Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Pisgah 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.

We did it twice. First day was gorgeous. Today was cool and rainy! Take rain coats or wind breakers because the weather is not always predictable! Great hike.

Very nice out and back trail.

Absolutely stunning! So glad we finally got to do this hike! We’ll definitely be back. Maybe for a longer overnight hike! We got lucky and had great weather. Chatted with a few kind strangers. Ooh’d and ahh’d ....our blue heeler mix went with us. She wasn’t a fan of the rocky path but did enjoy her mountain top hike. We started at about 1030-11a. It was definitely more crowded on our way back out around 1:30-2p.

The windy road to the trailhead from I-40 takes about a half hour and is bumpy in parts but it’s worth it, the views at the summit of Max Patch are magnificent! At the trailhead you can take the right loop for a more difficult ascent or the left loop for a more gradual ascent. We chose the right loop first and were rewarded with beautiful wildflowers along the hillside. The trail then joined up with the Appalachian Trail for the steepest part of the ascent, which wasn’t bad at all. At the top, the 360 degree views were stunning. The walk down to the trailhead along the left loop was a gentle descent through a tunnel of trees.

The DRT portion of this loop (approx 4 miles) is just walking on the road. Please let me know if I’m missing something.

Went a few weeks ago. What an amazing and lovely hike through some of the AT. Could easily do this as a day hike if wanted, but if you’re given the chance to camp overnight, I highly suggest it! We left around 2pm from Carvers Gap and made it to the top around 6pm with a few breaks. The sunset and sunrise were absolutely phenomenal. It got a little windy during the night so be prepared for that. We were extremely lucky because it was in the 80’s with no rain clouds in sight, but the AT through NC is notorious for its rainy days. Especially through the Roan Mountains. There may also be several other campers at the bald as well. There were approximately 14 other people up there with us, many of whom had taken the best camping spots ( i.e - flat areas of land). Just plan ahead. Overall a fun hike and definitely something beginner backpackers should do!

Took Lemon Gap to Max Patch with my 10 yo son and our dog. Phenomenal views at Max Patch after lots of covered forest hiking. Lots of berries along the trail - and fun Rhododendron tunnels to hike through. Great Shelter with ready to use bear poles and lines were much appreciated.

Really into it but was a bit bummed out when we reached the top, there was no view. However there were some really nice views along the way. Also if you have something 4x4 just drive the trail till you find the railroad tracks. Take the road to the right the other to the left dead ends but still fun to go down tho.

Great 360 view of the smokies!

Really enjoyed this trail. The section of the AT along the way has been improved greatly and is at times in excellent condition. There are several ascents and descents along the way reaching the destination. Multiple summits are achieved hiking along the trail and periodic entry and exit through dense Rhododendron and other brush and trees pay off with beautiful panoramic views. At times the terrain reminded me of hiking in Ireland.

gorgeous panoramic views. 360 degree unobstructed awesomeness.

Backpacked the loop and camped for 2 nights along the trail. Several great camping spots with fire rings, most along the river for easy water access. I will say, there are several spots we had to pull out our map because there are several forks that are not well marked. Definitely make sure you’re looking for the color coded blazes, and look for the pink flagging to see where to cross the creek. GET A MAP BEFOREHAND!! Lots of roots and stumps to trip on so watch your footing!

Nice picnic spot and camping spot with Great views. Gets crowded by noon and the drive up is a bit rough.

this trail doesn't exist in the Wilson Creek or WNC trail maps, the map seems to be a combination of yellow buck, harpers creek and raiders camp. That being said i love this area and these trails. but...stop at the visitor center, get a real map, have the right info and a plan before you go out. then go out and get lost proper lol.

this is #258 Wilson Creek and 258a Wilson Creek spur on the WNC trail guide. Lots of downed trees when we went, gets narrow and not well blazed but easy to follow. A couple hidden waterfalls if you don't mind going of trail a bit.

Did this hike with my dad recently and we had a fantastic time! The weather was perfect and we did the Nuwati trail to the Cragway trail to Daniel Boone up to Calloway Peak and back down to the Boone Fork Parking Lot via Daniel Boone. I think it totaled around 9 miles doing it that way according to the fitbit, tough day, but I wouldn’t change a thing. The Cragway trail was harder than Daniel Boone, but the challenge was well worth it.
Definitely going back again.

One of my favorites. Great workout.

Not recommended if you are weary of heights. There are some very high ladders you have to climb.

I need to mention that the directions on this trail description are not correct. If you do choose to come in via the Blue Ridge Parkway,,, you will not turn right onto SR464. You will actually turn left onto SR464. You will know this road because it has a small church at this junction. Long Ridge Baptist Church. If you are approaching this area on Hwy 181 from Morganton,, you do not need to go all the way to the Parkway,, but instead when you reach Jonas Ridge,, make a right onto Mortimer Road,, which happens to be SR1518, and right across the road from the Marathon station, go about 2 miles and then right onto SR464. Hope this helps someone not add extra miles onto their navigation as I did.. You will likely not have the benefit of a phone signal for gps navigation. Great trail,, Beautiful waterfall, great camping spots. Enjoy!

Enjoyed this hike. I thought the trail could have been BLAZED better. The ladders are very nice and the view is awesome. The plane wreckage from the 1970s was neat to see. This was my wife’s second hike and she did great. I will hike it again.

I thought I would write a recent review. First off, there is NO signs that I saw of for Heartbreak Ridge. The only reason I knew it was the trail was because of the reviews I read that said you cross a section of the railroad tracks. I was unable to go far because of the rain we had which overflowed the creek. I do intend on going back when it’s drier though! I have it 3 stars because I was unable to hike the rest of it due to the weather. :(

Fun little hike with gorgeous views, great for kids and dogs. The unpaved road up from I-40 is extremely bumpy, so it’s rather slow going, and we even managed to get lost on the way back down.

great hike with amazing views. did it for sunset and was not disappointed. it was a little chilly (around 26 degrees) and very windy but if you're prepared it shouldn't bother you. lots of camp sites along the trail, hoping to do it again as an overnight

loved this trail, climbing the rocks was fun along with the three ladders. when you go up the second ladder , hold on and look back .. great view. windy at the top so we had a snack at the shelter with some other hikers. the downed plane was my favorite part.

2 months ago

Easy hike! Beautiful views! It was windy on top. Take a blanket to relax on top with views. The drive up to trail from I-40 Exit 7 was about 30 minutes on a unpaved, bumpy road.

Easy hike. Views were really good. The drive up to it sucks.

Easy trail, great views!

good hike, has some tough sections, permit is free and you get it there, just write down your car license plate

good hike, has some tough sections

beautiful! we went on a foggy afternoon which made the views even more spectacular. we didn't have time to do the whole trail so we just did the loop.

Nice easy scenic hike.

Load More