Craggy Gardens Trail

MODERATE 218 reviews
#4 of 48 trails in

Craggy Gardens Trail is a 1.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Barnardsville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
574 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens. Short trail with great mountain views.

28 days ago

(kids pov) Really liked the trail, would do it again, "this trail rocked, haha" (lots of rocks).
(mom) This was a really cool trail, but I'm not going to lie - the hike up from the picnic area was rough. Constant climb and lots of rocks. From the pavilion up is easier and gorgeous. So green, informational placards, and a lovely natural spring on the side of the path. Pretty wildflowers! Blueberries weren't ripe yet. Best dog drinking fountain ever! Would do it again.

1 month ago

Ok so if you’re going to do this trail start at the picnic area and head up from there. I made the mistake of starting at the visitors center and heading down, only to find some picnic tables overlooking a parking lot! Kids were not pleased. The grassy knoll was nice, saw some people hanging out up there in some nice spots. That’s easily accessible from the visitors center if you just want a nice easy spot to be....never found the waterfall either

hiking
1 month ago

I'm not getting it, but I totally didn't see a waterfall. There was a juncture, off this path, that leads to Douglas Falls in 3.6 miles. But, I didn't see a waterfall on this 1.9 mi (RT) trail. Trail was well-maintained. Start at the picnic area parking lot. When you get to the "Visitors Center," which is a pavilion, go thru/under the shelter to continue straight. If you take the path to the right, it leads to a dead-end about a quarter mile up with a below-average overlook. The straight path will lead you to the juncture already mentioned or to the start of Craggy Garden Trails from the overlook. This is a nice path for a walk in the woods after a picnic. I did this as my last hike of the day, so I didn't have enough in me to take the Douglas Falls path for what I assumed would be a 7 mi RT. I only did it because I thought I could get a waterfall in under 2 mi RT.

hiking
1 month ago

Both the Craggy Garden and Pinnacle are about equally difficult. A much better view from the landing at the top of Pinnacle

1 month ago

Great app

2 months ago

Spectacular views! Nice, short trek for the family and dogs! Fun driving up to as well!

3 months ago

Great trail to take non hiking visitors on (probably why it’s often crowded). Views are wonderful. Take a jacket. Even in summer the temp can be a little unpredictable.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail to takes the kids on. It can be overwhelming how many people are out here though. It is a very heavily trafficked trail. But my four year old loves it, sitting and snacking up in the bald is her favorite. If you add the pinnacle trail to your day it makes it a bit more worthwhile. Great hike to take the dog on, just be aware that not everyone keeps their dogs on a leash, and you may run across a loose one on your hike. :-/

hiking
4 months ago

The parking lot to the trail was still closed, so we hiked 0.8 miles from the nearest parking and had the trail to ourselves most of the way. Beautiful views at the top, easy hike, good for the pup. We did not hike down to the waterfall. Next time, we’ll be bringing a hammock for some R&R at the top if it’s quiet, again.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with the dogs. Stunning views at the top of the trail. Park with trail head is closed during winter through early spring as are other parts of the BRPW.

hiking
4 months ago

First, the gate going towards Craggy Gardens (Asheville way) was closed for the season I’m assuming. So we had to take Mountain to Sea trail then go there. It was an okay hike, a lot of inclines. The views weren’t as great as expected. The gazebo was definitely the best view there was I believe. No bathrooms were unlocked either. So that’s something to think about. Overall I’d say it was alright if you have nothing better to do!

hiking
4 months ago

First, the gate going towards Craggy Gardens (Asheville way) was closed for the season I’m assuming. So we had to take Mountain to Sea trail then go there. It was an okay hike, a lot of inclines. The views weren’t as great as expected. The gazebo was definitely the best view there was I believe. No bathrooms were unlocked either. So that’s something to think about. Overall I’d say it was alright if you have nothing better to do!

hiking
8 months ago

The views here are just breathtaking. Excellent trail to do later in the day so you can catch the sunset up top. Definitely will go back in the spring for the blooming rhododendrons.

hiking
9 months ago

It was so pretty. My mom and I hiked out to watch the sunset. There’s this little gazebo on the way to the top that we stopped at to take pictures and they turned out amazing. It looked like the trees and everything were on fire because of the way the sun was setting. I would definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Love love love! My husband took me up here for my birthday end of June this year. They say best time to go is middle to end of June when all the flowers are in bloom. My four year old did it, but ended up having to be carried. Very rocky and step like. Use good footing. Really don't recommend for young children. I had an amazing time, and love it.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

With the exception of my cranky 9 year old this was a nice little hike for the family. A little more strenuous than I initially thought; however, well travelled and marked for a 600ft climb. Beautiful scenery from the top made it definitely worth the hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Great photo opportunities

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

I took my wife on this trail as an intro to hiking, which she really enjoyed. It's very short (and easy) so we were able to enjoy the drive down the blue ridge parkway and grab a beer afterwards. Lots of people, so if you enjoy quiet hiking this is not the trail for you.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Don't let this short trail fool you... it's a hike. Depending on where you start (we started at the visitor center), the trail slopes downward to the picnic area. A side detour to the rhododendron meadow is a nice short diversion... and a good place for a picnic. Be sure to stop by the gazebo for a great view (go to the pinnacle if you want a 360 view of the blue ridge). You can choose to go to the Craggy Gardens path or take the 4 mile out and back (8 all together) to Douglas Falls. We did not plan for Douglass Falls, so we didn't take it... but next time!

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Absolutely love this hike! I've done it twice now, and really enjoyed it both times.

There's two sides to hike in from, one that starts at the visitor's center and one that starts in a big parking lot, both are super fun. Great views the whole drive in. Even when there have been TONS of people on the trail, once you're to the big field it's very easy to find your own space to enjoy the views.

Both hikes in are pretty easy, but very enjoyable! The only thing I would say--it's ALWAYS 5-10 degrees colder on this hike than you'd expect so pack an extra layer!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Definitely a must see if you are visiting the area. It's a moderate hike. It's a must hike during fall season and especially in June when the rhododendrons are blooming.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

High traffic but nice short excursion

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Like this trail. Low key and nice afternoon hike. Non strenuous and great look out views of the Blue Ridge.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

This was a lovely little hike with gorgeous views and plenty of trees worthy of a perch or rest underneath. We took the dogs and were thrilled!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

my favorite little spot. short, but uphill hike. very unique scenery especially when foggy! ❤

Monday, July 03, 2017

Nice moderate trail with a unique summit. not too many people in the morning and the clouds and cool mist made for a surreal experience in mid summer.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

This trail is heavily trafficked, a little too much for my liking. It doesn't lead out to the Pinnacle, so the views aren't quite as spectacular as something like John Rock. Definitely go in June when the flowers are in bloom.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nice uphill hike to an open field with lovely views.

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I started at the picnic area which is mostly strenuous uphill to the top, then I realized the trail from the visitors center is much easier. The walk through the tree tunnel out to the meadow is amazing, almost like being in a different place. The best time to visit is around mid-June for the rhododendrons.

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