hiking

views

forest

walking

birding

nature trips

wild flowers

trail running

wildlife

kid friendly

mountain biking

waterfall

dogs on leash

river

dog friendly

camping

backpacking

fly fishing

scenic driving

horseback riding

The Pisgah National Forest is a land of mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls, and heavily forested slopes. Comprised of over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah is primarily a hardwood forest with whitewater rivers, waterfalls and hundreds of miles of trails. This national forest is home of the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911 which led to the creation of the national forests in the eastern United States. It is also home of the first school of forestry in the United States, now preserved at the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site, and boasts two of the first designated wilderness areas in the east. The Pisgah, Grandfather and Appalachian Ranger Districts are scattered along the eastern edge of the mountains of western North Carolina and offer visitors a variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoying the natural beauty of the mountains.

hiking
4 hours ago

hiking
4 hours ago

Great hike! Awesome views!

Pros:

Easy parking and access through grandfather state park
Good portion of the hike is very scenic/great views
Ropes/ladders make for a fun and interesting hike
Great work out, challenging sections.
Option to take underwood trail back for different view/avoiding going down ladders backwards.

Cons:
Not suitable for dogs or small children
Not suitable for anyone with issues with climbing or upper body mobility issues
20$ per person to access trail via park, which is the quickest/shortest distance to access most of the scenic overlooks.

-Ensure you bring enough water and snacks for the hike
-You need to be back by a certain time to car if parking in the park.
-there are bathrooms and snacks available at the gift shop near the swinging bridge
-if accessing the grandfather trail, you must use the grandfather extension trail. The park enforces a the upper portion of the parking area for visitors to the mile high swinging bridge and gift shop.

hiking
9 hours ago

Really gorgeous view at the top. Not too difficult of a trail but slightly steep. Rocks, gravel, dirt, and roots along the way. Rained on us but cleared out once we approached the top with many biting/stinging flies (due to the rain just passing through). Also Dog friendly!

Short and sweet! I got there early and no one was there but after 2-3 hours of hiking a lot of people were on the way to see the falls as I left.

If you keep going and hike along the Jones Falls Trail, it is amazing! Highly recommend you keep going along the river but if you just want something short, it is a pretty waterfall to see.

Didn't have phone service as soon as I went down the hill (about 3 miles before the falls) so be sure to leave the directions open in maps!

Decent trail. Not marked well at all. Very wet and slippery in places. Stay straight at first fork. Second fork go right. Third fork stay straight and the falls will be not far past last fork. I didn't go down the rope because i had my two year old on my back. We went back further down stream and played there. Water was ice cold and refreshing! Was very hot and humid and buggy today. Road the trailhead is on is gravel.

Such a great hike! It will make you sweat a good bit but it's an hour to an hour and half up and the about the same time down!

Great short hike. Little incline. Shaded throughout. Stream visible & audible throughout. Special falls await at final destination

Short easy hike with spectacular views throughout

It was beautiful. Not a lot of people around. There is an incline down to some stairs and a few flights of stairs down. Then to a bridge that goes across. I enjoyed going down closer tot he river and sitting to relax and take pictures. Then you can continue out and to the right and go down to the lower falls. Very good place for photos. The incline on the boardwalk that leads down to the lower falls be careful, the wood is wet and it gets slippery!!

Hiked to the Grandfather Trail to Calloway Peak and it was amazing! Every last bit of it. I would definitely agree that this is a difficult and advanced hike- bring plenty of water and wear good shoes/boots. It took longer to get to the peak because I stopped and took pictures but coming down was a little quicker. It took about 5 hours from beginning to end and worth every minute. I heard a trail guide say that Thursday's are consistently the 'slow' day and I would definitely agree- I saw maybe 10 people out of the entire hike which was really nice as it is a single line type of trial.

I took the 'back' option on the way down so I could avoid the ladders and cables but I would not consider it easier than the regular Grandfather Trail. Sites are not as good on this route but it was still nice to see something different and the other side of the mountain.

I would highly recommend NOT bringing a dog with you on the route I went. When I made it to Calloway some people had brought their dog from the other side (up Daniel Boone) and it was a bit easier but they could not go any farther than Calloway because of the ladders and especially the rock faces.

Overall, do it. If you like hiking and love a challenge then this is for you. I hiked a bit of the Himalayas and would put this at the same level of difficulty and breathtaking. It is beautiful and you'll be so glad you did it!

Awesome challenging trail with great views at the top and a lot to see on the way.

While it was amazing to see the fact that they made it so easily accessible takes away from its beauty. Way to many people there simply to observe nature rather then be apart of it. Trash spread all along the walk and the people nowhere near as considerate or friendly as people encountered on less accessible trails Will not likely return but definitely worth seeing Five stars for the waterfall none for the experience

Beautiful spot but busy and a little trashy

Our group of 4 (ages 23-24) did from the swinging bridge up to Calloway Peak and down Underwood Trail to get back.
Gorgeous views that are well worth the aches! Would go back in a heart beat :) just be prepared for the climbs and have good shoes (I wear chacos on all my hikes and are super use to them.. but I still had some good ole blisters from this trail). As a person who doesn't even get on ladders, I was a bit worried about how I'd manage the ladders here. I think the excitement just overran the fear- but it's definitely doable. When you climb those puppies and reach those peaks, you feel so accomplished. Speaking of "puppies", I wouldn't particularly recommended bringing the dogs- strictly bc of the ladders and rock areas to climb and some of the crevasses in certain areas.
To get in the park it's $20 per person but worth it. They have a gift shop and 'restaurant' from what I gathered. Annnnd I'd recommended Underwood Trail to go back to the parking lot from the peaks. It'll save you from going down the ladders backwards and down some really steep areas but it has plenty of really rocky areas that you kinda just lose sight of the trail.
Sounds iffy and kinda scary but do it. It's so worth it, the pictures don't do it justice :) get there early and have too much fun!