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Merritt McKinney

Just another snowboarder who fell in love with the outdoors. I hike, climb, fly drones, take pictures and make videos. Currently studying computer things at the University of Alabama while exploring Chattanooga, Johnson City, and the North Carolina mountains.

Extremely crowded and touristy but still worth the visit if you are in the area.

We visited on a Saturday morning and had the entire waterfall to ourselves. Better than La Fortuna and La Paz.

I spent 30 minutes here at sunset while visiting Portland for work. It is incredibly accessible from downtown and the airport and absolutely breathtaking. I’m not an experienced lighthouse visitor, but I was taken with the Portland Head Lighthouse.

You encounter three forks - hang a left at all three to get to where you want to go. The trail will finally open up after an incredibly steep and rocky push marked by a large bolder and fire rings with 3 or 4 overgrown paths to take. Take the far right trail to get to the best overlook. There are a few places to pitch a tent, but they are tight and not flat so keep that in mind if you want to camp. Besides that, this view is one of the best (if not the best) in the Linville Wilderness. I cannot recommend this view enough!

We struggled finding our bearings with these directions, but eventually found our way. It is worth emphasizing that there are several different hikes and waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls State Park and that the park directions are not necessarily that clear. But, even with the main waterfall barely flowing this destination is a must-visit! Be prepared to fight the crowds.

We descended the first trail on the right that veered off from the main. It's extremely steep and loose but there are a few ropes to help you down and back up. The waterfall is exactly as pictured and what you'd expect. I really enjoyed the swaying bridge on the way there. Altogether, definitely a solid must-do hike in the Chattanooga area.

What you see is what you get - and what you get is one staggering view of NYC! I recently visited the park during a blizzard and loved it. It isn't much of an outdoor adventure, but definitely worth seeing!

One mile is a stretch...maybe a half-mile roundtrip at most. The boardwalk which leads you all the way to the overlook is extremely nice and well built. The view is slightly underwhelming but still worth a quick visit. I'd recommend visiting when the leaves are changing colors. You can also walk through the woods on a trail that veers off the main boardwalk.

Easy hike with beautiful views! The wild horses are also a major draw to this destination!

I've hiked here several times and camped here for the first time on 10/26/17. It's an unbelievable place to catch both the sunset and sunrise as well as observe the stars. There are only a few protected spots to camp, so if you're camping close to the winter be sure to prepare for the wind. We also woke up to 4 grazing deer only a few feet from our tents.

These waterfalls are fantastic! I absolutely love the wide cascading falls at the top! The directions are spot on and the trail is well-maintained. The only disappointing thing about the waterfalls was the rappel. There are not many trees to anchor at the top waterfall. Next time I will be visiting solely to enjoy the falls!

Entering in the gate right as you turn off the highway, the trails that lead to South and North Loop are solid running trails. The trails are marked, well maintained, wide, and not too hilly. The views overlooking the creek are an added bonus.

The waterfall feels absolutely gigantic in person. The house on the top is a unique addition that is unlike anything I've ever seen before. If in Telluride, this is a must!

I wish I could've spent more time here. The park was essentially vacant. There are 11 other overlooks off the main road to take in multiple views of the Gunnison. Unlike the Grand Canyon, most overlooks stretch over the canyon allowing you to have an unobstructed view straight down at the river.

Visited here close to sunset. The sun sets on the opposite side of the gorge so I'd recommend coming here for sunrise or when the sun is directly above for even lighting. There were several small fire pits and even ledges for camping. The views of the river, gorge, and surrounding unique mountain structures are breathtaking! This combined with Linville Falls is the perfect day-trip combo!

Personally, I would not make the long hike just for the Jump-Off. That being said, the Jump-Off is easily accessible from the hike to Charlie's Bunion. The Jump-Off's view is breathtaking as the ledge drops hundreds of feet directly in front of you. The viewing area is small and cramped if there is more than 5 people (which can be assumed because its the Smoky Mountains). If you do make this hike, try to arrive as close to sunrise as to miss the crowd and be able to actually enjoy the view. I would hike to Charlie's Bunion first then hike to the Jump-Off on the way back.

I never realized the Smokey Mountains had steep ledges and rocky cliffs until this hike. The view does not only open outwards, but downwards into the surrounding valleys. This turned out to be one of my favorite hikes in Tennessee. The first two miles upwards is rough, but completely worth it. Also, check out the Jump-Off while you are out there. Only adds a mile and gives you an excellent view of Charlie's Bunion.

The views from the mountain balds will take your breath away if the 15-mile hike doesn't first. I've lived in Tennessee practically my entire life and have thoroughly explored the surrounding area and have yet to find a better day-hike. I would highly advise calling the shuttle service ahead of time to give them advanced notice. Leave at 7 am or earlier to give you enough time to reach the shuttle service before it stops at 4.

These pictures does not do the tunnel justice. The walk on top of the tunnel features several guardrails and wooden bridges. The waterfall is small but intimate. You can walk right up under it and a large rock sitting directly in front is the perfect place to stand for a picture. This location also features a day camping area and stream that you could tube down. Overall, an easily-accessible place for all skill levels.

Make certain to only make the trip on a clear day as I've hiked up to the fire tower only to see sheets of white. However, on a clear day, the views are incredible. I'd recommend watching the sunset over Pisgah National Forest.

This is by-far one of my favorite waterfalls. This unique waterfall is abnormally wide and allows you to walk right up under it. The spray from the waterfall crashing on the rocks combined with the soft roar of the water is incredibly relaxing. This is a must-go if in the area!

I'd recommend taking Irwin Trail Overlook or scaling down to the base of the waterfall. Go during the week to avoid crowds.

This fire tower is fairly new and well constructed. The hike is easy enough to do in about 10 minutes and offers the best view of Lake Martin. Wouldn't make a day trip just for this, but if you're in the area, don't pass this up!

Elk river falls so easily accessible it'd be a shame to pass up! The trail is clearly marked and new wooden walkways make getting to the bottom easier than ever. The waterfall is massive and a terrific site. I have jumped off it once and would not recommend. As noted, multiple people have died doing so due to the heavy undercurrent. Still a great place to swim, though!