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

backpacking
15 hours ago

This trail has something for everyone, scenic views, fly fishing, water falls, and just enough incline for a slight challenge. The trail is well maintained and clean except for horse manure. Lots of trails in this area are horse friendly ( so watch your step).

Primarily old logging roads and wide horse trails. The creek and waterfalls made for an enjoyable hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Went with the wife and kids very easy and manageable for everyone.

A fairly easy trail with waterfalls and not a lot of others on some areas of the trail. There are quite a few connections with other trailheads along this trail also. It’s a good trail to start with and do beginner hikes to build up to more strenuous hiking trails.

First off, this is a great hike. The view at Lonesome Pine Overlook is amazing. The hike to the overlook is decent, mostly forest with a small creek running down the mountain midway through the hike. The 3 rating is mostly because there are so many great hikes in the area, I probably wouldn’t do this one again until I had done a few others in the area first.

The trail is moderately difficult and took me and my husband a little over 3 hours from the trailhead to the overlook and back. About a half mile in we saw a baby black bear in the distance then about a half mile from the overlook my husband locked eyes with an adult black bear on the trail about 50 yards away. In the few seconds that we saw the bear, my husband promptly messed his pants before the bear ran off. I then got to listen to my husband yelling, “You get out of here, bear!!!” at varying intervals for the remainder of the hike.

When we got to the overlook, the view was incredible and definitely worth the hike. My husband messed himself again at the sight and sounds of what we think was a timber rattlesnake near a rock just off the trail.

We were the only two on the trail on the way to the overlook, then passed 4 hikers on our way back down the trail to the trailhead. Overall, this was a great hike.

Disclaimer: my husband is the author of this post.

hiking
1 month ago

lovely

This is a great family friendly trail for all ages. Be sure to bring water shoes, as it is more fun to get up close in the water. I found a few large pieces of clear quartz here, my boyfriend found and attempted to catch a salamander and a snake, and my parents and uncle, his girlfriend, and kids loved the photo ops.

It's great for all ages. I am a nature photographer and the photo ops are perfect. my boyfriend loved it, and it was his first time here. My parents, uncle, his girlfriend, and his kids all loved it, too. We found beautiful rocks, flowers, and even a cave!

This is a beautiful place. nice trail, with 3 waterfalls. it is a very busy trail. lot's of people, using trail for tubing. I would recommend, early morning, or winter time.

Okay, lets first start by saying there are a number of inconsistencies in the tags and descriptions on this listing. First off, hopefully no one believes that all 14.9 miles is wheelchair accessible. That said, the last 1/4mile or so up the observation tower is probably wheelchair accessible. Also, it's worth noting that if you drive up to the visitor's center and then walk the 1/2mile to the top (separate listing on this site), there is a sign that says it's NOT ADA compliant (due to steepness), so keep that in mind. It's a hard go even when you're not pushing a wheelchair up it!

Secondly, it states it features a river, but I guess they're just referencing the river that the road follows on your drive into GSMNP from Cherokee, NC. There is no river feature on the actual trail.

As for the trail itself, it's a pretty typical S. Appalachian trail...navigating rocks and roots are all part of the game. Well-marked and easy to navigate. If you're day-hiking this one, I suggest cutting off 3.4miles (RT) by starting at the Indian Gap Road/Road Prong Trail Trailhead. You'll miss the Beech Tree Extainment area, which is really just a fenced area with some pretty trees, and some superfluous up-and-down hills. Which, by the way are not really that bad as other users suggest. It gives your knees and legs a break from doing the SAME thing for 8 miles up and then a DIFFERENT thing for 8 miles down.

Great hike!! We hiked to lonesome pine overlook and back. Definitely a steady and tough incline the entire 3.3 miles up to the overlook. This was my first hike in the mountains, however my girlfriend with more hiking experience thought it was equally as challenging. Two small waterfalls along the way. The last 0.75 mile of the ascent to the overlook had several small openings in the trees with great views. An awesome preview for the beautiful views of the valley from the top of the overlook. We did see a black bear on the trail during our descent about 30 yards ahead of us. He was as curious as I was but after discovering my girlfriend had to retire her britches, I made noise and he went on his way. If you’re in the deep creek area looking for a tougher hike, this trail is perfect. It took us about 3.5-4 hours with all pictures and black bear interaction included.

Did the whole thing and really enjoyed it. We especially liked the steeper narrower sections of the trail. Even the 4 year old made it with minimal complaining! The kids want to go back and tube the Creek next time.

I would recommend this as a shuttle hike or key swap. Even our seasoned hikers did not like all the steep climbs. Despite being just 8 miles one way, this is a moderate hike. Lovely thick forest floor and fun to meet some AT thru hikers.
If you have bad knees, you will need your hiking poles and compression wraps.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trails and Juney Whank Falls and Toms Branch Falls are beautiful places. Cut the hike short and missed Indian Creek Falls due to rain and approaching thunder, but will get there next time. The main Deep Creek Trail was well traveled with tubers coming up from the parking area. The Deep Creek Horse Trail that loops from Juney Whank back to Deep Creek Trail was my favorite part--quiet and little traffic. At one point on the horse trail is a rather steep side trail marked on as "cemetery." Followed the trail maybe .5 mile before rain and thunder came in. If anyone knows what's at the trails end and how far up the mountain it goes I'd love to know. I plan to follow it next time.

hiking
2 months ago

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

hiking
2 months ago

First hike in a long time so took our time. Heavily trafficked in Spring. Lovely wildflowers early in season. Beautiful waterfalls.

We saw lots of wild flowers in bloom this last week of April: jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, bishop’s cap, showy orchis, foamflower, and more that I am still learning. Some trillium blooms are hidden under the trademark three leaves.

Good trail, amazing waterfalls

Nice easy trail with great waterfall views.

This was a great 1 hour hike with several waterfalls and bridges! The trail was not busy (in early March) and was well maintained throughout. The trail head area has ample parking and amenities (restrooms, picnic shelters, etc.). This hike is very convenient to the Bryson City area.

Great waterfall with a bench.

Very clean! Great for the family.

I think it was a moderate instead of an easy. We had a blast but lots of breaks.

Clingman's dome winter hike has been a long awaited bucket list hike and it was certainly a challenge. The trail resembled a frozen creek bed. Ice was extensive and thick through nearly every step. I brought poles but did not bring crampons. The path gives way to the ridge line and the inclines are steep and are all the more slow and treacherous covered in ice. There are no views on the AT until you reach the dome which was surprising since the bare trees didn't reveal more of the surrounding area. However, having the dome all to myself made it completely worth the trouble. I shouted into the wind in triumph on the highest point in the park with blissful solitude. Taking Dome Rd back to NFG due to time constraints, I was treated to more views of the North Carolina mountains.

If you are interested in this unique winter hike poles and crampons are highly recommended. Be sure to call park services for information regarding road closures. There was no information on the website that NFG rd was closed and fortunately opened late at 11:00am. This is a long hike and daylight was a concern because of the late start.

Great for a short two-day.

Great trip! Missed some views along the Noland Divide due to weather, but overall great hike.

It was an amazing hike. We went during the fall with all the colors. Absolutely beautiful.

We came to Great Smokey to go up to Alum Cave and Chimney Tops but 441 through the Park was closed. Per the Ranger’s recommendation, we headed to the Deep Creek area and it was incredible. The frozen waterfalls are so unique and I would definitely recommend this as a moderate winter hike.

Our whole family enjoyed the trail. Some nice waterfalls. The upper loop has some relatively steep parts but my two young kids fared pretty well so its pretty good for families, though some spots of the upper loop are very narrow with a steep drop on one side. We had a great time on the trail.

Great trail. Easy to follow. Three waterfalls

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