For those with an adventurous spirit and a willingness to explore, this trail is for you. This moderate-to-strenuous trail begins at Exclamation Point and leads into the backcountry. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack with you, as this out-and-back trail is approximately 2.2 miles round-trip and takes 2 – 2.5 hours to complete.
The Skyline trail starts out with switchbacks as you climb further up the mountain from Exclamation Point. The trail follows the ridge and offers extensive views of the Hickory Nut Gorge as you work your way towards Peregrine’s Point. At 2640 feet above sea level, this beautiful vantage point is the highest lookout in the Park. This is the perfect rest area with shaded picnic tables, incredible mountain views and usually a cool mountain breeze.
After Peregrine’s Point, the trail continues through an array of woodland wildflowers which can be observed throughout spring, summer, and fall. These include Carolina Rhododendron, Great Lobelia, and a variety of goldenrod.
As you near the Falls, numerous springs bubble up along the trail. After crossing Falls Creek, the sounds of falling water will begin to grow louder as you approach the top of the Hickory Nut Falls. Here the trail ends at the headwaters of the Falls, which provides one last look at Falls Creek before it disappears over the rocky cliff. There are a few nice benches and resting places to enjoy the view of Hickory Nut Gorge before making the return journey.
** Note: If your goal is to see and photograph the entire Hickory Nut Falls, you will want to take the
Hickory Nut Falls trail, which is shorter, less strenuous, and takes you directly to the base of the Falls for an impressive view. **