Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

Wow! What a hike. Definitely take a good map and a compass. We took Old Butt trail to Shining Rock and then back down Shining Creek. We went in mid July and there was so much vegetation the trail was almost unrecognizable in places. Old Butt trail is no joke and this is no easy stroll.

one of my favorite easy trails .has interesting points of interest and the falls are small but refreshing..Lots of interesting flora..Not too heavily used the many times I have walked/run it..nice for easy biking, too

Disagree about the "all skill levels", but is great for a weekend run or ride. Great spot for families. Connects Durant nature park.

hiking
17 hours ago

This is a great kid friendly and dog friendly trail. As has been mentioned before, it's part of the Boone Fork Trail Loop. Starting from the picnic grounds, you go to the right on the Boone Fork Trail from the trail sign near the restrooms. At one point, you come to a nice metal bridge going over the creek. Do not take the bridge, stay to the left. Shortly after that you will hear falls and see trails going down to the river with beautiful pools just right for wading. Make sure the kids bring their bathing suits because it's very kid-friendly here. The falls aren't spectacular, but the beauty and easy access make this a great hike!

hiking
20 hours ago

Great little hike. We were in and out in 2 hours, which included a dip in the (cold!) amazingly fresh water pools by the falls. The rapids/waterfall at the end are definitely worth it, and the descent in and out of the narrows is challenging enough you feel like you got a workout! The rest of the trail was very well-maintained and relatively flat, so might be great for a trail run, with a swimming break in the middle. FYI there was a sign posted that said the trail is closed Mon-Thurs for trail maintenance, but since we’d already driven all the way there, we ignored it. Saw one couple the entire time so it wasn’t crowded at all.

backpacking
1 day ago

Until a proper maintenance crew decides to work on the trail past the first 5 miles from the trail head, one had better prepare for one heck of a disappointment.

To begin with, every trail in the area is blazed the same color. For some reason, the crew doesn't understand that a trail more than 12 miles "should" be blazed white while spurs and intersecting trails "should" be a different color. Also, there are blazes where is's painfully obvious there is a trail but at the "balds" (which aren't) and the gaps, where the briars are head high and the trail so faint it's difficult to navigate, there are no blazes. Nada. None. There are more "Bear Sanctuary" placards than trail blazes.

Water. Bring more than you think you'll need. Then bring twice that. The water sources are few and far between. Remember, you're at the top of a ridge. To get to any water it's hundreds (more than 200) meters to a POSSIBLE water source which is downhill (way down hill) from the trail. The "map" Alltrails offers doesn't mark any of them and the "reviews" posted below are less than helpful. Seriously... bring more water than you think you'll need.

I'm not going to bother with the issue of the elevation gain and loss... it's a ridge run... it's expected (and one of the main reasons I went this week). However... due to the remoteness of the trail; IF/WHEN there is a medical emergency, lost/overdue hiker, etc you will be stuck in place with no help for over 24 hours. Or more. My hiking partner and I are both search and rescue technicians and know our jobs well. I may know what I'm talking about here.

Other hazards include wild hogs (we had a passel of them "interact" with us out around Signal Knob), trail along the sides of hills that are overgrown and not well cut (one slip in the rain and there's a strong possibility of a serious fall or an ankle injury, massive fallen trees blocking the trail and did I mention the lack of proper blazes?

Really.... unless you are a serious back-country backpacker with extremely strong navigation skills, stay off this trail. Oh, and find a better map than the one here. The actual Rim Trail leaves/reaches the ridge west of Shortoff but keep in mind that all the elevation it took you 2 days to gain is lost in less than half a day.

I give this trail 5 stars not for it's beauty but for it's difficulty. Some of the other reviewers never ran this ridge, they stayed in the valley along the river.

hiking
1 day ago

Pretty positive these pictures of the view are from the John Rock loop, which is part of this one but eventually you have to go on a different trail. Cat gap has no/limited views, and is the same distance.

Beautiful! I would definitely do it again!

Seemed more like a biking trail

Not the longest trail but most definitely a great time. Has some decent technical sections, a jump line, and a really awesome drop in that leads to a wooden berm that’s like riding a roller coaster. Always a fun time and worth checking out.

Beautiful views and very worth it. There were too many babies when I went. Do not take babies passed the first bald. It becomes much more strenuous and easier to slip. Also the change in elevation will make them cry

Great hike.

Every time we go we take a different trail and we have enjoyed every one of them!

Nice views of beautiful falls. More of a walk than a hike. Kind of touristy.

mountain biking
3 days ago

this is one of our favorite bike trails here in Charlotte. love the feeling it gives off.

Yes, as others have noted this is not exactly what I would call hiking. Path walking is more like it. All of the falls were beautiful, we walked from hooker falls parking area to triple falls to high falls to bridal falls and lastly to hooker falls before calling it a day, took us about 3.5 hours or so. We brought a picnic which we enjoyed at high falls. Great day of multiple waterfalls, just not much of a hike.

beautiful falls , not really a hike though...just walking on service roads...we hiked from hooker falls parking area past high falls over the covered bridge and down conservatory road. only disappointment was the service roads and lack of any views on it.

Great hike down to the narrows, but be ready to scramble to the bottom. Definitely at the top of my list!

My son (age 4.5), husband, and I did this trail with one modification in June. It was a great backpacking loop for us. The first day we hiked in about 1.5 miles and started to look for a campsite, which we found 0.6 miles off the loop at the intersection of cat gap bypass and cat gat loop. Not liking to back track, we hiked around cat gat loop to get back to the planned route, which we then finished as defined here. The waterfall on this trail was pretty spectacular-- when you are right up close to it to view, it is REALLY LOUD. The trail is pretty, lush, and varied, lovely for a warm weekend with a child in tow. There are no scenic views on this trail. All in all, a trip worth doing but probably not one to do multiple times unless you live close by. On the second day we hiked from 8 am to 3 pm with plenty of breaks for water play as necessary by a 4.5 year old-- his longest day yet at 7.3 miles, but that just goes to show how easy the trail is.
Trail Rating: * Miserable ** Boring ***Good Hike ****Fantastic Hike ***** National Park Worthy Hike

Impressive view of the Green River Narrows! From the trailhead, it’s just under 2 miles to the steep dirt path that leads down to the narrows. The path will be on your right. We walked right past it and didn’t realize it until we eventually got to another trail and turned back around. The actual trail is pretty easy...BUT as for the path that leads down to the narrows, holy moly! There are multiple ropes to hold on to but it is VERY VERY STEEP! Be prepared to go very slow on the way down and to sweat your booty off on the way back up!!! Take your time!! We enjoyed the views of the narrows and watched the kayakers.
Great trip! If you don’t plan on doing the trek down to the narrows, I’d probably skip this trail...it’s buggy, cob webby, and not all that exciting otherwise.

It’s a great hike if you like a challenge. The trail was wet which made it pretty hard, harder than when it’s dry. It’s quite a steep climb and the descent is challenging. I would have rated it 5 stars probably if it was dry. Lots of wild life.

Great hike and amazing views. We actually went farther then the Grassy Ridge spot. Trail goes about a mile farther then dead ends.

REGULAR ENTRANCE IS CLOSED! Amazing trail with views. Also has a downed plane a little off the beaten path. Can only be accessed between mile marker 301 and 302 then taking the Tanawa trail to the trailhead this adds an additional 2.8 miles to the trek so plan ahead.

Pretty hike with very big waterfall. Lots of dogs & kids having fun too.

My wife and I are experienced hikers and do several hikes a year. That said I would rate this as a moderate to almost difficult trail. It is very poorly marked. We walked to the upper falls route going in and didn't see a blaze until we were almost down to the river. On the way out blazes were sporadic at best and many that were there were very faded. That said it was a great waterfall hike with a lot of off shoot trails that take you to several swimming holes. This is a good hike for everyone including families that are looking for some cool water swimming. We'll certainly return with our swimwear.

walking
5 days ago

Have only briefly walked on this trail, but followed advice from neighbors and friends to not walk trail alone. Heading north into Downtown Durham can get rough on the path.

Super easy and short.
Great views.
If you think this is a difficult hike you should get into shape before commenting.

Super easy and fairly short trail to the falls! There’s a few rocks that are perfect for a lunch while listening to the falls. As others have said - not the most grand waterfalls in the park, but it is much more private. We were there on a Saturday and only had 1 other group of people at the Falls with us. There’s also some spots for swimming, not just at the falls but also along the trail in the river depending on how you get back to the parking lot!

trail running
6 days ago

I only did 6 miles (RT). I started at the Walker Knob overlook, off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take path to the Left that points in the direction of Big Butt. You will be on Big Butt Trail. In 6 miles (RT), you can ascend and descend Pt. Misery (no view), and climb to Little Butt Overlook. There is a rock outcropping with a view here. I kept going pass Little Butt overlook for another half-mile. The trail is a bit less well-maintained after Little Butt, but still very obvious for the additional half-mile that I took. When I got to 3 miles, I turned around and returned to parking lot. Nice trail. Enjoyed the hike. Ran for much of it. Do this is you want a great walk in the woods. Trail has lots of steps--see photos.

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