Explore the most popular 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.

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horseback riding

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It was a blast! After about 1 mile the trail gets very rocky and steep. Toward the end there was a section without trees and just grass and shrubs. To get an amazing view make sure to follow the little trail to the left of the overlook. I would definitely do this trail again!

Closed due to storm damage.

Great short hike with beautiful views!

Standard southeast forest trail to the top. Great views. Go on a clear day.

(kids pov) Really liked the trail, would do it again, "this trail rocked, haha" (lots of rocks).
(mom) This was a really cool trail, but I'm not going to lie - the hike up from the picnic area was rough. Constant climb and lots of rocks. From the pavilion up is easier and gorgeous. So green, informational placards, and a lovely natural spring on the side of the path. Pretty wildflowers! Blueberries weren't ripe yet. Best dog drinking fountain ever! Would do it again.

(from kid's point of view) We didn't do the whole trail, but not our favorite. a road crossing and walking alongside the BRP - kind of nervewracking with 2 dogs and 3 young kids. Road noise and lots of invasive plants (English Ivy, Wisteria) which might improve as you got further in.

Favorite easy summit in the area, especially at sunset.

This trail is heartbreaking. Here’s why:
The trail is gorgeous. The waterfalls are beautiful, and you’re almost always next to a river.

The things that kill it are (1) this trail desperately needs to be remarked. There are unofficial trails and camping spots everywhere. Also, there are tons of stream crossings so you spend a lot of time asking “Is this the trail or is that? Do we cross the stream? Can you see the trail on the other side? I wish there were signs or blazes.” (2) the upper trail along the ridge is not maintained and was overgrown with blackberry briars so we ended up seriously concerned we had lost the trail and the briars tore us up pretty well. (3) Finally, the trail is dirty. There is trash and equipment abandoned in a lot of the camp spots. Traps tied up in trees, beat up cooking equipment, broken folding chairs, cooking supplies and your standard trash.

I think this place could be great. It needs some love for sure. If you decide to do it, I would skip the ridge trail, take a GOOD map (topography), compass, plenty of supplies in case you get lost or have to backtrack, and stream crossing shoes. The waterfalls really are amazing!

I like this trail because it's good for a quick little hike. It's very easy so kids and dogs can do this one. The trail stays flat and is easy to follow. the staff here are super friendly and have activities planned throughout the week so be sure to stop in and see what they've got planned. The Rockefeller house is cool to see from the outside and sits on a dried up lake bed. It's also a good spot to take outdoorsy photos.

The meadow at the base of the mountain, around the Cone cemetery, is our favorite spot for wildflowers in the area.

Just did an overnight hike on Mt. Mitchell trail a few days ago. We started at the black mountain campground. The weather was gloomy for most of the day but in my opinion perfect because the sun wasn’t beating down on us all day. When we got towards the top it started to clear up and the sun came out. Definitely a difficult hike, but worth every minute and every pain. We stopped at the top for about an hour to take pictures, grab snacks, and check out the gift shop. Was a little bit annoying to see people that drove up there buying memorabilia for a summit they didn’t conquer.... but to each their own I guess. After our break we headed back down to commissary hill to set up camp. Quite a lot of people camp there but there’s plenty of room and a good water source 2 minutes from the area. Unfortunately, it rained all night so we couldn’t set up a fire or hangout outside. Next morning we hiked back down and there’s a river at the end which was so nice to get into a soak my sore feet and cool off for a bit. Anyways a couple lessons learned for me as this was my first overnight hike and first difficult hike. I had plenty of snacks but I wish I would’ve brought sandwiches for the summit, I don’t know why but a sandwich would’ve been so nice. About 30 min into the hike my left knee started to ache with every step, thank god for all the walking sticks people left at the trailhead. I had one the entire way which relieved some pressure but I’m definitely looking into getting some trekking poles for next time. I also will start carrying some icy hot or tiger balm for muscle aches. I was carrying ibuprofen which helped some. I didn’t have hiking shoes, but I wore my military work boots which were just as good as far as grip goes but too heavy. I invested in some salomon pathfinders the day after we got back from the trip. My pack was way too big. I didn’t take the time to look for a good pack that would fit for me, I just bought off of facebook marketplace. Don’t get me wrong, the pack I got is quality, just not right for my size. It treated me well on the trail I just think a smaller pack would have my back feeling a little less strained. All in all, amazing hike. The overnight parking is just before the bridge that leads to the campground. You will lose service going out there so I suggest using a paper map or downloading the map on your phone so you can still use it when offline.

This is a great trail with so much to see and so many places to explore. Our family of five with two teenagers and a standard poodle had a great time but we managed to get off the trail by half a mile by taking a fork in that appeared to be the correct direction but wasn’t. Still a beautiful, fun hike.

hiking
21 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes. Strenuous but not too long. Fantastic payoff at the top. Excellent half day outing.

hiking
22 hours ago

Walkers knob and the waterfall are both great. Totally worth the hike. The Greybeard summit was a bit disappointing. Good for exercise and getting in mileage, but I didn’t feel like it paid off in a significant way. Watch the switchbacks for sure. There are little paths leading from them to nowhere.

hiking
22 hours ago

Great out and back trail. Beautiful primitive campsite along the way. Knowing this history is a big plus. Highly recommend.

hiking
22 hours ago

Really enjoyed this short hike with the family! I would say this hike is good for most healthy folks, but may be a little tough on the way back for those with knee or other issues. Beautiful waterfall that is bigger than expected as the payoff. Located in Seven Devils and easy to reach.

Great for all ages

The area is nice for mountain biking. There’s quite a network of trails, some harder than others. Good for a day of riding when DuPont is not an option.

hiking
1 day ago

My new favorite hike in the region. I went past the lookout towards the ‘second summit’ and went to rattlesnake as well. It’s a pretty strenuous hike, but it’s absolutely worth it. Especially when you continue on to rattlesnake. (It’s only about .7 mile further.) Don’t let the length of the trail fool you, it might be short, but it’ll kick your butt! Definitely coming back!

The turn off NC 215 is clearly marked by a Forest Service sign opposite the turn. When you reach public land, there's a gate and a sign. Beware of the rutted bump filled with deep gravel at this point. We parked at the junction where FR 4663B takes off to the left from the main road, so we'd get a little more exercise. The road surface to that junction was well maintained. The map accurately shows the distance from there to the falls foot trails as .6 miles. Our Trails Illustrated printed map showed 4663B as gated, which may have been so at some point, put isn't the case now. We enjoyed a nice walk on the fairly flat road, which gave us a chance to view the surrounding forest. Even though 4663B is not maintained to the standard of the main forest road, it's passable by cars of standard clearance. The trail to the lower falls was easy, even though there was a tree across the trail at one point. We highly recommend this easy hike to a lesser-known, but lovely, waterfall.

Went on this trail recently, on a Sunday. It was heavily traveled that day. There are a good many steps along the way, a decent incline, through the forest toward the trail that will take you to the 400 ft waterfall, that is gorgeous. Just hang a right at this trail's conclusion, and a 15 minute, easy walk, will take you to said fall, which was featured in The Last of the Mohicans movie. My husband, 2 dogs, and I had a blast.

Walked this trail on the 18 of July, started around 0900 and finished just before 11. I hike fast when I'm by myself but enjoyed this trail. The trail does have a descent amount of elevation gain and the trail has a good width to it since it is designated for horses. This would be a good quick hike or can be combined with others to make a full day.

One of my favorite hikes. A lot more big trees down across the trail since last time I had done it. Some were difficult for this short 65 yr old out of shape hiker to do in heat, but I was able to do the entire trail.

This trail never gets old. Within the last twenty-five years I guess I've ran, walked and plodded Hardtimes on a weekly basis.

Not too long of a hike, but gets steep and challenging right at the top. BEAUTIFUL views from multiple lookout points - and great photo opportunities at hanging rock!

The sign at trailhead says strenuous and certainly lives up to that description. This is a beautiful trail that provides several switchbacks, a bit of climbing over rocks, creek crossings aplenty and a heck of a climb up from the bottom. Payoff is a great workout with a pristine creek and a series of small waterfalls. I'd give this trail 4 stars if it had better markings. Many trails I've done have paint markings on the trees and that would be quite helpful on this trail. If you lose sight of this one, we found you usually need to cross the creek and keep looking. I'll go again. Take plenty of water and take your time.

This is a federal installation. This trail is not authorized for running, hiking, etc. as the area is used for military training.

Really good trail for an out and back that isn’t too easy. Good amount of challenge for a great payoff at the top. Took my wife and I (and carrying my 15mo old) an hour and 40min to the top and an hour and 15min down. Great spot for a quicker morning hike.

Great hike! I found Plenty of water on the trail(or a short distance off the trail). I started at bowlers creek which I found to be decent sized with pools big enough for a quick dip about waist deep. The only down fall is the amount of hikers and tourist you encounter as you get closer to MT Mitchell. I’d love to do it again in the winter possibly.

Extremely fun! Very hard terrain. I accomplished this trail solo in less than 46 hours. Starting at the actual trail head and finishing at the Daniel Boone camp...awesome trail but is very very difficult and would not recommend to a beginner.

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