Gorges State Park

Gorges State Park, Sapphire: Address, Phone Number, Gorges State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Gorges State Park
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319 reviews
Very good

Richland, WA793 contributions
Jul 2020
There are a couple entry points to this state park. This review is based on the Grassy Ridge entry point on the north side of the park. I did the Rainbow Falls hike early in the morning. It's not terribly difficult. The return is toughest because it's uphill, but nothing too strenuous. Rainbow Falls is one of the better waterfalls in West Carolina. It's taller than the pictures make it look and you can easily access it from different views. At the base, there are some decent swimming pools. At the top, there are some nice rock overlooks, just be careful. The next falls is Turtleback Falls. This is a popular swimming hole but not a terribly spectacular waterfall. The big draw is sliding down the rock, but it seems a bit questionable on the safety end. The last fall on the trail is not on the map because it falls just inside private property. Whoever owns this area, downed a bunch of trees to discourage hikers. You can still kind of see it. It's fine, but not worth the short hike over to see it. On the way back, there were tons of people hiking down to the falls. I have no idea how they were all going to fit in the fairly small swimming holes. I'd avoid a midday visit if you can. I also took a peek at Bearwallow Falls. This is a short hike but not worth it. The fall is unimpressive and at a distance. Rainbow Falls is well worth the trip, but go early and avoid the hoards.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sue H
Franklin, MA138 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
Gorges State Park can be accessed from Rt 281. The entrance road is long and winding and takes you to the Visitors Center which has restrooms and maps. The park is very large with with multiple campgrounds and we saw they are building a new one. The park offers hiking trails mostly moderate to difficult to cliffs and waterfalls. The trail to Whitewater Falls is easy.
Written May 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vickie W
Nashvile, TN25 contributions
May 2021
The Rainbow Falls hike was worth my aches and pains the next day (for this moderately active adult.) When you hike down, then you have to hike back up. Be prepared to get shoes wet. Hiking boots highly recommended. And we thought it was worth it to just go 10-15 minutes more to see Turtleback Falls. It was a great day in Gorges State Park.

We packed a lunch and ate it sitting on rocks in the river halfway to the waterfall. I highly recommend making a day of your visit to the waterfalls.
Written May 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Charlotte, NC163 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
A perfect way to spend a Friday during a Pandemic. We got on the trail at 9am and hike to Rainbow Falls and Turtle Back Falls, passing less than 3 people. It did get busier when we headed back to the parking lot at the end of our hike. Most hikers were very courteous about keeping their distance and friendly. We also passed a few hikers with dog on leash. The hike is definitely challenging if you go to both Rainbow Falls and Turtle Back Falls, appx 5+ miles round trip. There several nice spots on the rocks along the stream for resting and breakfast. The ranger station before you get to the trail has very clean bathrooms and trails map. We would highly recommend this trail for anyone who want to hike challenging trail with views of waterfalls.
Written March 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Point Pleasant, WV379 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
We didn’t get to see the whole park, however we took the trail to see Rainbow Falls and Turtle Back Falls. It is definitely not handicap accessible. It says 1.5 miles, but it took us about an hour to get to the falls. The walk is extremely tiring. Mostly uphill on the way back. The falls are beautiful though 😊 you can actually go down to the bottom of the falls. There were people swimming when we were there. It was a once hike for me 😱.
Written July 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Al Parker
Raleigh, NC37 contributions
Oct 2020
The waterfall is absolutely beautiful. The hike to it was misrepresented in the online description that we read. It is more than a 30 minute hike. It took us 55 minutes each way. There are two places where you have to walk through shallow creeks or try to navigate your balance on small rocks in the creek. Plan to get your feet wet. The hike was more strenuous than we expected based upon the information we read online. I would not recommend this for families with young children. Teenagers would be fine here.

Be very careful when driving through the park. The speed limit is 25 mph, but is not clearly posted except right at the entrance. They need more signs to remind drivers of the speed limit.
Written October 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Panama City Beach, FL11,773 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
Recently my brother, my daughter, and I took my five year old Granddaughter on a hike to Rainbow Falls. We arrived at the Grassy Ridge Parking area two miles inside Gorges State Park around 9am and there was plenty of parking available. The hike begins at the end of the lot. It is natural terrain, rough in places, creeks to ford, and the day we went several trees had fallen across the trail which we had to climb through. The trail is well marked so it is easy to follow. You will leave the state park and enter Pisgah National Forest where at about the 1.3 mile mark you will arrive at Hidden Falls. One more hill to climb and you arrive at Rainbow Falls. The 150 foot high falls on the Horsepasture River are well worth the hike (There is a wooden platform which offers opportunities for some fantastic pictures). Lucky for us on the day we visited it was sunny and mist from the falls formed a rainbow at the base of the falls (My Granddaughter loved that). From here the trail leveled and we arrived at Turtleback Falls at around the 1.7 mile mark. Here the water cascades over a large curved rock and plunges around 25 feet into a pool below. The trail is mostly downhill going so the trek back will be mostly uphill. Round trip was just under 4 miles and I would rate it a moderate hike. My 5 year old Granddaughter hiked the whole thing so how hard could it be right?? We had a great time. Highly recommend.
Written July 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tamassee, SC38 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
The visitor center is one of the best I’ve seen in the area. Take a walk behind it for an overlook view. We did the hike to Rainbow Falls and eventually found out why it was rated as strenuous - but the Falls were so worth it! The trail seemed pretty easy at first, but got more difficult as we went. There are several creek crossings, so waterproof shoes are a plus. As you get closer to the falls, the trail goes up and down quite a bit and some of the steps put in to assist are a bit tall for those with short legs. We went after a week of heavy rain and the falls were roaring. There was so much mist from them that you could get soaked if you stayed very long. A walking stick is helpful for much of this trail.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mac D
Clemson, SC2,431 contributions
Nov 2020 • Couples
This is a great place to hike. It is not to difficult but also does have a few spots that are a little challenging. Bring a 2nd pair of shoes to wear home as the trail has some muddy spots. Wear hiking boots if possible to keep from slipping. The Rainbow Falls are spectacular!
Written November 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert P
Dunwoody, GA211 contributions
Dec 2020
We did the Rainbow Falls hike/trail. Signage to the trailhead and parking lot were good and the portion of the trail within the state park was in excellent shape. Trails are well marked. Dogs are allowed on-leash. The main attractions are located on US Forest Service property and the trail is in rougher but still pretty good shape. Round trip the hike is about 4 miles. There are a couple of shallow water crossings and lots of seeps that wet parts of the trail. The mist from Rainbow falls makes one section of the trail muddy. This trail is a nice option if you're looking for an easy half day option. Plan on about two hours of hiking time.
Written December 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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