Explore the most popular National Parks 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.

Nice scenery. Good views.

Beautiful trail leading to very nice falls.

wow. challenging but worth the view.

Good views and easy trails.

3 days ago

One of my new favorites off the blue ridge parkway! So many spots to look out and see the 360 Mountain View’s!!!

Trail thin in spots, and creek and trail are one and the same for a bit. Beautiful to experience the transition from softwood to hardwood forests as elevation changes, #68 is a great spot next to the creek after a rock scramble river crossing I would not want to do after a heavy rain. Steady climb, but worth it (they’re all worth it lol)

7 days ago

This is a quick, steep hike up to the top that will get your heart pumping. Pretty heavily trafficked trail but when we went we got to see why they're called the Smoky Mountains because the mists filled the valleys below all the way to the top. Still beautiful though.

7 days ago

This trail was perfect for my wife and I, who only get to dust off our hiking boots about once a year. We took our 1 and a 1/2 year old, 50 pound pitbull mix with us and she did surprisingly great, even towards the rocky summit. I did have to lift her a couple of times to pass some of the more challenging spots. I would not bring an older or out of shape dog on this trail, i kept ours leashed and clipped to my belt through most of the hike just in case she fell. Challenging terrain with views and steep climbs that will take your breath away. The trail is marked with purple and yellow markings on the trees. We took our time and lots of pictures on our way to the summit. At the top the views are amazing, but they are only 360 degrees, not the 365 degree views that we were promised in other reviews ;P. We packed a lunch and ate at the summit before descending back down through the beautiful mossy forest. This trail is challenging and beautiful but not for everyone. I recommend bringing hiking poles, check the weather because rain might make some spots dangerous, and prepare to do a little rock climbing and scaling near the summit.

Should have known better trail is a portion of the MTS trail that basically parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pretty and an easy walk but you better like the sound of traffic. But to paraphrase a saying...a bad walk in the woods is better than a good walk in the suburbs.

Awesome views at Tower and great workout!!! Saw a bear and chased by yellow jackets. Will do it again for sure!!

Should not be advertised as having a waterfall. You can only get to the waterfall by hiking an additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls. Overall disappointing hike. If you go after a rain the clouds will hide any sort of view from the trail.

Very easy trail to see a beautiful waterfall. Dog friendly on leash.

Beautiful falls! Worth the hike!

Great hike, not lengthy or excessively strenuous, however, you’ll want to be sure footed and not contemplating a knee replacement. Because likely, you’ll be scheduling it shortly afterwards. The views are at the start of the hike so enjoy them at the beginning and the end. Although this is an up-and-back hike, because of the loop, you’ll have a variety of trail scenery. It’s fresh and clean flora and fauna. And if there are any trail guides in the little kiosk at the start of the hike, you’ll be able to do a self guided tour following the posts along the way. Or like us, since there were none left, we made up our own guesses as to what was being singled out as unusual and educational. We went early/mid September, over cast but still worth the drive and hike from Sapphire.

12 days ago

my favorite trail yet

this trail is beautiful. it's the first trail I've ever hiked that starts by descending for roughly one mile. my view at the top was disappointing, it was so foggy that I couldn't see anything, but I also kind of knew the weather would block my view before I started it. the entire trail was gorgeous and I cant wait to go back to the mountains.

Fantastic backpacking loop. Definitely challenging. I went clockwise and hot straight uphill the first day, felt like forever to do 6 miles but I got there mid day. Camped by the watch tower(you need permits to back country camp!!!) and watched the sunrise over the great smoky mountains. Next day was allllll down hill but a much more mild grade. Got to finish it off with a little cliff jumping right near the end-that counts as a shower right?

The constant uphill of this trail was definitely a challenge. Bring extra water and snacks and maybe a rainfly just in case you catch an unexpected storm rolling in. It took awhile to get to the top with a couple stops due to the downpours but the fire tower views are absolutely worth it. Coming down only took an hour and a half with a good pace/ downhill jog.

Lots of up and down over a short distance. Good for cardio training. Stop for a snack on the rocky overlook at the top of Little Butt (right side as you hike away from the parking lot).

13 days ago

Ahhhhh... Back in the Appalachians. Despite my relatively high ratings of trails in (flat) Michigan and Florida, this one is qualitatively different. Superb. The system needs more than five stars so that I can nudge those others down a bit, but this is a real five-star trail. Pretty, well maintained despite its popularity, hilly, green and alive with a variety of flora and fauna, and punctuated with a lovely waterfall that’s a great place to watch people, to get wet, to picnic or hang a hammock, and to marvel at Nature’s creative paths and tableaux during her slow march forward. P.S. Remember to enjoy the drive along the Bluegrass Parkway with plenty of time for stopping at overlooks.

nice, short trail. beautiful view at the top.

14 days ago

Hawkbill rock is a treat that should not be overlooked.

Took Forney Creek down, camp 70 was a great spot! The hike up to sliders bald and mount buckly was difficult but so worth it. The views are amazing. Great 2 days in the smokies!

14 days ago

Beautiful hike. Very vertical on the way up! Great workout.

14 days ago

Great trail, beautiful waterfall

14 days ago

The trail head is quite hidden at the bottom of the turn up to Waterrock Knob but it makes for an exclusive adventure! Not many views on this trail but it’s beautiful and smells like Christmas!

The trail here is beautiful and brutal. So many ups and downs and the terrain is crazy..roots, rocks, over growth in the south part of the trail. There honestly aren't any words to describe it.

15 days ago

This is THE best section of the Tanawha Trail (Rough Ridge to Wilson Creek). The views from the boardwalk and the summit are unrivaled along the Tahawha, and the underwood garden (about .25 miles south of the summit heading toward Wilson Creek) is amazing - flowing plants line the path with butterflies and hummingbirds everywhere. The trail as a whole can be moderately strenuous with abundant boulders and tree roots. If you're going to hike the Tahawha, this is a must-do.

Headed out around 7-7:15 with pouring rain. Did not take away from the trail. Really enjoyed but due to the thickness of the woods got pitch black about 8. Was not smart staying out that late but wanted to get the trail before days end

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.

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