Dismal Falls is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,112 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

waterfall

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

I hiked this trail after a week of rain, and a steady rain while hiking. Obviously the trail conditions were muddy and it was fun to cross the streams. The trail was mostly well marked, and I knew the not so great trail conditions prior to my hike and accepted them. It was a great hike l.

hiking
16 days ago

Awesome trail and the waterfalls were amazing. If you stop at the first falls then moderate is accurate but going to the third falls it is definitely hard. It’s an adventure hike and involves using ropes and it’s very step. Be prepared, bring extra socks. View is worth it.

hiking
muddy
29 days ago

Have been hiking the area for two decades, but this hike was a first for me. When hiking, I highly recommend checking the AllTrails map every now and then to make sure you are still on the correct path, as there are several misleading forks in the path. Unfortunately, we missed some of the orange markers/followed the wrong ones, so our 4 mile hike turned into 8.5. The elevation gain is pretty dramatic towards the end of the hike, so bring lots of water. Also, the downhill to Dismal falls is quite steep and muddy in places, but there are some guide ropes in place to help. Overall, it was an absolutely beautiful hike, but make sure you are paying attention. If you go more than two miles without seeing a waterfall, you missed a turn.

muddy
1 month ago

First things first, Google maps tries to take you to the wrong spot. Turn onto Winding Gap Rd. and veer to the right till you reach the road block. This is the trail. It's a decent little trail, very muddy and a few trees down (but with the shut down that's no surprise). The map leads you to the right, there is an extra little waterfall here. We couldn't see it because there was a huge group of people called out there and we were trying to practice social distancing. But if it's clear, definitely check it out. If you continue on, the falls are beautiful. it's very closed in though, so not many people can get down to it at once. this trail continues on to dismal falls. someone has marked it with orange flagging, but the crossing is still easy to miss. we didn't risk it because I had my baby in a backpack carrier and the crossing was way too sketchy. we didn't end up finishing the trail because the rocks were too slick to risk it.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
blowdown
muddy
scramble
1 month ago

This was the most beautiful waterfall we have been to! The trail has so many amazingly gorgeous spots - streams, mini waterfalls, bowers. Just beautiful. But TOUGH. Thanks so much to the the person who marked the trail with orange tape!! Lifesavers! And thanks to the person who mentioned that the All Trails directors do not take you to the trail, & giving clear directions to get to it!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
over grown
1 month ago

I just went through and cleared out the trail and marked it more clearly with Orange tape. 3 different waterfalls: Trailside Falls, Rhapsodie Falls and then Dismal Falls. A challenge but totally worth it.

hiking
muddy
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

super steep to get up to/down to dismal falls, but overall a great trek to see 4 waterfalls! definitely recommend being in shape for this one

hiking
2 months ago

Some of the craziest bushwhacking in North Carolina. Very dangerous! But beautiful:-)

muddy
over grown
scramble
2 months ago

I was lucky to have attempted this trail during a rare dry spell during the Spring. I say lucky because it's a very muddy trail I can only imagine what it would have been like during the rainy season. In the summer, in full bloom, this trail may be hard to follow. The two falls that you can see on the trail are well worth the effort. The trail is somewhat marked by ribbons, orange and pink, thanks to Trails Carolina. My hike took an hour and a half and I successfully made it to both falls. The latter falls takes a little bit of a hike up a creek to see just when you think you're not going to make it to the bigger falls, or you question its existence, you look up and you see the falls. Definitely worth the effort to make it to the second falls. The trailhead is NOT where All Trails says it is. You'll turn left off of 281 on Winding Gap Road and when Winding Gap Road forks, bear to the right to the trailhead.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
4 months ago

I normally don’t leave reviews on here, but I felt the need to after attempting this one today. So my German Shepard and I got to the starting point at 1230, and finally at 1530, I realized I had not made it to the falls yet. It says it is a little over four miles, in and out, which is not the case. I am not a slow mover by any means, especially when it comes to uphill slopes. I decided it would be smart to turn around at this point, due to the fact that I was not prepared to be out there after dark. On the way back, I somehow ended up off the trail (because it is not well marked AT ALL) and spent 45 minutes trying to find my way back. So in all I hiked 9 miles today. I would like to try this again, probably in the warmer months where there is more daylight and better temperatures (it was 43 degrees today), with a friend and a printed map because the all trails application does not follow the trail for this hike. Also, you will get wet, there is no doubt about it. There are points where you have to walk through streams.

hiking
muddy
over grown
7 months ago

The waterfalls are very beautiful. We did not make it all the way to dismal falls because the trail is so difficult to follow and we were afraid of getting lost. The trail is moderate for the first mile and then quickly becomes very strenuous. I would not recommend this for a beginner. It is very overgrown and would be really easy to get lost. But the waterfalls are so beautiful.

hiking
off trail
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Make sure you keep an eye out for the orange tape throughout the trail! The trail no longer follows the gps on this app due to fallen trees but some saint has gone out and marked re-directed trail. And huge shoutout to those who wrote out how to get to the trail head!

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