Explore the most popular birding trails in North Carolina with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

22 hours ago

Super packed with people! Suggest early rising to avoid the crowd and get decent pics!

22 hours ago

Really nice! Easy parking and quick to get on the trail. I did this hike alone and felt very safe. It’s moderately trafficked but not too busy. At each of the overlooks I had the area to myself. So pretty and not too challenging.

Nice hike. Lots of icicles this time of year still. The views on the bald are really nice however the power lines and cell tower are a distracting disappointment.

Always enjoyable. This is turning into a default area for us.

Easy walk up to a pretty waterfall. We went off to the left to look for the mine. That made it even better for us.

I love the diversity that this trail has to offer! It starts with a nice uphill climb up Old Butt Knob, as you work your way towards shining rock. The quartz boulders cannot be understated – they are phenomenal and must be seen in person! I didn’t stay past dark, but I hear that they glow for about an hour after sunset. How amazing! The hike back down from shining rock, we walked along the river and there was waterfall after waterfall after waterfall… It was spectacular! Two moderately athletic hikers finished this loop in about five hours.

2 days ago

This is a good trail, but I wouldn't call it "lightly trafficked." Not on a weekend, anyway.

this all trails app pulls up uber everytime I want directions. very frustrating

Nice trail, marked well and maintained. Not much water at the falls last weekend!

There are several other trails near this trail, give Wildcat Rock trail a try, waterfall along the way to the summit with a beautiful view.

One of my favorite trails. A little of everything elevation, flat areas, beautiful views.

Easy hike and beautiful views. March 12 snow on the ground and met an AT trail through hiker that started February 20th and had a rough 4 weeks so far.

I always ignore the trail and rock hop right up the river. one of my favorite places

went with the family and a 3 month old Aussie pup. Dont know that my parents enjoyed it as much as I did, but the views are absolutely gorgeous the whole way and it's a great reward for the tough hike. (Mind you, even if you're in pretty decent shape it's tough though)

My first time hiking the Wildcat Rock to the meadows this past Saturday, there are a good many strenuous areas along this trail, especially as you continue past the waterfall. The falls did not have alot of water, alot was frozen. Before the waterfall there are a few creek crossings and all along the trail large rock faces and huge boulders.There are maybe 130+ rock steps going straight up in this area. The view from Wildcat Rock is worth the hike. From the trailhead to the meadow it is 3.8 miles round trip. Elevation gain is 1,100 feet.
I posted many pictures, be sure to check the out.

GPS users may enter N35.4734, W-82.3320

This trail is clearly mark all along the trail and is managed and owned by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.

From Greenville, SC
Start out on Hwy 25 toward Asheville
Get on I-26 toward Hendersonville, NC
Exit on Hwy 64 toward Chimney Rock
Take Hwy 64 for 12.3 miles until it intersects with Hwy 74
Turn Left and go 3.9 miles until you see a parking lot of the 'right' side of Hwy 74
There will be an old Chimney and a Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy sign
The trailhead for Wildcat Rock is across the street from the parking area

very nice trail.

One of the best hikes I have done in recent memory. Incredible views, varied terrain, well maintained trail and pristine wilderness. The first part of the trail up table mountain is strenuous I would say, not moderate. But we loved that. The “back” portion of the loop is easier and so the whole trail could be out and back to make the ascent slightly less challenging.

Hiked with a 25 lb bag a medium sized dog and a pint sized hiking companion in March.

Awesome trail! :)

Nice and mostly shaded trail around the lake. Not too crowded on weekdays.

Great trail to run, very technical so be ready for a challenge. Just make sure to run/hike the opposite direction of the bikers and you shouldn't have any issue seeing each other. Taking all of the black diamond bike routes should put out a distance just over 4 miles.

Beautiful! Easy trail a bit harder for younger kids but works out because at the end there is a place to jump into the river. If you are looking for some fitness and fun for the summer time this is perfect and if you are just looking to get some good cardio in or nature appreciation then this is perfect.

this place is near and dear to my heart glad I live so close to such a beautiful place the big man above created a masterpiece with this one

5 days ago

Beautiful river views along the trail, with many short diversion trails leading to really nice spots along the way. As others have stated, the trail is wide and can be very crowded on a pretty day. But the trail surface is natural, somewhat muddy in places, and an overall nice hike. The falls are beautiful and a look a bit different from every angle. There's also a steep trail up the right side of the falls (muddy, rocky, and slippery with ropes added for stability) that will take the more adventurous to the top, or almost there. Plenty of places for a cautious person to step out on the falls for great views and photos. Obviously popular destination and not a private afternoon by any means but well worthwhile.

5 days ago

loved this trail! we had a great time despite it being overcast and rainy. It's definitely a moderate hike, we went uphill for 2 miles. Not crazy steep but we were still huffing by the end.

Beautiful meandering trail through the thick maritime forest, marsh and dunes. Easy hike with diverse terrain and lots of sweeping views. At the midway point, hop over to the public swim area for a beach front lunch break. Easily completed in 1.25 to 1.50 hrs.

Good steep incline starting NW from trail info box on Harmony Lane (that leg actually called Stomping Knob Trail), then along the ridge has nice views especially with winter and foliage down. Rattlesnake Rock looks back across valley to Black Mountain. Easy access for a short day hike.

6 days ago

been going to Mingo falls since I was a child. I absolutely love the magestic falls. it is a very easy trek as the path is mostly all stairs. one day i will hike up to the top.

6 days ago

Very good hike, trail was muddy in spots but otherwise well kept. Crossed over a lot of water but didn’t see any waterfalls.

Oh my!!! The reviews are accurate...no blazes (Except Art Loeb Trail), you will end up leaving the trail and you need to be comfortable navigating your way back, it's a test....a real test-9.1 miles in 6 hours. I know doesn't sound fast but it's a serious incline and the decent it's nothing to discount. We took Shining Creek to Art Loeb to Old Butt Knob. Coming down OBK is work in itself be ready. The trail follows the creek with great flowing water making some beautiful cascades. The views are stunning and there was a lot of ICE today.

Really, really hard trail but glad I tested myself and it is worth the effort.

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