Explore the most popular no dogs trails near Waynesville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
17 hours ago

A very easy trail with wonderful views

In April of 2018, did most of this trail. Nice hike while camping in the area. Took a short recommended detour to the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center just off the trail then returned to the trailhead due to other time commitments.

first trail hike in quite a log time. not too difficult and saw alot of wildlife. good hike

We were visiting the area, and several locals told us we had to make this hike. Midnight hike is the popular attraction, several people were swimming there, but the real beauty is Mouse Creek Falls. Be prepared, this hike is uphill the whole way there, and the trail gets pretty rocky.

One of the top five in the park. Many wonderful old trees and other surprises along the trail. Water shoes are useful for Caldwell Fork Trail (5 crossings).

The Boogerman Trail part of this is nothing short of a delicious journey through true old growth forest. The part of this loop that's the Caldwell Fork Trail requires either preparation for creek crossings or a sense of adventure, or perhaps both. If you love the woods and don't mind getting wet, this is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED hike.

This trail can be done from either direction - starting at Cataloochee Road or Balsam Mountain Road. I started at Cataloochee. Going this way, the first part takes you 1.6 miles on I believe Pretty Hollow Gap trail before it connects to Palmer Creek Trail. This first part is quite a nice walk in the woods next to the creek. From there you head up the ridge - an unspectacular climb up out of the valley. There's a nice walk along the ridge top in a nice rhododendron tunnel the last half mile to mile before reaching Balsam mountain road. The allure of this trail and why I'd call 3 stars versus 2 would be having it nearly entirely to yourself.

Good hike. The kids enjoyed it. Only drawback is the portion that is also available to horses. They make the trail muddy.

Beautiful hike.

hiking
1 month ago

My partner and I hiked this trail today. It took approximately 4 hours for the entire loop. There were several creek crossings which slowed us down since we changed in and out of hiking shoes/sandals once we hit the creek crossings (there were 5 of these). The trail is in great shape and clean. We only saw two other couples so we essentially had it to ourselves. There was lots of shade, but no vistas other than the gorgeous forest and creeks. No fallen trees are blocking the path, probably the forest service has been out recently to take care of the downed trees mentioned in previous reviews. This is an excellent trail for a hot summer day when you want to be in the shade, but it'd be challenging in the colder months unless you bring waders. There doesn't appear to be any (established) campsites from what I could tell, although it could be done with some creativity (but not sure if allowed in this part of the park).

Beautiful day to hike! lots of butterfly, wildflowers blooming, mountain laural looking spectacular. Hiking along the river is just sublime. A great way to get away from the humidity as well as the hustle & bustle of everyday living. This is my happy place! Great trail!

Did 2/3 of the trail going clockwise before reversing the route to avoid the high water crossings so I ended up going about ten miles by the time I got back to the campground. After talking to another hiker who I passed when I turned around (who did the full loop and wading through four water crossings), we ended up taking the same amount of time. This hike was done in April 2018. Nice adventure.

Wide and flat trail, although you'll feel the constant gradual climb to the falls and beyond. Arrived just before noon and got the last of 20 or so parking spots. I think the parking area is shared with campers. No entrance fee and there are restrooms at the trailhead. Midnight Hole (wading area) is 1.5 miles up the trail and the falls appear at the 2 mile point. .2 miles up from the falls is a bridge that takes you to the other side of the creek, and we saw folks in the water there as well. The trail continues for another 3 miles where it meets Swallow Fork Trail and Campsite 37. A perfect trail for all ages.

hiking
2 months ago

Great loop, started thunder storming about 2/3 of the way through. Going clockwise the the trail climbs a decent bit before coming down and remaining level. Had to ford the creek 7 times, once by choice because the bridge looked more dangerous. Plan to go on a dry day after a couple more dry days or the water will be quick and high. My only complaint is a lack of viewing spots, you're in dense trees the entire time.

on Baxter Creek Trail

2 months ago

This is my favorite climb in the GSMNP. It's tough and then when you get to the top you have to hike back down a hundred feet or more for water.

walking
2 months ago

View from the top equal too or surpasses Max Patch. Fewer people. (None when I was there.) Beautiful wild flowers. Saw a bear on the way up. Easy walk though uphill.

Beautiful waterfall and gorgeous swimming hole. The walk will take a while, especially if you have little ones, but is totally worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful! Stroll along the river in the lush green forest. Went for a Sunday hike in June. Went about 1/2 way due to time constraints but will definitely be back!

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

nice flat trails for the most part, very lush vegetation. unfortunately, we didn't get to see the elk. bummer.

we did see tons of wild turkeys. creeks are beautiful, a bit buggy in the bottoms.

crazy ride to get there on hairpin turns on steep gravel roads, but, very worth it.

This is the most beautiful hike and very easy. There are many springs along the trail and ways to get sidetracked and go “off trail.” Be warned. Midnight hole and the falls are NOT marked. The only way you know you’re at the falls is by the hitching posts for the horses. The picnic area is also beautiful and located near Baxter Creek. Also bring water shoes. I regret not bringing mine as the water was very inviting.

My wife and I took this hike the day before Mother’s Day. It was absolutely beautiful and we did get in to cool off in Midnight Hole. If you go about .2 past the falls there is a bridge over the water that we were told about by some other hikers. It is well worth the extra time. All in all it is a wonderful hike that basic hikers shouldn’t have any trouble with

Beautiful trail, peaceful spot to eat lunch at the falls

3 months ago

Outstanding!! We thought at one point that we were never going to reach the grassy meadow off of the gravel road since the road is straight up, but hang in there and you will be rewarded with a trip to Ferguson cabin, a cabin that sits at the highest elevation for a cabin, then onto the Science observatory, and then the panoramic views are well worth the hike! Follow Garret's directions. He was spot on...

backpacking
3 months ago

Very easy trail leading up to Campsite 37

Wonderful, peaceful trail without dodging dogs.. Very nice!

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

Beautiful views from the top!!

hiking
4 months ago

Road is wide, gravel road. Some steep parts but nothing too crazy, great views! Science center up here looks cool but didn’t get to go in there, there are bathrooms. Very easy trail I would rate as easy instead of moderate, good for beginners.

hiking
4 months ago

Clockwise repeat a month later. With the river lower this was definitely more manageable and straighforward. Still have to shimmy or balance beam across a suspended fallen tree, and still 3 river fords to negotiate but all water crossings were quite reasonable. No need to bushwhack off trail which was just fine with me. Water level dropped 8-10 inches since March and made this trail even more enjoyable then before. Some fallen trees blocking the trail were even cleared! But you'll still be going barefoot or soaking your shoes 3-4 times to get back to the car:)

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