Explore the most popular river 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.

I live close and use this trail often. perfect for short strenuous trail runs. good mix of steady up hill to steep switchbacks. and the view near the top isn't bad. plus two waterfalls

great walk in spring

excellent paved trail for hiking and biking

backpacking
1 day ago

An amazing, brutal, rewarding 3 day trek. Me and 5 other dudes did this as our first real backpacking trip, heck, might as well do one of the hardest local trips to set the bar high. We started at Wolf pit, starting up the switchbacks then to the top where the evidence of last years forest fire was seen. We made it to Table rock and camped that night. Didn’t pass any good sources of water the first day, make sure you have enough to last until you start the next day. Leaving table rock, continuing north, we went came to a beautiful river crossing, had to rock hop.. 3/5 guys made the crossing without getting wet, the other two ended up waist deep in the river.
We did the long stretch along the river, got dark and rainy but had to keep going.
The last day was pretty good. Had to cross the river after hiking all morning. It was about knee deep but about 100ish yard across in someplaces. Honestly, I didn’t even use a physical map, I used this app the whole time. Probably wasn’t the smartest thing but it was basically 100% accurate the whole time.

the river had washed out the trail so we were only able to hike up the silvermine road to the look out and back. going up the slivermine road is probably the reason this trail is marked "difficult." if you start on the AT and hike along the silvermine road on your decent it's much easier. beautiful views, narrow at times, crowded on weekends/holidays. the town of hot springs has a lot of charm and kind people.

hiking
muddy
2 days ago

Kinda sketchy drive to the waterfall but totally worth it. This is an easy and short trail. Was completely empty when we visited. The view is espectacular and you might be tempted to jump off the water fall. Please do not do that read the signs there have been fatal accidents at this location. Enjoy the view enjoy the sounds that should be enough !!

I did this trail in January. It was 7 miles for me. The National Forest Road was closed (because of the shutdown I guess) so I parked off of 215 and hiked up the park road. It was a nice hike and beautiful out so I’m actually glad I couldn’t drive it. There are some inclines near the end, if you hike the road but they aren’t bad. Bring water and snacks and spend some time at the falls before you head back if you do the 7 miles. If you do drive, the road is well maintained. I don’t think there is any reason a standard car couldn’t get up the road, maybe if there was snow perhaps it would be harder. There were lots of limbs in the road when I went however. The falls were a little harder to find. The guy below who mentions the trailhead after the 4th bridge is correct. It’s harder to miss if you’re hiking, but if you’re driving, keep an eye out for the 4th bridge. The app gave me directions down to the falls which was super steep and didn’t look safe. It appears there are a few ways down to the falls people have attempted from the trails they have left. The safest way, continue on the trail, following the red marks on the trees. At the tree with the 2 red painted marks (they look like a pause button) there is a small trail to the left that leads you down to the falls, over an old, worn, short wooden boardwalk that leads to the steps people have mentioned. I didn’t think it was steep at all but I hike often. I attempted one of the other ways down I saw initially, but abandoned it bc it was way too steep to do alone. The trail by the red marks is way safer and obviously the way I was supposed to go. You’re going to see the falls and think it’s time to descend but keep going just a little farther until you see the red marks and go down and backtrack just a little to the falls. The falls are gorgeous! Also, I met a couple of other hikers who had come across a few harmless snakes on their hike in through the Cove trail. Yes, snakes in January.

I did this trail in December and mostly had it to myself on a rare sunny day in the middle of the week. The falls are huge and breathtaking. The trail is well maintained with some small inclines. There was a little ice on the inclines when I went which made it a little slippery in spots but not bad. The stairs down to the falls are worth the effort. A good short little hike and workout.

I did this little trail in December before the snowstorm forced its closure. It’s a nice, easy trail and great place to enjoy the fresh air and just get outside. The boardwalks would make a great scene for a photo shoot in the fall. There were remnants of fall color when I went and I bet it’s stunning in the peak of fall. The falls are small and several people have attempted to climb them and fallen off and died...

Nice paved trail. Pretty river views.

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked the loop counter clock wise. Very well maintained and enjoyable 6 mile hike from parking lot back to parking lot. Flowed well with various up and down hill intervals. Walking beside the creek in many places added a nice peaceful touch to the hike. So history to the location and cool seeing the old damn where the mill was located. Highly recommend for a quick hike and get away.

Great hike. You will cross streams to wear waterproof shoes

hiking
3 days ago

Not strenuous at all, but a nice wide, relatively flat walk along the riverside with smaller falls appearing first and then a beautiful high set of falls at the end of mile. Take your mom.

hiking
3 days ago

Not a bad trail maintain somewhat well definitely something that you can bring your family on. Not really that technical.

Very easy trail for a nice day hike. The trail is well marked for the novice.

hiking
3 days ago

I’m not sure how to review this since we only made it to the trail head. We drove 45 miles on a 30 degree day and two kids for there to be a locked gate. We parked at the top of the gate and walked 2 miles down a road until we hit the trail head. By this time the kids were exhausted and we had to turn around and walk the two miles back up the road to leave. With those four miles we could have been around the whole actual trail.

Nice walk to and around the quarry. There is road noise from the nearby highway but by the time you get to the quarry, it’s minimal. This was our first time visiting this park and we were very impressed with the size of the river. There were other people (with and without dogs) also in the area but for a Saturday, it wasn’t too busy.

5 days ago

The directions on the app sent me to a gated community. Just an FYI!

Beautiful!

Great trail, but those stairs are killer on the legs! Be prepared for a steep climb or ascent depending on which way you go, I find both equally challenging.

One of my favorite trails. Very good workout, great views and you're alongside the creek half of the time! Just note that it is a LOT harder going one way than the other, as on one side of Stone Mountain the ascent is very steep with a lot of stairs and on the other it is more gradual. Once you reach the split, if you go left it takes you by the waterfall first but then you've got the stairs up the side of Stone Mountain. Going right is the easier ascent up Stone Mountain and the waterfall will be at the end.

It was a bit rainy when we went but that just made the waterfall look even more spectacular. Great view of Rainbow Falls, didn't go all the way to Turtleback because we had the dogs with us and they weren't really behaving well that day but would love to go back!

I built a 13.5-mile loop that started on Dutchman Creek Trail and ended with the Uwharrie Trail. It was an excellent hike, and my dogs loved it. The hills were moderately challenging, and there were plenty of streams for water. I recommend water treatment tablets if you choose to drink from the streams. As far as views, the trees prevent anything spectacular, but the terrain itself is pretty.

A fun hike. A bit muddy but we enjoyed it. Kids did better than myself who slipped a few times. There's a small river to go through...seemed a lot didn't realize this. Wear proper hiking shoes or an extra set.

Waterfall was really nice and tucked away. A bit crowded for a few moments. Overall a cool hike.

It's a gorgeous wooded area. Very busy and muddy after rain.

hiking
6 days ago

I've done this quite a few times. Fairly easy until you climb a hill after crossing Carolina Rd. Most times I just turn back once I reach that road.

YOU DONT HAVE TO CATCH THE SHUTTLE! We felt that was the only option till we saw a review stating that there was an enterprise less than 2 miles from the trailhead.
You'll have to hike south to north but it was worth the money we saved. For 2 of us and the dog they wanted to charge for 3 people, $150. We spent $40 on the car rental! AND the enterprise employee gave me a ride to the trailhead. Saved $110 and we really enjoyed the drive through the forest, it was beautiful!

Absolutely gorgeous waterfall!

Worth the visit. Very well kept and friendly folks around. Waterfalls are amazing. Would definitely come back for another run.

hiking
7 days ago

I didn't find this trail to be a loop. Maybe it has changed since the hurricanes? I don't know. I walked in till I came to a 3-way fork which ended up being near the fork of the rivers which I knew was not like the app is showing. At the 3 way fork, the yellow trail marker (Schoolkids) only showed going back where I just came from and the other two forks showed different trails. I'm not sure if I messed up but I did stay on the yellow markers the entire time until that point and it just ended and that was it. I ended up crossing 2 trails, following my GPS to get out before dark.

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