Whiteside Mountain National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 260 reviews
#2 of 87 trails in

Whiteside Mountain National Recreation Trail is a 1.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
511 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Nice loop trail with great view.

2 days ago

So beautiful following the fairy dust trails! Views clear as day!

hiking
3 days ago

We got up there right as clouds/fog rolled in, so we couldn't see anything. Notthe first time hiking trail thankfully. Beautiful views if the weather is good. Relatively easy trail with great views so expect heavy traffic on weekends/holidays.

hiking
6 days ago

This trail is one that offers great vistas time and time again. There is an option to either hike the more technical trail to the right or take the gravel path to the left. We took the gravel path to the left on the way up and decided on the more rewarding technical trail on the way down. Don’t miss the technical trail because that is where the vistas are. It is crowded up there, but for good reason. I would definitely go back.

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail with great views/. Gravel road is A LOT easier than the trail. I would recommend taking the gravel road up to the top and come down the more difficult trail so you know what you are getting into before trying the more difficult trail...if you are unsure about which way to go.

hiking
8 days ago

The gravel trail was pretty easy for us and our dogs. Based on advice of other hikers, we took the dogs back down the way we came instead of down the steps.

nature trips
9 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Great short trail! You can take the easy or challenging route up - we did the challenging of course hehe

hiking
17 days ago

Multiple great views as you follow the ridge line. Those with walking/knee issues can take the gravel path up and down, while others can use the slightly trickier path with boulders and some high step-up/downs.

1 month ago

very nice trail and the views are amazing!

1 month ago

Great hike! Great views! Unique experience with cabled fences on the bald spots on the mountain. Would definitely go again.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent moderate loop trail. Stunning views from the top along the ridge. Well maintained. Will do this again.

hiking
1 month ago

On a nice day, the wind up there will cleanse your soul. Gorgeous views, even when it’s cloudy.

hiking
1 month ago

I took a right at the junction at the beginning of the loop which was more of a challenge then just taking the gravel road to the top, lots of steps. Either way it was beautiful. Very wet and muddy in spots. I love all the trees and green all around. The top was awesome with amazing panoramic views. I was fortunate enough to watch the sunrise and see clouds hovering around the trees down below. I had it all to myself.It was pretty epic

2 months ago

beautiful trail - took 2.5 year old daughter and 4 month old son and was easy enough to carry both and enjoy the views

3 months ago

Great views fun hike

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with a great view!

hiking
4 months ago

A fantastic hike. We took it really slow and enjoyed the views, stopped for some hot tea at the summit and had a wonderful time on the trail. It is an easy to moderate hike if you start the loop by going left when you reach the top of the stairs. A moderate hike if you go right. Watch out for ice if you go in cold weather. I slipped on a patch and took a little spill, but was no worse for the wear. The views are great. We saw a Peregrine falcon in flight and lots of beautiful ice on rocks. If you don't hike much and are on the fence about doing this one, you can hike in by taking the loop to the left, summit, and backtrack the way you came in...giving you a gentle slope all the way up and all the way down.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. We did this with our 8 and 13 year old. They both enjoyed it!

hiking
5 months ago

this is a cool trail. great views at the top along the rock face. some 700ft drop? people were repelling off of. very crowded though. camping isnt allowed. lots of steps. a hammock might be nice at the top though.. huge birds flying at the top

6 months ago

Great winter hike!

6 months ago

Great, short hike with beautiful views!

hiking
6 months ago

my hike was in total fog. but will go again.

8 months ago

One of my favorite short hikes in the area for its vista views. Westside is fairly steep but a short distance. If you prefer an easy hike, take the left trail and hike in and out.

hiking
8 months ago

Very easy to medium hike only about an hour and fifteen minutes to do the whole loop. There are a ton of stopping points with GREAT views!

8 months ago

beautiful views on a easy to moderate. Great exercise.

hiking
9 months ago

This loop trial is one of my favorites. My wife and I ended here by chance as we were headed to another hiking trail (White Water Falls) when we saw the sign for Whiteside Mountain. It's an easy hike suitable for children. Stunning views with a gradual incline makes getting to the top of the trail relatively easy. You can see the Eastern Continental Divide from the top of this trail. Peregrine Falcons nest here. We only saw one flying above us. Very nice hike will definitely do it again!

hiking
9 months ago

Nice little loop with great views! Takes about 2 hours to complete.

PS: Lots of traffic on that day, when I arrived around 10:30am the parking lot was already full.

9 months ago

Amazing.

9 months ago

Amazing.

9 months ago

An awesome little loop with some fun climbing/descending.

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