Explore the most popular camping 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.

Great hike. Will definitely do again when the water is lower.

We walked several of the loop trails. We had the place totally to ourselves except for various birds to include a wild turkey.

19 hours ago

Nice hike, the views weren’t amazing but parts near the lake and river were nice. Fun wildlife lots of spring peepers, snakes, and ground skinks

Had a fantastic time here. We hiked all the way to the end of the trail seeing all 3 waterfalls. It was Thursday so very few people were on the trail. Had lunch at the top if rainbow falls. It was an amazing view.

This hike is definitely a workout. The first 1-1.5 miles are pretty much a non-stop incline. After that it’s pretty much smooth sailing, with a few short inclines that sufficiently get your heart pumping. Took my dog and she loved it. It was definitely a workout for her too! We added an extra .4 miles to go to the Chestnut Knob overlook. The view itself is pretty good, but there’s not really anywhere to sit comfortably and no shade. And because we went on a fairly warm day, the sun was a little too much. Other than the overlook, there’s a few spots with some decent views, and places to sit and enjoy them. As other mentioned there are a ton of burnt trees, so a little dreary but nothing too bad. Overall I’m giving this hike a 4 because it’s a great workout, but it’s just short of a 5 because of the lackluster views.

This was a wonderful one nighter. Recommend the approach from the MST NEAR Beech Gap
Not a busy place. Once you leave the MST and head up the hill there are no reliable water sources, so pack it in or be ready to hike back into the valley to get water.
Nice ridge hike from MST to green knob. The trail from Sunburst to green knob I thought was horrible:

Great place to hike in and camp the night. My Daughter and I went there , had a great time. We also took MST to Devils Garden Overlook but be warned that at time we hiked it All Trail Classification is wrong. Devil Garden Overlook is an advance trail not moderate.

Super Trail -
Easy on the body, might even recommend it for almost anyone!

The area is quiet, and the cover is thick for the most part, and we stayed cool and comfortable!

You'll love it

Nice trail. Not too strenuous. Tracked it at 6 miles total. There were plenty of children doing this trail with no problem. There are places where I would not have a dog with no leash. The views at the end are well worth the trip.

Excellent afternoon on the Trails - If you have never been here, and live within an hour of the park you are cheating yourself.
The trails is really an easy trail, and the hills are small and the terrain is forgiving...

For the most part the trail is well under a canopy of trees, and the breeze was consistent.
We lived in the Raleigh area years ago, and on a weekend getaway we decided to hit this park...
And so glad we decided to change plans and hit Umstead!

You will love all 11 miles - (We also took on Sal's Branch/Loop)
There is a trail here for everyone

Our first hike on this trail. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the hike.

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.

5 days ago

Loved this trail, did it with my girlfriend and dog. We did the trail counterclockwise starting from Wolf Pit Trail Head. The first night we camped right before the Table Rock split off. There are plenty of great campsites and there is a side trail that leads to creek for water. The second night we camped on the east side of the river

You do have to do two river crossings, this first one requires a quick swim, the second one more simple since the water is only ankle high.

The trail west of the river is not the best marked, chances are you will lose it. We climbed out of the gorge at pitch-in, the hiked out was very strenuous, we then walked along the road for about a mile and re-entered the trail at Mountain to Sea.

It's a tough trail, but there are great views and an awesome experience.

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

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)

very nice trail.

Awesome trail! :)

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

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.

It’s steep at first but pence your on top it’s beautiful

This place has an incredibly gorgeous waterfall called Looking Glass Falls and mild rock climbing if you want to get closer to the waterfall. And not far from there is Sliding Rock, which is also a waterfall but different in that you can actually slide down the whole thing like you would a water slide at a water park. It's gorgeous. Traffic was minimal, at least when we went it wasn't bad. It was really nice.

Did it a few years ago. Loved it

Ended up doing this trail by accident... but so happy we did! We went around to Little Green summit first and then down to the falls. The trail was definitely easy going for the first 3+ miles. A nice/steep climb to the top and then some AMAZING views. Got a little turned around on the summit thanks to some careless wandering but never got too far off path. The entire 4 hours we were in the area we only saw 4 other groups of people which made the experience even more perfect. Can't wait to come back for a weekend of camping/hiking.

12 days ago

Walked whole loop with my son, in Sept 2017. It was beautiful. Not a lot of scenery due to foliage. It was a great experience. Started at campsite: took Bluff Mtn Trail, down the mountain on Flat Rock Ridge and then back up mountain on Cedar Ridge Trail and then back to campground.

Kiosk and Warren Family graveyard on Reedy Creek Road. Misses the best part of the trail but cuts off about a mile.

Just do it. You’ll see why.

13 days ago

Fairly strenuous, though the switchbacks make it manageable. Take water as there’s none up top. The view off the bald face is amazing but do watch your step. Hammock camping on the top is epic.

This hike was easy for the most part. There were areas that you had a little climb if you wanted to go to the top of the lager fall. There was some really pretty creek areas however alot of the trees were down and did blocked lots of the other falls. I did walk/climb around amd over a lot of the trees to get a better view of a couple of falls but you still are not able to see them well. The large fall is really pretty and worth seeing it.

Load More