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

walking
9 days ago

A pretty walk, but nothing spectacular. Really close to the road, so we could hear traffic the whole time.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

What a fantastic place. Short steep hike up to one of the most dramatic waterfalls I've ever seen. make sure to take water shoes for exploring around the creek.

hiking
12 days ago

Not too strenuous there or back. The trail becomes a little shrouded at times but nothing too bad. The way down the first mountain is gorgeous with great views. The shelter at the bottom is a cool place to stop at and if you go during summer there are some very pretty flowers. After the shelter there aren’t really any great views to see, but still a couple minor ones. The bald is very overgrown and there is little to no view once you arrive, but there is another shelter a little was down the other side to stop for a little rest. Overall not the best hike I’ve been on but not the worst at all.

Beautiful falls, but be weary of the crowds. There are too many people that climb on and around the falls (good luck getting any decent photos) and a lot of graffiti on some fallen logs. People need to be more respectful of nature. I only gave it two stars for those reasons, otherwise the falls are stunning after a good rainfall.

Was a nice trail . The beginning of the walk there are 120 stairs to climb then levels out at the top. Waterfall is amazing!

hiking
28 days ago

Did this along with a bigger loop. I'd say I usually love ridge walking, but this isn't one of them. I think going south instead of west gives you better view points.

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

hiking
29 days ago

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

hiking
1 month ago

Short hike just visited to kill some time for 441 to reopen. I’ve definitely seen better falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Main trail muddy in many spots. Side trail to waterfall at .7 m from Heintooga Rd, once again open, is very steep, muddy and very slippery. Do not recommend.

Nice, easy hike. You can extend past the 3.1 by continuing along the sidewalk on the main road if you want. We took our dog with us and he loved it. Nice and shaded, which was great on this hot July day. There were also kids playing in the water near the bridge - so easy to take a dip if you get hot. We saw about a dozen elk near the beginning/end of the trail on our way back (super close, too!), which was cool.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked to camp 53. Quiet walk with some steep switchbacks near the trailhead. The camp was settled right on the creek.

hiking
1 month ago

Decent trail with nice variety of flat, ascents, and descents. You cross the creek a few times. Perfect for my wife and I.

hiking
1 month ago

We arrived late in the day. There were two portable plastic bathrooms there in poor condition. At the entrance there was a steep climb up some 200 or so steps. Then the trail levels out and shortly after, you arrive at a bridge where you can see the falls. It's a short, .4-mile hike. Access to the falls, like actually walking around on the rocks in front of them, is not very easy. And there can be a lot of people around. However, it's a nice sight and not a lot of work is required to get there.

walking
1 month ago

Quickie walk to the falls to look for a geocache (DNF) but enjoyed meeting lots of people and the adventure. Did this trail several years ago.

hiking
1 month ago

We were camping near by at Balsam Mountain Campground. Great hike, but true to the other reviews, the trail was a little muddy and the creek crossing were sketchy in high water. We also couldn’t find the waterfall.

easy climb, well worth it

Super short and green hike, not a lot of water tho

Great hike. Short for The whole family. My son and I climbed to the top of it. Great photo opportunities.

Great Trail. Loved the trail being near the river almost the entire way, as well as the rocky "beahces" available for stops throughout. Also, we saw at least 5 different elk throughout our walk, which lasted from about 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

backpacking
2 months ago

Started at Clingmans Dome and made our way down to site #68. We camped there for the night because it was just too beautiful and peaceful not to camp by a waterfall. The next morning we made our way down to #69. The creek crossings were not bad except for the very last one to reach the camp spot. Due to heavy rain that day the water was way up and stomach deep. I ended up bending one of my treks while navigating across. However, we conquered it and came out alive. Definitely not for beginners when the creek is up like that in my opinion, but definitely a peaceful sleep for those who do it!

Great trail and the kids lives jumping in the river around .6 miles into the hike right before the bridge. Would hike again!

We went to this trail this morning. My boyfriend and I wore water shoes and hiked back to the falls to get an up close view. If you think it was beautiful from the bridge, it is breathtaking to make the climb over to it.

The stairs were difficult. The rest of the trail was decent. Our dog did great... very crowded but a beautiful waterfall.

A very beautiful waterfall. short hike to falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Approach up Beech Gap is steep. Balsam Mt Trail is long and pleasant to the AT.

Short climb to beautiful falls. Definitely worth the numerous steps.

Easy walk, lots of people, beautiful waterfall

on Flat Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Be aware that hiking this trail during rainy months make crossing the river very dicey. We hiked in just fine, but it began to rain on our hike down, and the small, shallow river turned in to a rager. We had to figure out another way to get across by holding on to branches in powerful waist deep water to prevent being swept down the river. Adventure! But definitely a little scary.
Aside from that the hike was amazing. The forest is so gorgeous -- lost of snails, centipedes and mushrooms. I would suggest going when there is very little chance of rain.

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