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

Ez, quiet hike following the stream up to the falls. After the first couple hundred yards it’s a heavily shaded hillside trail so if you go following rain, expect lots of muddy spots; nothing strenuous, not much scenery, just an unspectacular short hike. Best in the late spring with the rhododendrons in bloom or only if the water is really running.

I wouldn’t rate this trail as hard. The trail was thin and had obstacles, but all manageable. The only difficult bit was the creek you have to cross and the bridge was out.

5 days ago

Great, well groomed carriage road leading up through pastures and rolling hills to the observation tower. The views to the east and north are very pretty. Perfect for solo, couples, families, children, dogs, horses, etc

Great hike. Took four girls ages 11-15. They were thrilled. Wife went with as well and was less thrilled but she’s not a big trail fan. She made it without issue. Nice views and while perhaps not the best hike for a total trail junkie it’s a nice family hike with just enough difficulty to be interesting but not enough to wear you out. As mentioned in other reviews to get to the falls you need to take a left before the metal bridge as your following the BFT around to the right from the restrooms.

7 days ago

The Top of the falls is a great spot to relax. Would only rate this trail as hard because of the bridge outing but otherwise is very manageable. Took about 2 hours with frequent stops to take in some of the sites. All in all a real fun hike.

Beautiful views!

My wife and I love this trail! Recent storms have made it a bit more difficult but well worth it!!

Fairly easy well maintained trail with a
beautiful meadow part way up. All inclined up to the tower, nice views across meadow and up near top on switchbacks. Very windy, tighten your hats.

Like a mini Boone Fork Trail

I loved this trail. Very happy I listened to others and did the loop backwards with the steep climb at the beginning. From the trailhead / lookout parking, cross the BRP and go maybe 30 yards to the left. The first half mile is very steep and can be precarious but I'd much rather do that stretch going uphill.
Loved the balds/meadows and Sims creek. So much to explore. At one point the trail literally turns to creek as water trickles up from the ground.
Bring good waterproof hiking shoes or be prepared to ditch them as the trail crosses the creek several times.
Ignore the bad reviews for this trail from people who should be in a photography forum vs. hiking.


great trail, we started near the small lake, by the way we were greeted by a otter who so happened to be feeding and swimming. loved the small streams of water along the trail. open field was like a scene from "The Walking Dead" your also are going to feel like you've gone off the path and onto someone's property " In that momenti thought I was going to read a sign 'Trespassers will be shot on sight', but you didn't your fine. all and all it was all good. Hope you enjoy your hike!

We love this trail. It has beautiful views. Great footing. It’s decently trafficked even in the winter so I never get creeped out hiking alone with my toddler.

Beautiful waterfall at the end! Took 2 hours, not an easy hike!

1 month ago

Great walking trail. Easy, flat and semi smooth trail. Perfect for a walk with our lab. Enjoyed the walk. Hoping in the future to fish the lake.

We are pretty sure we saw a bobcat in the meadow on our last hike. It had all the right features -black ears, tawny body, about 2’ high. They sometimes hunt in the daytime. It was disappearing into a thicket as we glimpsed it.

Finally a sunny day for hiking. Parked at Boulder Field pull off. Before starting we had decided to the end point would be Flat Rock View due to the added miles just to get to DB Scout Trail. At this point the Tanawah Trail is very narrow and since we've had a lot of rain lately it's pretty muddy. The Scout Trail is in pretty good shape but pretty wet also. Next time I'll head up from 221 which will be about the same distance as if you hike from Boone Forks parking area. This hike to Flat Top was 7.8 miles round trip.

This is the hardest trail I’ve ever done.
Do not attempt.
7 hrs on trail one way from Boone Fork, mm299 BRP to the swinging bridge.
Epic scenery.
I hiked Sept 10, mostly cloudy and rainy.
Wore only baggies and no shirt, was never cold.
I wore the most slippery loose fitting shoes I own.
(That makes you a better hiker)
The trail is difficult, wet, muddy, slippery, jagged, steep, large, exposed, with many slippery wooden off camber ladders and cables.
This is mountain climbing, not simply hiking.
I was boxed in with clouds and wet conditions, I never saw anyone else on trail.
It was perfect.
I hiked one way from Boone Fork parking lot on BRP to the swinging mile high bridge alone, 7 hrs.
Super scary ladders, wet ladders, very high exposed wood slippery ladders.
Difficult rock gardens.
Steep rock gardens.
Sharp steep jagged rock gardens.
A not ideal landing of an airplane from 1978, cause of incident “controlled flight into terrain”
I heard Bigfoot threatening me on trail.
I walked faster.
I was wet the whole time and muddy but never cold. I burned 7000 calories.
This route was hard.
Hard and scary.
All alone high in the Smokies.
With Bigfoot stalking me.
The bridge at Boone Fork and trailhead is closed, you will get a citation if you use the closed bridge, I brought beer and bacon.
Everything is better with bacon.
All is factual my ph 321-720-3034

1 month ago

Perfect hike for days when the mountains are covered in fog. The cool mist made for a comfortable but beautiful experience. Trail difficulty is more moderate than hard, but downed trees, erosion, and a destroyed bridge do make for rough terrain. The cascades and Glen Burney waterfall were absolutely beautiful, the Glen Marie waterfall was just alright by comparison. My wife and I did just fine with our 9 mo. daughter on my back (lots of ducking and squeezing under branches though).

Lovely walk through the woods. Every trail on the Cone Estate is worth doing - they are all well-maintained and beautiful. This route in particular has a chance of seeing wildlife - we saw two fawns and many chipmunks and birds. It's long enough to get some cardio, but not strenuous by any means. Highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a peaceful walk in the woods. Getting to sit in one of the rockers on the manor's porch and chat with a stranger (new friend) is an added bonus!

1 month ago

Love this trail! Any time we're in the Blowing Rock area, this trail is on the must-do list. It's long, but gradually sloping - well-maintained and wide enough to share with others on foot or horseback. The meadow is gorgeous - during the summer months, it is full of milkweed and butterflies. Views of the surrounding mountains are excellent. From the meadow to the tower, it's a nice walk with switchbacks and plenty of flowers. Any of the Cone trails are worth doing!

1 month ago

Could you ask for a more beautiful ~1 mile route to walk or run? I don't think so. The path is crushed gravel and relatively even - the views are stunning, even in the fog. Absolute heaven.

1 month ago

I'm not sure that I would rate this trail as hard, but it there are a lot of roots and rocks. It's literally straight down to the Cascades, Glen Burney and Glen Marie falls views, then, of course, straight back up to the trail head. The only reason I rated it a 4 instead of a 5 is due to the bridge outage, which causes you to (very carefully) have to cross the river through some pretty active water. There are also a couple of spots where the trail has given way on the right, leaving a pretty narrow passage. All in all, this hike is worth doing!

This hike was accurately rated as easy. My wife, dog, and I leasurly hiked this loop and enjoyed it vey much.

Trail closed at normal entry, took Tanawa trail from a further parking area. That added an extra two miles in and four total to the 11 hiked. Saw a bear track, but no bear. Great views at the top, the Peak was a smaller area to look around than I expected, but still worth it all the same. Several places to climb up and over rocks and just make sure you look to see where that next marker is at and hike towards it. I got off trail one time for sure, but it was easily marked over there too that got me back on track. Ladders in good shape. Always bring a poncho or rain jacket.

Great short hike. Lots to see and gets heart pumping on way back out.

Perfect hike to get the heart pumping!

very easy beautiful trail

1 month ago

My family and I loved this trail. We have four kids ages 6 to 17, and everyone enjoyed this equally. We have hiked a lot of trails over the years, and our kids prefer technical trails with lots of rocks and roots, so I was worried this might be a little boring for them, but the scenery is so beautiful, it was just as fun as some more difficult trails. It is uphill the whole way to the fire tower, so that makes it challenging enough. We also saw chipmunks and deer which everyone loved! It was a rainy day, and we had started out on some more difficult trails, but the slippery conditions forced us to quit those. This was the perfect trail for a post rain hike.

Awesome experience, in the rain and total darkness, one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Loved it!

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