Graybeard Trail

MODERATE 118 reviews
#13 of 132 trails in

Graybeard Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2437 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

washed out

hiking
7 days ago

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7 days ago

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9 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

29 days ago

Loved the variety of this trail. Nice ascent next to and across tumbling waters. Then flattens out to a long run of easy switchbacks. Waterfalls and a great overlook included. Rocky, rooty, descent to keep your mind in the game.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorites!

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1 month ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

3 months ago

My favorite Asheville short hike. The incredibly varied terrain is a landscape architects dream!

hiking
3 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

3 months ago

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4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

In total we clocked this to be 10 miles, including side trips to Walker Knob and Greybeard falls. 2.75 hours up and 1.75 hours down. First third of the ascent is rocky and uphill, second third is relatively flat during the switchbacks, last third is uphill, narrow and overgrown. Brought our dog so it was nice having the stream for her to cool off in on the hike back down.

It was cloudy so we saw nothing at either Walker knob or the top of Greybeard. Can't control that aspect of the hike so didn't rate based on the lack of a views. However do not expect a nice clearing at these two locations, Walker knob is two rocks that are in a small clearing. Top of Greybeard is a circular area, maybe 20 feet wide with some rocks that overlook the mountain. This was VERY overgrown and had a lot of bees. All the clouds blocked our view but on the other hand kept the temp down.

I would hike this again, but probably after I've exhausted other options for hikes of similar distance and complexity around the area.

hiking
4 months ago

This is the information on Summitpost.org which I believe since it took us just under 6 hours to complete the climb. There is a lot of misinformation abroad about the length of this trail. Montreat's trail handouts say it is 3.25 miles, a figure that probably was never accurate to begin with but certainly hasn't been correct since the trail was significantly re-routed a few years ago. The distance from trailhead to top is just short of six miles. The vertical rise is 2400 feet. My husband and I are in moderately good shape and it took us 31/2 hours to get up the hill and 2 to get down. It was a great hike but long and exhausting. I would not recommend going to the top since the last 45 minutes was strenuous and the view was not that great. I would just do walkers knob instead. We did the trail on a Monday afternoon and it was not crowded at all.

hiking
4 months ago

Drive up the street also called Graybeard to reach the trailhead parking lot. Parking in the Assembly Inn parking lot will buy you a 3/4 mile walk uphill before the trail even starts, as it did us.

First 1/3 until you reach the switchbacks are quick gains with some nice stream crossings until you reach the switchbacks. Decently uphill. Then you'll hit the falls.

After the falls are nice and chill switchbacks. Save your energy here.

Switchbacks are over into a good climb to the shelter. Definitely veer left here and head to Walter's Knob. It's a better view than the summit. Honestly, it's totally justifiable to stop here and head back.

The section from the shelter to the fence (where another trail joins up) is tough. The hardest part of the climb by far. Push forward 30-45 minutes. The final 3/10 not too bad and a solid overlook at the summit.

I'm a pretty novice hiker and in only decent shape. About 3 hours up and 1.75 down. Wore me out.

A nice balance.

Keep an eye out for labeled areas with bees. Had bright pink tape when we visited. Noticed too late. Caught a few stings on the way down.

Read all the signage before heading in. Have fun!