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

Not difficult, but still a great workout and spectacular views

Wonderful hike, would recommend! There is no bridge and it’s not a good place to cross!

Awesome view of the gorge.

After driving down a gravel road for a while it will turned paved again and follow it until you reach the parking lot. Takes roughly 25 minutes to ascend. Great view

One of the most interesting trails in the gorge area. Fantastic views and not nearly as crowded as table rock and hawksbill

Amazing views

Perfect for a quick yet not easy hike with awesome views!!

The hike gives you lots of amazing views! Will definitely do this hike again when the fall colors are at peak

Rated hard, but very easy and a great view!

the gravel road to get to the trail head is really long. the trail itself is well defined though I didn't see many blazes the first half. passed several campsites early on after that its pretty strenuous and mostly uphill. second half is nearly all downhill. bring water! several places to take in veiws and they are worth it! went on a Wednesday morning and there was very light traffic. several trails connect to this one and I could hear people on those but never saw them.

19 days ago


Pretty tough trail, but definitely worth it! Lots of gorgeous overlooks on the way up if you need to stop and catch your breath.

One of the better views in the Carolinas!! Pretty steep incline for the first part of the hike. Very rewarding hike!

30 days ago

Awesome views on a clear day!

awesome!!I would do it again!!

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Worth the trip back up. I loved the stream trickling beside us during most of our hike. The view at the bottom was amazing! We went swimming and our dog had a blast in the river. Bridge was out. Moderate hike!

Nice hike and view.

1 month ago

absolutely beautiful views. Well worth the hike! A must see

1 month ago

Beautiful right before sunset!

Must have hiking boots! Very rocky but amazing views.. super worth it!!

Great hike.. the first 1.4 is hard and rocky. But worth the wonderful views. At the top it is a great walk for about 2 Miles through blueberry bushes and some great places for lunch.

1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes so far. Better in the fall and winter months. AMAZING views of James Lake and Lineville Gorge! Excellent exercise. This one I will keep coming back to

This is such a unique hike! You get good views of Lake James early on and they don’t stop as you reach the top and beyond. Lots of ledges to look out on and plenty of great camping spots along the way and at the top. Not a big time commitment either - Really loved this hike.

2 months ago

Tough hike coming up from the bottom.. Trail is fairly easy to follow going down.(as usual some A'hole stole the trail sign) Once at the bottom there is no obvious or relatively simple access to the river. Been there, done that. Enjoyed Spence Ridge trail much more since there is easy access to the river. Also this would have been a better hike in the fall after the leaves are down.

2 months ago

Was a great hike! And was rewarded with a great swimming spot at the bottom of the hike.

Amazing views! A religious experience and I’m an atheist.

2 months ago

The access road *is* accessible in a sedan. I managed to get a Charger up it, in the rain, with minimal fuss. Just be mindful of the blind corners, as most of the road is only wide enough for one vehicle.

PLENTY of water available from top to bottom this week. Just listen for water (and/or use your topo!) and you’ll find’em.

This is definitely a difficult hike when fully kitted out. I noticed the majority of people were carrying small day packs. Once you hit the switchbacks, you’re committed. The trail is well marked and clear, but definitely sketchy in a few areas and rather strenuous on the way up (and down!). Summer heat/humidity plus thunderstorms made for an interesting (and tedious) ascent.

Definitely doing this one again. I set up camp in a clearing just past the Gully Pipe, my hammock just a few feet from a cliff overlooking the Gorge. Absolutely stunning views at sunset, the sounds of the river almost 1,000 feet below and a gentle breeze made for an incredible site.

All said, an amazing trail and definitely worth doing. Just remember to do your part and LNT while visiting.

The first 1.4 miles is mostly an uphill, rocky climb to the summit. After that, the trail flattens out, but it becomes more overgrown and quite narrow. There are several rock outcroppings after about the 1-mile mark with amazing views of the Gorge and Lake James. There's almost no shading on the trail, so hike early and bring a lot of water, especially in the summer. I hiked after a lot of rain, and there was also quite a bit of water on the trail. Overall, this is a great trail with fantastic views as you climb higher.

2 months ago

1 mile round trip moderate hike with beautiful sites along the way, from views to flowers, and natural beauty everywhere you turn. What an incredible view from the top too, and the scents of flowers fills the air.

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