Explore the most popular hiking 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.

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.

15 days ago

great!

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!

camping
25 days ago

Awesome views on a clear day!

awesome!!I would do it again!!

hiking
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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike! My girlfriend and I along with out two pups had a great day on this trail (besides running into a yellow jacket nest). There were a few more folks on the trail than we expected but it was a holiday weekend after all. I would definitely recommend taking a look if you are in the area

hiking
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.

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

backpacking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
2 months ago

On July 13, 2018 ( a humid day) my family undertook to hike this trail while we visited the area from Missouri. Despite hesitations from my wife and the relative young age of our boys (9 and 7) I remained strong in my conviction to see this place on earth as I have heard it is beautiful. It was as stated by the reviews rugged and steep. To reach the top was work. This was offset by wild blue berry eating along the way. It was all worth it. The view from the top is spectacular. There is a nice view up the gorge and of a few of the distinct area peaks not to mention the scenery is generally great. By the time we were descending the last half mile we were out of water and the troops were decidedly weary. Still this was one of our best family hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a pretty easy trail to get to the top. We were up and back down to the parking lot in an hour, with a few stops to enjoy the view.

Definitely a tough trail, if you go via Spencer Ridge trail. This loop has white blazes and near the split to Table Rock it's a white plastic circle on the tree.

My husband and I just did this trail and had a lot of fun. I agree with other reviewers that the first half of the trail is hard and labeling the trail as moderate could be misleading. The trail goes straight up for the first few miles over roots and rocks and there are no switchbacks. It's pretty tough climbing. The trip down is much easier and may be why the loop is labeled as moderate. Be aware though, the first part is not easy by any means but the views are worth it. We didn't go all the way to the Chimneys, instead we turned around about halfway down that section and hiked up to the top of Table Rock for a spectacular view.

At least 3 mile drive in on rutty gravel road to reach trailhead, and half of the trail is closer to “hard” than “moderate”, otherwise would give it a five. Beautiful overlooks, but quite rocky, rooty and downed trees on trail

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