Rhapsodie Falls, Dismal Falls and Shelton Trail Loop

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Pisgah National Forest

Rhapsodie Falls, Dismal Falls and Shelton Trail Loop is a 9.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lake Toxaway, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length9.1 miElevation gain2,709 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildlife
Waypoints (0)
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Daylight
Reviews (13)
Photos (128)
Recordings (12)
Completed (23)
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Holly Jackson
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HikingIcy

Amazing hike but its more like 12-13 miles in length if you do it all...not 9. Dismal falls when its cold is a bit dangerous at points.

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Mac Winslow
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HikingBlowdownMuddy

I pretty easy hike but sloppy. It’s not very well marked so the GPS helps a lot

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Kathleen Koontz
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Hiking

Awesome waterfalls but steep muddy climbs down to upper and lower Dismal Falls. Appreciate the directions and occasional pink and orange tape. Would not try this without All Trails or GPS.

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Susan Kettles
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HikingBlowdownMuddyScramble

This area has not gotten the usual rain. So I was surprised a few spots were muddy. There were a few blow downs. All had trails around them. The streams and the river were low making it easier to cross. I find this trail confusing since there are several turns and no blazes. There was flagging that was very helpful. The hike to the first falls, Aunt Sally’s was relatively flat. We saw mushrooms, purple asters and hearts-a-busting. The Falls were a right turn after at least two little stream crossings. The flow was low. It is a pretty falls. Seems like a good place for an outdoor shower. We continued on the main trail to under the power lines. This is the only mountain view. Past the power lines we turned left. On another hike, we hiked to Elbow Falls in Panthertown by continuing on. The loop shown on the map is a bush whack. We skirted the right side of the campground, Rock hopped across the river and skirted the right side of this campground. Mark this place in your mental map. When returning, the natural inclination is to walk straight through the campsite. Do not. From the large campground, we turned right and went steep up hill to Lower Rhapsodie Falls. It is tall and pretty cascade. We backtracked a few feet to a steeper trail uphill. We went past two very large rocks and a cool rock shelter. Stay to the right of these rocks, up the steep trail to a fork. It is marked Main Fork on my map. Go right a short distance to Rhapsodie Falls. This is always a beautiful falls with a nice vantage spot for lunch. We back tracked to the Main Fork and took the left fork. The trail is somewhat flat as it side slopes the mountain. Just before the trail starts to steeply go up, turn left to The Wall and Lower Dismal Falls. There were ropes tied to trees that were very helpful as a hand line going down and returning up this very steep slope. Otherwise grab the rhododendrons and roots. The rock wall is impressive. We walked along the rock wall and then rock scrambled around the corner to Lower Dismal Falls. I would not try this in a heavy flow of water. The water slides down the rock to a jumble of logs. We back tracked to the Wall and up the hand lines to the main trail. On the main trail we went up the steep trail to close to the top of the mountain. The trail curved left and then steep downhill. There were ropes here for hand lines. I wore old men’s bathing trunks over my pants and slid down the steepest parts. The best view is from the bottom. Great strenuous hike.

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Mila Lamparska
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First to Review

This trail is non existent ...? Or at least not where the map leads you...

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Judy Magura
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Hiking
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Susan Kettles
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Hiking
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Zachary Bennett
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Hiking
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Jeffrey Fitch
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Hiking
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Larry Moskowitz
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Hiking
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Lisa Wancheck
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Hiking
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Jerry Ellsworth
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Hiking
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Justin P
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Hiking
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