Explore the most popular no dogs 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.

I absolutely loved this trail! There’s lots of rocks so be careful!!! But it was super fun and the views were amazing!

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.

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.

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

3 days ago

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

7 rock hops down to CS91 then 8 stream crossings with a few rock hops on down to Lakeshore Trail.

14 days ago

Incredible hike! Very much worthwhile, but heed Patrick's previous review. Hiking clockwise, the first 3/4 of the trail were lovely. A gentle incline and then a more moderate climb, some fallen trees but nothing crazy. After descending back into the lower parts of the trail and rejoining the creekside walking, things started to change. My girlfriend and I had to shimmy across a 20 ft. fallen tree suspended 10 feet above the swiftly moving Caldwell-Fork. That was quite exciting, but after meeting two other parties struggling to find ways across more missing bridges, we all found ourselves bushwhacking through dense foliage to find alternate ways to rejoin the trail. We eventually ended up fording the Caldwell twice, with a very fast-moving current. The only other choice was to bail back the way we came and rehike the first 5 1/2 miles going counter-clockwise. The river crossings were manageable, but definitely a bit sketchy. Be warned! As the water level subsides these crossings should become much more reasonable, but keep the levels in mind if you decide to attempt the Boogerman this spring. A potential alternative could be to hike clockwise for the time being to be sure that the section repeatedly crossing the Caldwelll is within your comfort zone. All in all, with improved conditions this is a gem of a day hike that's really quite diverse and with nice trail conditions excluding the downed trees and bridges. I can't wait to get back out there!

My wife and I started the trail around 12:30 yesterday (3/4/18). We did the loop clockwise. It was a really nice hike - until the last 2 or 3 miles. Most of the bridges on the creek were not there. I suppose they have been washed away. In addition, there are many downed trees on the trail. My guess is that the park service will try to clear them before the busy season in late spring. The water was high and the current strong to the point that trying to cross the creek was dangerous. The trail crosses the creek numerous times, so it was necessary to either find a way across on fallen trees or attempt to bushwhack through very dense vegetation to meet up with the trail farther down, which was typically unsuccessful. We finished the hike around 4pm, pants and shoes wet. I always enjoy adventures, however, this one turned out to be more than we had planned for, mainly due to the high water. I would not recommend this trip for the typical hiker until water levels are lower and/or bridges across the creek are repaired/built.

15 days ago

Me and my friend had a great time hiking this trail. It was a beautiful day. We’re both a little out of shape but we were able to complete it without much struggle. There’s a lot of great rock formations and the view is amazing

First time hiking out here and enjoyed it a lot. It may have been raining, not too hard but enough to keep us wet but well worth it.

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.

Super disappointed that they don't allow dogs! I was turned around at the gate.

This trail is beautiful and offers amazing views! We did it yesterday, February 27 and there were still some ice sickles and icy patches on the ground as we got higher. I feel the rating of “moderate” is fair as it is relatively short, but has some rugged terrain where you’ll be navigating over rocks and tree roots.

21 days ago

Iron wood tree
Yellow buckeye
Sugar maple
Pignut hickory
Tulip tree

Very challenging! Very beautiful! I want to do it again someday!!!

The only moderate thing about this hike is the last 200 yards up to the falls. Other than that it’s a nice stroll on a gravel road with a slight incline at first. Keep walking until you see the national forest management sign and the trail goes off to the right on a dirt road. Then from my picture you can see part of the bridge and where the unmarked section up to the falls start.

When you get on this section it is unmarked with tree limbs in the way at parts, but you can easily tell where others have gone before you from the ground being pressed down.

A decent weekend loop. The Forney Creek trail portion follows an old logging road, which is a little uninspiring if you’re backpacking. The creeks are pretty, and the terrain is nicely varied from the high ridge-top hiking along the AT to the hollows along Jonas Creek.

Easy 5.2 mile hike to campsite 37. Great waterfall views and great campsite. Plenty of firewood and places to get in the water.

I’ve never hiked the entire black mountain crest trail but this review is for Ben Clark. What an incredible story man, but I can’t help but laugh because I’m the guy on the atv ! I offered to help you guys out but you didn’t really seem like you knew where you were going or where you came from. I thought you were just some college kids from cattail creek hiking up to the mine so we never thought anything of it. You guys were on the old mining roads and most of them aren’t on google maps. Don’t go by just what you saw though man the views are amazing up there and I don’t have any idea how you ran out of water because it’s everywhere lol. We’ve got property at the base of the mountain so I know the area pretty well. Shoot me an email if you want more info on how to get around without getting lost. Sorry y’all had to had to suffer but when we came back down we never passed you so we went on to the house.

PS: I have to rate the trail so I’m going with 5 Stars. I’ll hike it someday but I don’t live there and my time is always limited. That area has become my favorite place on earth and I intend to live there permanently one day.

1 month ago

This is a beautiful waterfall and looked like it had very little traffic. It's a bit of a hike and the climb up is steep, wet, and a challenge. You'll find a lot of trees blocking the trail, which makes it more difficult. The falls are beautiful. The trail to the falls is unmarked and turns off the forestry road to the right just before the first bridge. If you have difficulty with challenging trails, you may want to skip this.

If you like well maintained trails you wont like this. It goes from grass to gravel to paved to ??? ( walk thru a culvert) to dirt. Then you have to ford a creek. But I'm an adventurous sort of person and enjoyed that. If you are into microfishing this is awesome!

Great waterfall with a bench.

Bird Sanctuary located on Merrimon Rd. on the south end of Beaver Lake. easy trail, great for bird viewing as well as soulful reflection. Beautiful all four seasons.

It was awesome!! When hiking you will come to a path to your left... I saved that for last. It was Stairway Falls... Beautiful. So I kept going to right ... First Fall was Rainbow... keep going you will come to Turtleback... keep going you will come to Drift Falls!! All worth the hike!!

1 month ago

hiked the entirety of this trail, plus some, in three nights and four days (really 3.5 days) in late january. i say ‘plus some’ because the ‘road to nowhere’ park entrance was closed due to snow, so we left our vehicle at the gate and hiked the six miles of road to start our trek. we totaled at about 45 miles after it was all said and done. campsites were great (90 is best IMO), plenty of water at all. used a filter straw and 32 oz. bottle w/ no problem. had feral hogs circle our site one night, one of the middle ones - can’t remember which. maybe 76? that was cool, and heard plenty of coyotes. didn’t see a single person the entire time.

Do not underestimate the difficulty of this trail. First of all, if you are climbing from Bowlens Creek, the first 4.5 miles is the EASIEST climbing portion of the trail. For some people to say that the first 4.5 miles is the hardest, they obviously didn’t complete the entire trail. The AllTrails app is incorrect, it is more like 12.5 miles to Mount Mitchell from Bowlens Creek. We completed our hike in January of 2018 and the trail was very icy, making it very difficult to climb the rock scrambling portions of the trail. It really doesn’t get difficult until you start making your approach to Winter Star Mountain. From Winter Star Mountain to Mount Mitchell is some of the most strenuous hiking that I have done considering the iciness of the trail. There is a portion on Big Tom were there are ropes attached to two separate angled rock faces to assist in your scramble up the rock. I would recommend doing this trail in the summer when you do not have to worry about ice. Also, DO NOT expect to camp at Mount Mitchell in the winter. The campground is closed during winter months and they do not allow camping. DO NOT take on this trail unless you are a well prepared, experienced backpacker. We spoke to the park ranger and he said they are constantly rescuing unprepared, inexperienced hikers because they bite off more than they can chew. Luckily we were well prepared and were able to finish.

Very clean! Great for the family.

A great hike, especially in the morning! There were a few people on the trail but not many until I was heading back. Right now there is a lot of mud around the falls so wear the right shoes or you may get stuck or slide. There were a few areas that looked like other trail paths but I didn’t explore them. If you use the map from this app it’ll take you in the right direction.

My fault misreading that dogs were allowed on this trail. Of course, it was in January when we visited and when we got to the trail to the waterfall, we discovered no dogs allowed. We walked the creek area and still enjoyed the little rapids.

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