Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Super Trail -
Easy on the body, might even recommend it for almost anyone!

The area is quiet, and the cover is thick for the most part, and we stayed cool and comfortable!

You'll love it

Nice trail. Not too strenuous. Tracked it at 6 miles total. There were plenty of children doing this trail with no problem. There are places where I would not have a dog with no leash. The views at the end are well worth the trip.

21 hours ago

Excellent afternoon on the Trails - If you have never been here, and live within an hour of the park you are cheating yourself.
The trails is really an easy trail, and the hills are small and the terrain is forgiving...

For the most part the trail is well under a canopy of trees, and the breeze was consistent.
We lived in the Raleigh area years ago, and on a weekend getaway we decided to hit this park...
And so glad we decided to change plans and hit Umstead!

You will love all 11 miles - (We also took on Sal's Branch/Loop)
There is a trail here for everyone

I was speechless!
For years I thought this was a "bike only" trail!
Turns out to be one of the very best hiking trails in the area! We started out just about 1pm, and the weather was perfect!
The terrain isn't too demanding. If you are a comfortable 10mile hiker - this trail is perfect...

We wrapped up the trail(s) at just under 10 miles, and it felt good.

The Lake Loop is nice, but the Laurel Loop is so much more!

Our first hike on this trail. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the hike.

A good hike with the kids. Pretty nice double track rolling hills easy hike.

Love to paddle this lake. Thick with duck weed and full of exotic looking little frogs it from a different time and place.

Super packed with people! Suggest early rising to avoid the crowd and get decent pics!

Loved this trail. We did cat gap to johns rock. We wandered off a little bit to see the waterfalls we heard and it was beautiful. There were creeks to cross over and great view at the end. This is one of my favorites. I do think this should be labeled as moderate instead of east.

Nice hike. Lots of icicles this time of year still. The views on the bald are really nice however the power lines and cell tower are a distracting disappointment.

Nice walk

Easy walk up to a pretty waterfall. We went off to the left to look for the mine. That made it even better for us.

I love the diversity that this trail has to offer! It starts with a nice uphill climb up Old Butt Knob, as you work your way towards shining rock. The quartz boulders cannot be understated – they are phenomenal and must be seen in person! I didn’t stay past dark, but I hear that they glow for about an hour after sunset. How amazing! The hike back down from shining rock, we walked along the river and there was waterfall after waterfall after waterfall… It was spectacular! Two moderately athletic hikers finished this loop in about five hours.

2 days ago

Beautiful park but this trail is not “hard” difficulty level. The path is a very level and wide sand and grave path like a road; although there is a lot of elevation to traverse it does not require much thought or effort and feels rather domesticated.

3 days ago

Loved this trail, did it with my girlfriend and dog. We did the trail counterclockwise starting from Wolf Pit Trail Head. The first night we camped right before the Table Rock split off. There are plenty of great campsites and there is a side trail that leads to creek for water. The second night we camped on the east side of the river

You do have to do two river crossings, this first one requires a quick swim, the second one more simple since the water is only ankle high.

The trail west of the river is not the best marked, chances are you will lose it. We climbed out of the gorge at pitch-in, the hiked out was very strenuous, we then walked along the road for about a mile and re-entered the trail at Mountain to Sea.

It's a tough trail, but there are great views and an awesome experience.

this all trails app pulls up uber everytime I want directions. very frustrating

One of my favorite trails. A little of everything elevation, flat areas, beautiful views.

I always ignore the trail and rock hop right up the river. one of my favorite places

When last I did it it was from spindale to the lumber mill in Gilkey, so about what this shows. very fun trail for biking. Pretty good amount of traffic but nice serene environment in some points and a small town historic feel through others. It's a good walk if you're looking for a walking trail, but if you want real hiking you might be a bit bored

went with the family and a 3 month old Aussie pup. Dont know that my parents enjoyed it as much as I did, but the views are absolutely gorgeous the whole way and it's a great reward for the tough hike. (Mind you, even if you're in pretty decent shape it's tough though)

My first time hiking the Wildcat Rock to the meadows this past Saturday, there are a good many strenuous areas along this trail, especially as you continue past the waterfall. The falls did not have alot of water, alot was frozen. Before the waterfall there are a few creek crossings and all along the trail large rock faces and huge boulders.There are maybe 130+ rock steps going straight up in this area. The view from Wildcat Rock is worth the hike. From the trailhead to the meadow it is 3.8 miles round trip. Elevation gain is 1,100 feet.
I posted many pictures, be sure to check the out.

GPS users may enter N35.4734, W-82.3320

This trail is clearly mark all along the trail and is managed and owned by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.

From Greenville, SC
Start out on Hwy 25 toward Asheville
Get on I-26 toward Hendersonville, NC
Exit on Hwy 64 toward Chimney Rock
Take Hwy 64 for 12.3 miles until it intersects with Hwy 74
Turn Left and go 3.9 miles until you see a parking lot of the 'right' side of Hwy 74
There will be an old Chimney and a Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy sign
The trailhead for Wildcat Rock is across the street from the parking area

very nice trail.

Awesome trail! :)

Nice and mostly shaded trail around the lake. Not too crowded on weekdays.

Great trail to run, very technical so be ready for a challenge. Just make sure to run/hike the opposite direction of the bikers and you shouldn't have any issue seeing each other. Taking all of the black diamond bike routes should put out a distance just over 4 miles.

Beautiful! Easy trail a bit harder for younger kids but works out because at the end there is a place to jump into the river. If you are looking for some fitness and fun for the summer time this is perfect and if you are just looking to get some good cardio in or nature appreciation then this is perfect.

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