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quite overwhelmed

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Level Contributor
64 posts
9 reviews
quite overwhelmed

Hi, my family of five will be traveling to the Waynesville area this summer. I have searched the internet and read postings and to be honest I am just overwhelmed by everything and don't see to be finding the answers. We want to be able to visit national parks and forests and do trails, stop at streams and ponds to explore and play, see beautiful scenery and waterfalls. But i also need to have easier not strenuous hikes. I am in need of suggestions for simple websites or books that i can purchase that will give me this type of information for this particular area. I dont' think I must have the brains to be looking this information up as I"m just becoming so frustrated. Any and all suggestions would be great. but i really need to know the degree of difficulties for the trails andthat seems to be hard to find. I was thinking there has to be a book or publication of some sort that would help me out. Like I'm trying to decide whether to visit Chimney Rock. I want to see the view from the top. The elevator is closed for the summer and will have to take the steps. I have no clue and can't find out how many steps there are. just simple facts like that will help me in planning. I appreciate any and all info.

10 replies to this topic
1. Re: quite overwhelmed

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Level Contributor
4,306 posts
1 review
2. Re: quite overwhelmed

Don't sweat it...when you get there, there will be plenty of guidebooks and resources. Just exploring with a few maps is really all you need. Relax - you'll have a great time. FYI: It's a pretty hefty hike up the stairs to Chimney Rock. Worth climb, but it is not easy. Best wishes.

Savannah, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
Level Contributor
3,295 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: quite overwhelmed

Brevard is not far away, and has many beautiful waterfalls that are easy to get to: http://www.visitwaterfalls.com/

Also, Waterrock Knob is close by, accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. It has a visitor's center with restrooms, and a reletively easy trail to the summit that has some great views. virtualblueridge.com/parkway_tour/…index.asp

Have a great trip!

Asheville, North...
Level Contributor
70 posts
4. Re: quite overwhelmed

Here is an online source for the Great Smokies NP:


I also love the Falcon guide book: Hiking Great Smokies NP by Kevin Adams.

You may also want to check out the Cradle of Forestry: www.cradleofforestry.com/cradle_of_forestry/

And there are some easy trails and gorgeous scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Another waterfall website:


There are lots of hiking trails, waterfalls and scenery in that area. Try not to get overwhelmed; I know y'all will have a great time no matter what you choose to do.

Edited: 11:25 am, April 26, 2011
Level Contributor
64 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: quite overwhelmed

Thank you so very very much. I really have to kinda plan things out since we aren't going to be there for a long time. We were so used to everything on the Gatlinburg side of the national park that it was just overwhelming me a bit. Thanks again. This really helped.

Atlanta, Georgia
2 posts
6. Re: quite overwhelmed

If you go up to the Blue Ridge Parkway between Waynesville and Asheville there is a lot to do and see. We take our kids (4 & 7) and we do either the Art Loeb trail (at Black Balsam) or Devils Courthouse, they're both short (20 -30 mins) and offer amazing views, plus they're close together. The Art Loeb trail is gentle in the beginning and a bit of gentle rock climbing toward the end but you can stop and turn around whenever you feel like it and you'll still get an incredible view. Devil's Courthouse is shorter but steeper, partly paved with some built in rock steps and some hand rails. It's not too strenuous and you can take your time. It ends at the peak (that you can see from the parking lot) which is surrounded by a rock wall and has mountain marker plates, so you can see which mountains you are looking at, I believe you can see 3 states. I've also heard that Graveyard fields is a great hike but we haven't tried it yet. There is a beautiful waterfall somewhat nearby called Looking Glass, that is just off one of the mountain roads. You take a set of stairs to the bottom and you can get some beautiful pictures. The only drawback is that it's usually crowded. Down the parkway closer to Asheville is the Pisgah Inn, it has a nice restaurant and gift shop with beautiful views. The food is good but there is always a wait. Also as a reminder, don't forget to fill up your tank before you head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are no gas stations up there. Have fun exploring the mountains!

Level Contributor
64 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: quite overwhelmed

Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I can always come to TripAdvisor when we are planning our vacations and talk with "the pros". we are headed out next week and can't wait.

Morristown, New...
1 post
1 review
8. Re: quite overwhelmed

I have been to Chimney Rock area....much worth the trip...quaint shops, and go a litle further you get to lake Lure. You can go on internet and pull up Chimney rock.....you could call a store, a bar, an ice cream shop (there is an awesome ice cream shop there)...the climb to the top of chimney rock would be mostly climbing steps. You stop when you need a breadth. There are trails along the river(s) that run through the area. Chimney Rock sounds like a great place ....you can take your "hike" through the town of Chimney Rock and stop at all the stores (tourist town) that interest you. I am 65 and in good health. Chimney rock is about the height of a 12 or 15 story building. Lake Lure has places to hike. Hike along the lake and the river's edge. This is all very much nestled in high rock ridges and trees. Go check it out....its lovely. you Have nothing to loose...Don't make hiking the goal but a sub goal....go meet the towns in the area, meet the people, they will tell you everything, and there is enough to do just walking the area general area around the towns which has river running through it. Kindest regards, Joy Piper.

This area is a very favorite of mine, and I learned about it from someone who loved it and said it was worth going the long way around to their destination of Kernerville.


north carolina
Level Contributor
119 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: quite overwhelmed

I'm the same way! My favorite tactic is to head to the National or State Park and ask the ranger at the visitors center. They have always given me great information about what hikes are best for my needs, what we'll see on the trail (I have to hike TO something) and can give you other suggestions in the area.

Waynesville, North...
7 posts
10. Re: quite overwhelmed

It is a year later and I was wondering how your trip to western NC turned out?

What were your families favorite places?

Do you plan to return to the area again?

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