Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

walking
21 hours ago

Cute little park in a great neighborhood.
The photos don’t do it justice but it is definitely just a leisurely stroll kind of place, more than a hike. Great place to walk the dog, use the workout equipment, watch birds, and picnic.

hiking
21 hours ago

Beautiful drive. Stunning view from the overlook. Great place for a picnic. There are three short trails to hike of easy to moderate difficulty. The shortest taking only 10 minutes and the longest taking 25 minutes.

trail running
22 hours ago

by far my favorite trail in holly Springs!!! beautifully maintained and spacious. park does not open until 8am however.

On 8/15/2018 at 1700hrs my wife and I saw an adult black bear on the Art Loeb Trail just below Shining Rock.

Someone had left a day pack on the ground there between the junction for the Cold Mountain trail and Shining Rock.

The bear WAS NOT scared away easily.

Also the blueberries and blackberries are now mature and we saw bear scat on the trail in multiple places.

Exercise caution between Grassy Cove Top and Shining Rock as the crowds fall off and it seems people are being reckless with their food.

Other than the bear this hike is great.

Also be careful to avoid the side trails around Shining Rock. It’s really easy to get lost up there!

If you are looking for a heart pumper and you are in the area - go for it! I tend to go for scenery- not much to look at on the way up. Top view was good but small vista area that can get crowded.

If you are looking for an easy trail that gives great 360 views- this is one of the best in that regard

A nice hike up from the lower parking to the upper parking by the bridge. It is very rocky and it was helpful to have hiking boots on, versus tennis shoes.

hiking
1 day ago

Well worth the effort. Only a few other people on the trail and had the falls all to myself.

Great trail. Definitely need good hiking shoes as there is an abundance of rocks and roots along the trail. One water crossing needed to complete the trail and a short section of rocks to climb over along New Hope Creek

Fun, easy trail for a casual hike. We brought our small dog and he had a fun time leading the way.

We saw a lot of families with young children enjoying the trail. There is also a spot on the loop for renting kayaks for the lake.

Beautiful! Definitely worth the stop.

Peaceful hike to a gorgeous bald with stunning views. The day we went the parking lot was packed but everybody else went the other way, we had the trail to ourselves, literally, all the way down and back up. Loved the hike. Not too strenuous, and took us under 2 hours.

Awesome trail, little traffic and awesome views at the top.

Amazing views, multiple peaks, and an easy to follow trail. Highly recommended.

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.

Best view you will see in North Carolina!! Relatively easy hike with a huge payoff. Highly recommended.

Secluded beautiful waterfall - the trail was a little boring for kids, but easy.

hiking
1 day ago

Definitely more on the easy to moderate side. The only reason I would say it’s hard is the length of it and some areas can be tricky to go down to the water. Yet again the only reason why it took my boyfriend and I so long is because of all the stops along the way had so many photo opportunities! You’re by the stream the whole way to some falls. Kid friendly, they even have a scavenger hunt in the beginning for the kids who come along! Lots of dogs were there too! We stumbled onto this trail by accident and we were not totally prepared so the only thing I wish I had brought with us was bringing enough water and have proper footwear to go into the water! After the hike, you can explore downtown Blowing Rock! Only a few minutes away and lots to explore in their cute little town! Would love to come back again one day soon and be more prepared next time!

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.

on Lake Junaluska Trail

walking
1 day ago

We loved this trail. Beautiful walk. ❤

This trail has a lot of steps.

trail running
1 day ago

This was my third time. The trail is a bit confusing & you may take a few scenic routes because it is actually parts of trails that are connected. That said, there is tons of wild life! Today we ran into three different kinds of snakes both on the trail & in the water. One of them was a copperhead-we’re still alive! We also saw different colored butterflies; crazy shrooms; & salamanders. The abundantly mossy path lets you know it is sparsely traveled. About halfway through, there are some rocks you can skip and sit in the middle of the creek to stretch and soak the sun. It may only be a handful of rocks to climb over, but for a trail run, it’s the right amount of adventure. The steep gravel road on concrete bridge road is challenging if you’re trying to run. Once you’re over it- your thighs will feel like the most powerful thighs.

I did this hike today and it was very nice. The view is so beautiful at the end! The hike isn’t too strenuous and I would rate it moderate to hard at the very end. Be careful with yellow jackets (there was a nest), I got stung and ended up with a severe allergic reaction and a rescue team had to come get me. So if you’re allergic, take your pen/meds with you!

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

Don't bother with this trail. There are no scenic vistas. The lake views are mediocre at best. There are better lakes with more scenic views along the Blue Ridge. Spend your time at those. Julian Price Lake and nearby Bass Lake come to mind,

hiking
2 days ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

There aren't any outstanding landscape compositions on this trail. The summit is an open meadow but its completely surrounded by trees with no views. The lake is just mediocre with no good compositions. There are some nice meadows if you enjoy those.

The best photo op I saw is a possible nice shot of the trees along the trail once the leaves change color. I marked the spot on my trail record.

Bottom line: There's a lot of other good hikes and viewpoints along the Blue Ridge. Spend your time there.

walking
2 days ago

use it for exercise at least once a week for a very beautiful calm walk. never considered it a trail just a paved walkway.

on Hooper Bald

2 days ago

Nice short walk.

This place rocks. Fun to play / picnic by the creek at the main parking lot... or hike up in the hills. Super fun!

Absolutely fabulous hike! Not really difficult, but can be a little muddy and slippery at parts. I highly suggest going all the way to the turtleback waterfall. Also, try going on the rocks (dry ones) that are a little bit off-path to get really good shots. We were warned about copperheads, but did not encounter any.

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