Explore the most popular forest 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.

Loved this trail. We did cat gap to johns rock. We wandered off a little bit to see the waterfalls we heard and it was beautiful. There were creeks to cross over and great view at the end. This is one of my favorites. I do think this should be labeled as moderate instead of east.

Easy walk up to a pretty waterfall. We went off to the left to look for the mine. That made it even better for us.

this all trails app pulls up uber everytime I want directions. very frustrating

5 days ago

Beautiful river views along the trail, with many short diversion trails leading to really nice spots along the way. As others have stated, the trail is wide and can be very crowded on a pretty day. But the trail surface is natural, somewhat muddy in places, and an overall nice hike. The falls are beautiful and a look a bit different from every angle. There's also a steep trail up the right side of the falls (muddy, rocky, and slippery with ropes added for stability) that will take the more adventurous to the top, or almost there. Plenty of places for a cautious person to step out on the falls for great views and photos. Obviously popular destination and not a private afternoon by any means but well worthwhile.

Good steep incline starting NW from trail info box on Harmony Lane (that leg actually called Stomping Knob Trail), then along the ridge has nice views especially with winter and foliage down. Rattlesnake Rock looks back across valley to Black Mountain. Easy access for a short day hike.

Oh my!!! The reviews are accurate...no blazes (Except Art Loeb Trail), you will end up leaving the trail and you need to be comfortable navigating your way back, it's a test....a real test-9.1 miles in 6 hours. I know doesn't sound fast but it's a serious incline and the decent it's nothing to discount. We took Shining Creek to Art Loeb to Old Butt Knob. Coming down OBK is work in itself be ready. The trail follows the creek with great flowing water making some beautiful cascades. The views are stunning and there was a lot of ICE today.

Really, really hard trail but glad I tested myself and it is worth the effort.

This place has an incredibly gorgeous waterfall called Looking Glass Falls and mild rock climbing if you want to get closer to the waterfall. And not far from there is Sliding Rock, which is also a waterfall but different in that you can actually slide down the whole thing like you would a water slide at a water park. It's gorgeous. Traffic was minimal, at least when we went it wasn't bad. It was really nice.

cant wait to come back this summer!

pics dont do it justice, bout an hour hike from the elk river falls parking lot.

Nice trail but needs more blazes.

9 days ago

Fairly strenuous, though the switchbacks make it manageable. Take water as there’s none up top. The view off the bald face is amazing but do watch your step. Hammock camping on the top is epic.

We started and took shining Creek and had planned on coming back old butt. However the trail is NOT 3.4 miles, as it states on the map. It is more close to 6 miles one way so be prepared. It was getting dark on us so We came back out the same way We went in and do not get to do old butt. This trail was very pretty with lots of water Cascades. We tracked The trail to be around 12.5 round trip. The trail is NOT marked and is very confusing to what is and is not the trail. This trail even with a map would be super easy to get lost. we ran into other hikers and they were just as confused as we were and some had done the trail before. It would be nice if they could have some small makers at least on some of the places.

Decent hike. Great views at the top. Table Rock summit definitely has more wow-factor.

One of the most beautiful waterfalls we have seen yet!

Took the Cat Gap Trail to the top then the John Rock Trail from there back down. The trails are definitely moderate in difficulty and the view of Looking Glass Rock was awesome as well as a few other views if you take some of the short side paths. I will be doing this one again for sure.

I gave this 3 stars because of the careless dog owners! And the lack of posted leash laws! We have pets and always keep them on a leash! Some people seem to think they are above the rules because it’s a national forest! The rules are posted but in only one place! Not every dog likes every human or other dogs! Two large dogs run up on my little girls with no owner in sight! Not a pretty site! This is really crazy! They could have hurt my dogs or one of us! People need to get with the program or stay home! Forestry people in N.C., you need to enforce your leash laws! Graveyard Feilds has always been one of my favorite places! As of now we will not be returning due to the lack of the lash laws! Some human or their pet is going to end up getting hurt! Remember your dogs aren’t the only pets out there!!! I’m done!

13 days ago

More on the moderate side of difficulty. The trail could use more signage. You just can't walk up to the trail. You have to use the Cat Gap Loop to access it. There is one section that could be labeled difficult but it is only a short distance. The view is really great from the rock.

Nice view of River all along the one mile from parking to falls. Lots of people on trail this beautiful Sunday afternoon!

So lovely. Childhood favorite.

Long and at times fairly steep but well worth it. Great views!

14 days ago

We really liked this hike lots to see especially crossing the bridges over the bogs

14 days ago

Nice hike. Dog friendly. Very muddy.

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

21 days ago

Awesome trail! Directions a little confusing, but we took Buckhorn Gap to the falls and Avery Creek Trail on the way back to the forestry road.

A nice quick hike!

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.

Very easy and great for kids and families and fun to swim in! Bring some shoes with traction and clothes you don’t mind getting wet in! Young’s e to take a dip!

One of my most fave hikes I have done! Would of been better if my buddy was in better shape. They held me up on pace. But you can actually bring a hammock and pitch it up at the peak and be fully relaxed through the day and have a pic nic too!

22 days ago

Used to be a 5-star hike before trail 'improvements' (clearing, widening/grading, bridges) made it more accessible and less of a 'wilderness: experience. Now the crowds (some of whom clearly aren't outfitted with proper footwear or fitness levels) have made this more of a Disney experience. Kind of sad. Plus, always lots of dogs and now more & more poop along the trails
The creek leading to the falls, and the falls themselves, are truly beautiful -+ especially after heavy rains. Alas, like many things in western NC, now that all the tourists have 'discovered' the place, it's no longer as quiet or special. If you come early during weekdays you may only have to share the trail with just a handful of others. Otherwise, the parking area is jammed and the trail is noisy and crowded. Not sure why this isn't considered an Easy hike at this point. But do take care around slippery rocks/boulders. And one portion of trail, about 1/3 of the way in, has experienced a major landslide and is a bit dangerous (until/unless they stabilize the slope and install a fence/railing).
Anyway: 5 stars for the creek and falls; one star for crowds. Three stars overall.

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