Explore the most popular State 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.

we started from the Museum parking lot and hiked to Morrow Mountain first, then tracked over to Sugar Loaf Mountain. on the south side the trails are easy to moderate, bout the east facing side the trails were narrow, washed out in places, fallen trees required minors detours. I think you need to be pretty fit for this trail. the views from morrow mountain are better but there are some decent views of the lakes near the top of Sugarloaf. the best part is, on this day, we saw 8 people all day. we pretty much were alone the entire day. very peaceful. almost the entire trail is wooded so even though today was 88 degree it was cool. definitely going back.

hiking
over grown
rocky
19 hours ago

20 hours ago

This is a moderate to hard hike depending on your level. The hard work is rewarded with a beautiful waterfall and even better views. We parked at the lower parking lot and went counter clockwise. I feel like this was the easier of the two. If you go clockwise from the lower parking lot there are many stairs right from the beginning and when you reach the granite rock there are wires bolted down to help guide you as you climb. If you go counter clockwise you walk along the base of the granite rock under shade towards the waterfall first and then make your way to the top. It is around 4.5 mile loop and the views are beautiful the whole way.

mountain biking
22 hours ago

Skinny. Tight between trees. Elevation changes!

Great shaded hike. Took the shorter path, and went at a slow pace with some stops. Got turned around and made a small circle once. Great hike.

hiking
rocky
washed out
1 day ago

A little more washed out than normally

I actually loved this trail. after reading the other reviews I was almost scared to come to a little baby trail for fear of it being too easy. but you know what? it was easy. butvhat was the charm.. I went with a friend and we spent a lot of time looking at the river. our mission was to figure out where to cross to visit the islands. apparently it rained too hard the weak before. it kinda looked partially suicidal to cross. but when it is dry and more calm, I would imagine it would be awesome to cross this and do the whole Yadkin islands trail ending at the Corridor trail. this hike was awesome for me and my friend. close to no traffic. but if you came here with an agenda to exercise, not the trail you want. I loved it. thank you to the friend that talked me into it.

As of 6/3 park the trail closes at 6PM, but the website let's you reserve a slot at 5PM-beware. In my opinion 70% of the hikes awesomeness is the trail itself. Rocky ridges, cables, ladders, trails where a misstep could land you falling hundreds of feet. The views facing Mt.Mitchel and linville gorge are amazing, but as you continue after 2-3 miles the views focus towards the resorts and thousands of cabins near sugar mountain. After 1 mile, crowds were nonexistent on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

on Deep Gap Trail

hiking
1 day ago

High return on investment. Went in about 1.3 miles to Big Tom and back, for a total of about 2 1/2 miles. Elevation change is modest from Mitchell parking to Big Tom, though the trail requires some thought (technical) in spots, I’d say. Some large rocks and tricky spots, but nothing overwhelming. Views from Mt. Craig and Big Tom are great Highly recommend. Would love to do the entire trail to hit the other peaks on this route. but my old bones would need to take it slow.

This hike was fine, but I'm not sure I'd make the hour drive to do it again. Flooded out in a couple parts but it was easy to go around those spots on higher ground. It was fairly crowded early on a Sunday morning. Limited parking. On the way out at 11am there were 50 cars waiting to get in.

Great trail - we did the hike at 730am and had it all to ourselves!! Amazing views of the falls

Sunday, 05/31/2020 A group of friends joined me and my pup on this hike. Unfortunately, and this does not affect the rating on the trail, the river was too high to see the falls and enjoy that view. Nicely maintained trail. A couple of muddy spots after the rain, and one spot where there was only a 4x4 board to cross, quite difficult for me to get the doggo across that. Not challenging (compared to other recent hikes) but quite relaxing. The streams were pretty, and great for kids and dogs to splash around and appreciate nature.

on Widow's Creek Falls

2 days ago

This is really just a stop while in the park. Its just a few steps off the road but worth the quick visit. Beautiful waterfall and while we were there, a family was swimming in the waterfall pool. So if it's a hot day, its good for getting your feet wet.

We took our own route and our sweet time. I never thought I would reach the flag in my lifetime. It all starts with one step!

Great hike! We parked at bottom started at 11:10 a.m. this is a leg burner , so be ready! Beautiful surroundings, you are able to peak through trees to see some ranges etc. I love the creek/ spring crossings! We did the loop counter clockwise, glad we had cell / AllTrails because loop is not marked! We really didn’t realize we were on a closed trail until we finished loop and a approached closed sign from behind! Ha!! Wish they would reopen it and maintain it ! My husband took lead and cleared the cobwebs for me. It took us 5 hours exactly! Strongly recommend if you are up for a workout!! PS- take snacks/ water!!!!

trail is still currently closed for construction!

hiking
3 days ago

Dog friendly and not too busy (we started the hike at 9:30am on a Sunday). Just less than 4 miles round trip and was really easy for us regular hikers. Super well maintained and would be a great hike for families. Completed in about an hour and 20 minutes. Views on the North side were amazing!

3rd or 4th trail as a family. Took our 13 and 10 year old boys with us and it was an absolute blast. Rocky but completely doable. Almost 2 hours total out and back with a few excursions off trail for pictures and took our time (as you should as well) at the end to enjoy the amazing view.

Agree with others that it's best to start early because of crowds. The all trails map of this trail actually has 2 segments. The first segment has a series of rock outcroppings with very nice views. Well maintained but recommend hiking shoes. Most hikers seem to turn around at the highest outcropping. The second segment is more like a forest hike, leading to Wilson creek. It's nice in its way but lacks the majestic Blue Ridge views. It's also a bit hard to find. Less popular and less well maintained, the second segment has large fallen branches and a fallen tree in the trail.

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on. Almost all downhill from Mount Mitchell to parking lot. Everything covered in green Lichen. Absolutely beautiful

Beautiful 360 views from the observation deck. Short steep climb on paved path. Take the Balsam Nature Trail back to parking lot, easy hike and so beautiful

On my watch I had this hike (round trip) clocked at 12.62 miles. While the view at the top had one nice vantage point, it’s hard to enjoy when the first thing you see at the summit is a parking lot. After hiking 6+ miles it feels so anticlimactic when nothing about the top is natural. I think it’s so important to have such beautiful well maintained mountain tops like this so everyone of all abilities can access the peak. However, I would not recommend taking the 5+ hours to hike up and back if you want the experience and euphoria of reaching the top and feeling immersed and surrounded by the nature. Edited to add: The trail however was gorgeous. So scenic and green. Which is also important to note since it’s not always about the view from the top!

hiking
3 days ago

Very nice trail. Lots of tree roots giving it a more moderate rating. Totally shaded. Very few people due to a Monday

hiking
4 days ago

From Mount Mitchell Parking Lot to Balsam Cone.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

Nice trail with plenty of markers. They are blue and on the trees. The climb to the view is just that a climb. Haha! But worth it. Definitely a nice hike.

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