TO THE TRAILHEAD: To get there, head to the Deep Creek section of the Smoky Mountains. The very small and discrete parking area is on the left side of the road and the trailhead at Nolan Divide Trail is across the street. Keep your eyes open. It is easy to miss.
THE HIKE: This hike is a 6.6 mile moderate hike, and is perfect for just about anyone. The great part about this hike is the views. They are terrific pretty much any time of year, but I like it best during winter when the leaves are gone and the views open up even more. Some also like them in Spring to see the flowers everywhere.
Major events on this hike include the small cascades at 1.6 miles. There is a huge area to wade in the summer months. There are also mammoth boulders at this location. Please be careful. Someone gets hurt here every year from horsing around on slick boulders. Otherwise, it is a great place to take a dip in the water before continuing on towards the overlook. 3 miles in, the turnoff for the spur to Lonesome Pine Overlook is found. This part will be the best views. The views at the top are great, but the trees block some of the terrific 360 degree views. Again, it is one reason that I like doing this one in winter. You get great views of Bryson City, the Smokies Peaks, and views into Nantahala National Forest.