop along Blue Ridge Parkway. Great views from the top that go for 100s of miles.

The parking lot for this hike is fairly large and I had no trouble finding a spot. Everything is paved including the road to the parking lot and the lot itself. The actual trailhead for this hike is the Grassy Ridge Trailhead that leads to the Rainbow Falls Trail (you'll make a right to follow this trail) about .5-.75 miles in. Soon after you veer right onto Rainbow Falls Trail you will see a sign that says you're leaving Gorges State Park. Up until this sign, the hike (to me) seemed almost like a multi-use, everyday person kind of trail as opposed to a more rugged/deep in the woods feel. Not sure I really cared for that. But after leaving the State Park that changed and eventually the trail became moderately challenging upon approaching the Falls and I actually felt I was in the forest. The trail can be muddy and slick in some areas and someone did get seriously injured this day.

The first Falls is Rainbow Falls. Beautiful!! you can feel the mist from the raging waters.There are a few areas you can closer to the Falls but these "spurs" are slick.

Just up from the Rainbow Falls overlook is a fork in trail. Taking the higher trail will take you another half mile or so to Turtleback Falls (the lower trail takes you closer to Rainbow). While Turtleback is smaller, it's a really neat waterfall. So I def recommend seeing both. Again there are areas to boulder hop towards the Falls a bit but slick spots are still around. I turned back after this point back to the Grassy Ridge Trail, though looks like you could go a little farther.

Only 15 min away is the Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company located within a local golf course. GO! Great wood-fired pizza and local craft beer on tap.

This loop trial is one of my favorites. My wife and I ended here by chance as we were headed to another hiking trail (White Water Falls) when we saw the sign for Whiteside Mountain. It's an easy hike suitable for children. Stunning views with a gradual incline makes getting to the top of the trail relatively easy. You can see the Eastern Continental Divide from the top of this trail. Peregrine Falcons nest here. We only saw one flying above us. Very nice hike will definitely do it again!