Explore the most popular scenic driving 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.

Probably my favorite hike due to close proximity and wonderful view of Lenoir. The hang gliding ramp at the top is the perfect platform for photos of you and your friends or pets. I recommend trying it at sunset and staying til dark, because the view of the city lights is awesome. Also, go close to Christmas or Easter and catch the star or cross lit up on top.

It was a nice trail. Good for an early morning walk. It was very moderate for repair a 70+-year-old legs but all went well. Surface was in great shape in spite of all the recent rain. Someone may have to explain the wooden ramp at the top. Guessing it’s for sky gliders.

Pretty easy footing. Steady uphill most of the way.

hiking
2 months ago

A little more than a moderate trail for us semi-retirees who evacuated the NC coast due to Hurricane Florence and came looking for something to do to escape our hotel in Hickory. In total agreement on the views from the ramp! Stunningly beautiful and verdant! Would highly recommend.

Take your time, pay attention to cyclists, don’t get mad at slow drivers ahead of you, bring food and hiking shoes (even if you had planned only to drive), and pull over every time you want.

walking
2 months ago

scenic driving
2 months ago

We have driven this numerous times on motorcycle and car. Beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

haven't hiked in years, so this was a great trail to start with. great views once you reach the top. we also hiked down and found the cave. Getting to the cave was a pretty serious hike, short but steep.

trail running
4 months ago

Wide gravel road of constant uphill. Easy to add distance to make a 7 mile run. Great views from the top. Good footing and not a technical run.

scenic driving
4 months ago

Breathtaking views along this scenic drive. My husband and I did it all the way through and thoroughly enjoyed it!

easy gravel road to great views. continue under ramp to make it a loop. found the cave but did not crawl in. sad there is always so much garbage all the way from the parking lot to the top.

hiking
4 months ago

dirt road to the top but worth the views. parking area is a gravel lot on the right that is unmarked but shows up on Google maps. there is a yellow gate just before the hike to keep cars off the trail, if u go that far you'll be backing down the narrow road

hiking
5 months ago

Overall, this a pretty easy trail with a lot of smaller side trails to explore along the way. The side trails are not marked, so it can be easy to get lost. The view at the top is amazing, and you get a view of the entire town of Lenoir with the blue ridge mountains in the background. Cant wait to show friends this hike.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Beautiful view. Lovely walk.

This is a very tough hike. You start up very high at Bear Pen Gap just below Craggy Gardens. You park in the parking lot and the trailhead starts on the right pass the bathrooms up near the picnic area. You will have major climbs, rock ground, and some nice views! The terrain is almost always rocky and rooty. There are a few sections of smooth, grassy trail but they don't last long. This trail is a workout and very strenous!

hiking
7 months ago

walking
7 months ago

It should be clear, this is just a road, not a trail. A great road for walking, running or biking but there are a few cars on it. The app’s directions will take you to a private driveway but the start of the road is actually a quarter mile down the road past the Post office and church.

7 months ago

A good walk. Beautiful view at the top.

You go up the side of a mountain to a beautiful view. not hard, just an incline. super easy 45 minute hike up!

hiking
9 months ago

Great view. Definitely not strenuous but a nice walk. The AllTrails description says there is a cave but we didn't find it.

hiking
9 months ago

The view at the top is gorgeous. Definitely worth it. I wouldn’t say this is a very hard trail, but rather more moderate. It does get steeper toward the top, but it’s nothing too bad. Overall its a nice little hike and because the view is so great, I’d say its one of my favorites.

Great view payoff

scenic driving
9 months ago

Excellent summer afternoon drive when it’s too hot/humid out to get on a trail. Only issue is when you get caught up near a group of motorcyclists it makes it difficult to get into any of the scenic overlooks.

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty easy. Gradual incline all the way up for 2.5 miles. About 700 feet in elevation gain. This is at the west end of the Brushy Mtn range. View at the top is pretty sick. Overlooking Lenoir with the beginning of the Blue Ridge in the back. Grandfather Mtn is the most prominent. I could also see Table Rock Mtn and Hawksbill Mtn in the Linville Gorge. Also, the creator of this page didn't draw the route or get it approved by AllTrails, so I went ahead and did that part of it to increase my reputation score.

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty easy trail to a cool view overlooking Lenoir.

I have driven this beautiful section of the Parkway many times. I have also hiked some of the trails along the road several times. Great views.

Have driven this beautiful section of the Parkway many times. It is really beautiful and has great views of the countryside.

scenic driving
10 months ago

I have driven this beautiful byway several times . The scenery is always beautiful at any time of the year but especially during the fall.

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