Explore the most popular 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.

11 hours ago

Love the rugged trek over stones and thru shallow water, up and down slate stairways and crossing bridges over flowing creeks. Stellar reward at the bottom with the beauty of the falls.

Love this trail peaceful and not as heavily used and the views are awesome

We did this trail backwards and started at old butt knob, we took the first right in the trail instead of the one 4 miles in. I will say, I think the climb and elevation gain this way was much more difficult than heading to shining rock first. Nonetheless, the Old Butt Knob trail was in really good shape (the weather was cruddy otherwise I think the views would have been amazing too). When we finally made it to Shining Rock, we were both relieved since it was flatter and also astounded by the place. I will say the way back down through the woods and creeks was really nice although the waterfalles were behind us rather than us walking up to then which was somewhat disappointing. All together, I still think I would prefer going down hill that way than down Old Butt as that was much steeper and muddier. I would do this again though!

This is my go-to trail due to its proximity to my home. My dog loves it. Trail follows the water almost entire loop. Little beaches along with way for the dog to splash and cool off.

1 day ago

Love this trail! It’s so close to our house and my step son just loves to ride his scooter around the lake. It’s a high traffic walk but everyone is very friendly. Great for bikes, fishing, walking, having a picnic

Loveee this trail! You see so many cool things along the way! Worth it and quite a work out!

For what this trail is (easily accessible, family focused, educational, etc) it is great. Definitely not a "hike", or a challenge but for a short jaunt it packs in some interesting views.

An easy hike. But once we arrived at the tower the clouds had rolled in and blocked the view. It was still a great hike and we will return.

Enjoyed this hike. I thought the trail could have been BLAZED better. The ladders are very nice and the view is awesome. The plane wreckage from the 1970s was neat to see. This was my wife’s second hike and she did great. I will hike it again.

Hiked this trail with my wife and twin 6 yr olds this morning and we had a great time. We went up the northern leg of the loop and when we got to the top where it intersects the Mountain to Sea trail we decided to make a longer loop by taking the MTS trail south until it connects with Rattlesnake Loop trail. At this point we circled back down to the Rattlesnake Lodge Short Loop and back to the truck. This adds some elevation to the journey but leads through some very interesting low-hanging trees and added more variety to the already beautiful trail. Overall I think the elevation change on this modified loop including the RL Short Loop is about 700' and total distance was about 3 miles. We hiked it in about 2 hours total, taking plenty of time for explore, snack and take in the forest.

You can park on the road shoulder at the entrance to the Tanbark Ridge Tunnel off the BRP. There was only one other car parked. There might be room for 4 - 5 cars total but that's about it. The trail is well-marked (blue markers) and easy to follow, even in the fog and rain that we hiked through during the last mile.

Uphill all the way headed to the pinnacle (all downhill coming back) with several spurs - takes about 30 minutes altogether. Highly recommend.

2 days ago

Our favorite short hike in WNC - takes about 20 minutes. Lots of shade through this coniferous forest. Start at either the lower parking lot or near the Mount Mitchell summit just on the left as you pass the small education building.

This loop hike will take about 30 minutes. Very kid friendly - grab an activity brochure to let the kids identify plans and bugs. Be careful when crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway at the halfway point as there is a lot of traffic on this stretch.

mountain biking
2 days ago

Such a fun place!

Great Easy trail for beginners with a great waterfall at the end.

Great facility! A beautiful and easy 2 mile walk around the lake. Lots of turtles sunbathing. So scenic and serine.

A gorgeous walk through the woods! All the trails at Hemlock Bluffs are well maintained and offer both easy and more challenging walking. Beautiful flora and fauna throughout. Highly recommend!

I enjoyed in the cold weather, i dont think i would ever hike this when its warm out or bug season This section had some impressive boardwalks.

I enjoyed in the cold weather, i dont think i would ever hike this when its warm out or bug season. this section was very wet.

3 days ago

One of my favorite trails, great for dogs. Longer hike with an incline towards the end that could be challenging to some. Absolutely beautiful.

Beautiful trail, though it’s not marked well. towards the beginning of the hike is a river crossing so you’re most likely to get wet, tho it’s worth it. Wouldn’t recommend small children nor dogs that have to be on a leash (could be dangerous for you going down to the waterfall also there’s no railing that keeps you/them from falling).

Short/quick, easy hike that is great for children and dogs. This trail is popular and usually crowded but a beautiful spot overall.

This is one of my favorite hikes, I've been on it a couple times! I like how it goes up and then down along the trail. I would recommend this for anyone that wants a cool view of the parkway

Took the tower trail up and then the backside trail down! Tower trail was steep going up but very fun. I wished there weren't stairs on the backside trail but it did help because it was a little steep but the views were amazing at the top of Crowders mountain!

A much needed hiking reprieve after doing Grandfather Mountain the day before. This trail and the waterfall views were well worth the couple of small hills. Not terribly crowded on the sunday that we went but I could see it being very popular especially in the summer.

Was not expecting how truly steep this hike would get in the last mile. But it was worth every single step once you get to the top. My legs were really feeling this one the next day but if you are in the area this trail up to grandfather is well worth the day spent. It is truly a trail you will not forget. Just wish there were a few more views on the profile trail on the way up to Grandfather. But it sure beats the $20 to just do Grandfather.

Giving this one a three star rating because after doing some research and learning about the $20 per person admission we decided to hike up profile trail rather than pay $100 for a day hike. The problem with this is that once you get up you have to hike the entire mountain then hike back down the profile trail in decent timing because if someone comes to pick you up they also have to pay $20. This led to a major time crunch for my group because we did not expect this trail to be as physically challenging as it was. It is a very fun trail with ladders and ropes and bouldering but it is a full day event especially if you hike the profile trail up to Grandfather. I would highly recommend doing your research before taking this mountain on.

When you get to the tower stay to the right trail will take you down to the river and you can hike it all the way back! Hike back up is fun! Beautiful views and water. my favorite place I’ve been to!

Very scenic. The Bay trail offered a few outlooks to a gorgeous view of the lake. There are a lot of bugs and bees, but if you don’t make eye-contact you’ll be fine. Lol.
There’s also a volleyball net. Had I known, I would’ve brought my ball.
Feel free to venture and enjoy. But, don’t tell ppl. Tis my escape from the bustle of crowds and the city :)

Load More