Reviews (501)
Photos (4708)
Recordings (337)
Kelly Shepherd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Disclaimer: I did a slightly different version of this loop. I parked at the Raven Cliffs Parking lot on the other side of the park. I then took Cold Spring Branch to Cold Spring Connector and then to Frank Coggins Trail. This put me out at the west end of the Rim of the Gap trail. I took this route because I thought it would be better to tackle the technical portion on fresh legs. I thought the trail was well blazed (Note this is a Wilderness area don't expect major signage just the essentials to get to your destination). I never had to backtrack though if you go more than 0.1 miles without a blaze you are probably going the wrong way. The trail reminded me of portions of Dismal trail or the wilderness sections of the Art Loeb. I'm a relatively experienced hiker and I had no issues with the rock scrambles, I thought they were super fun. I would say this may not be the best trail to take in the rain because the rocks can get pretty slippery. The remaining 2/3 of the Rim of the Gap trail was super chill, even runnable in sections. I didn't bother with the Rainbow Falls side trail since I had done it before. I then took Cold Spring Branch back to the Raven Cliff Parking area. It ended up being about 12 miles and around 3000ish feet of gain in a bit under 5 hours. I ended up using about 3L of water, I refilled at the Jones Gap bathroom because I didn't feel like bringing a filter. There were plenty of water sources if you brought a water filter though. There were a few blow downs but all of them were passable. Overall I thought this was a solid little loop and a lot of fun.

Robin Broumas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020

A fun hike! Definitely steep in sections but very doable. We went clockwise, down Bill Kimball and up Coldspring, and I am glad we went that direction. Rock faces on Bill Kimball are beautiful and there are many stream crossings. Not many vista during the summer, but lots of shade.

Jack Sexton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking

The mileage on AllTrails is off. Instead of 8.3 miles, the loop is is more like 10. And the last mile and a half on Rim of the Gap was very difficult terrain and very technical.

View Jack's Recording
Ann Marie Stapp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 29 2020
Hiking

Clocked 11.62 miles on THESE trails today. 5/28/2020. All Trails rocks, but sometimes their trail descriptions differ from the actual location. I hiked in on the blue blazed trail stopping at Jones Gap Falls, until I intersected with the red blaze trail which I took up to Rainbow Falls. It was about 5 miles to that point and took me about 90 minutes, and I only gained about 80 feet in elevation. By the time you get to Rainbow Falls you have gained over 1000 feet- so be prepared. that’s a pretty big gain over that 1.5 miles or so. After I came down from Rainbow Falls Trail (red blazes) I chose to back track slightly on the blue blazed trail until I hit the orange blazed trail, which goes back to the same parking lot. I actually preferred that trail out to the one I hiked in. Both run along the water, and have plenty of crossings and views. There were wildflowers on the orange blazed trail. We, ( my dog and I) saw 1 deer, 1 snake, 1 salamander, and a tree fall in the forest ahead of us. Note I did see some poison ivy on the trail. It was a great hike and took just shy of 4 hours. $3 per adult is the state park fee. Dog did great on all the crossings. Trail was very wet overall and we did have some light rain, visibility was poor so no scenic vistas for us.

Sam Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

Tough trail! Very rewarding though. Saw some cool rock faces and vista views. Deserving of a hard rating but a good time.

Jim Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

Hiked on May 24, 2020. Recent rainfall in the area definitely had an impact on the trail. We hiked it from Jones Gap up Rim to Coggins to Cold Spring back to Jones Gap. The beginning of the trail was extremely overgrown and wet. Be prepared with extra gear at the end of this thing. The top of the mountain was nice and open with plenty of cool breezes and sun. Then it goes to hell from there. Just as you crest over the top you enter into the rhododendron cave and start your trek across the face of the mountain. I kid you not. This narrow, wet, dangerous trail is no joke and do not go on it if you are afraid of heights, water crossings, or high water crossings. Leave plenty of time to cross this area. We cruised up the mountain in an hour, but it took us over 3 hours to cross the face. Lots of narrow switchback type portions that you have to watch or you will wander off into the great nothing. Water, water, water, water, water, mud, water. If you don't like that, don't go. The trail is carved out of the jungle and if you don't like tight spaces this is not for you. You will get out of it although I have probably screamed more colorful metaphors towards the end not knowing where the end was. The rest was a cake walk and downhill almost all the way to Jones Gap again. Trail ended up around the 13.4 mile mark which took us about 7.5 hours and we are slow. Be super careful because if you fall of this thing know one will ever find you again.....ever...

Nicole Pierce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 18 2020
Hiking

Great trail! This was our first time hiking this and with a group of five, we made it through successfully. It was a bit strenuous at times but such a beautiful trail. Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!

Cory Mizga
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

There are 13,000 acres in Jones Gap State park and they are allowing 25 cars in the parking lot. Even with an annual pass, which is supposed to get you in free, you pay $5. You have to pre-reserve one of these 25 spots and they’re booked out a few weeks. There are 50x more people in a four acre indoor Target than this 13,000 acre park. This is the epitome of STUPIDITY. If you can’t tell, I’m pissed.

Bonnie Glenn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 13 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Difficult. Easy to lose the trail. Had to backtrack twice. Not really dog friendly unless your dog can scale a steep 10 ft ladder. I went counterclockwise to Jones Gap and did the loop taking Coldspring Branch Trail , and the connector trail back to Caesars Head. Saw 3 black bear. 12 miles total

Benjamin Scurry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri May 01 2020
Hiking

Down hill, no problem. Back up, very strenuous. Not much to see. We only went 1.5 miles in though.

View Benjamin's Recording
Lesli M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Just posted an alternate point-to-point route from upper Persimmon Ridge since Oil Camp is currently closed (assuming it will open next week with other parks). This was a great route & gave us a chance to find another waterfall. Also explored around old Camp Spearhead, which was a cool additional loop.

Ashley Fenlon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 21 2020
Hiking

Intended to hike Raven Cliff Falls but was extremely busy so chose Cold Spring instead. Went right at the fork to stay on Cold Spring and turned back before reaching Bill Kimball (pink) trail. This was a perfect moderate hike of about 4 miles with barely any people, lots of stream crossings and still got plenty of exercise on the uphill back. Great hike may try Bill Kimball another time if we're feeling brave :)

Lesli M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 07 2020
Hiking

This is a great point-to-point hike at just 6.25miles. Go in the winter/early spring after a good rain for the best views!

Jon Caime
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 29 2020
HikingIcyRockyScramble
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Julie Mobley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 23 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

I did only the loop. The Thomas Miller trail and looped back with the cold water creek trail. Total of about 6 miles. I would say moderate is right unless you don’t like skipping boulders over rivers. My dog did just fine with it. We loved this trail along the creek with the nice waterfalls! The trail crosses the creek many times. It was also nice during the winter because you could see the mountains through the trees!

View Julie's Recording
Lynn Coleman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 22 2020
Hiking

This is a really beautiful trail to an awesome view of Upper Raven Cliffs falls from atop the Swinging Bridge. The Fall cascades under the bridge. The last part of the descent to the swinging bridge is a little steep with stairs but the view from the bridge is awesome, Another way to make it even more interesting is on the way back to take the connector trail to the Raven Cliff Falls trail, turn right and go down to the viewing platform for the view of the falls, then return back to the connector and follow back out the way you came. That way you get the top and a view of the bottom all in one package!

Izzy Snider
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jan 21 2020
Hiking

Perhaps this could be a nice trail, but I followed the directions based on the coordinates provided and did not see a trail head. There were lots of “private property” and “no trespassing” signs along the road up to a closed gate (MLK Day 2020). I tried a neighboring road that looked promising with a dirt track ahead (maybe for ATV?) but there were too many foreboding signs for me to feel like risking it and leaving my car on the road. Coordinates 35.106410, -82.578280

KALXL $
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 20 2020
Hiking

at times, pink blazes were hard to locate. ascent is steep and narrow

Andrew Tennenbaum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 16 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Did this hike today with a slight variation from the AllTrails map. Started at Raven Cliff Falls parking area and hiked clockwise on Coldspring Branch Trail to Jones Gap trail, finishing by taking Rim of the Gap westbound and returning to the parking area via Geer Hwy. Creek crossings on Coldspring Branch were quite dicey due to recent heavy rainfall. Rim of the Gap trail is no joke. Hiking up from Jones Gap is steep but presets no major obsticles. After the junction with the Pinnacle Connector trail, however, it becomes quite a bit more interesting. This section MAY have been closed due to poor conditions at the time I hiked it. Anyway... The trail is very narrow, mostly rock, mud and leaves, and requires a good bit of scrambling. For several water crossings and scrambles I had to toss my poles ahead, as both hands were needed for hanging on to rocks, limbs, and whatever else I could use to stay mostly upright. The trail is mostly easy to follow, but blazes are not consistent, and I imagine with more foliage in summer it could be a challenge. This trail is definitely no joke, far more challenging than anything I have seen hiking in the Smokies. That said, I was absolutely thrilled by it, and if you enjoy a truly challenging, technical hike, this is for you. Note: I would never advocate hiking a trail which has been closed by operating authorities. Always follow the advice of staff and trail operators.

Kent McCraw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 07 2019
Hiking

This is our favorite state park. Great scenery and trails. Moderate difficulty. Take water.

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