Caldwell Fork Loop is a 16.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Waynesville, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Great winter hiking and stand along Big Poplars Winter is the perfect time to enjoy these low elevation horse trails. Your hike will begin at the Caldwell Fork Trailhead. The first three miles will be an easy climb as you follow Caldwell Fork Creek. Turn right at Big Fork Ridge Trail and follow this trail to Rough Fork Road where if you're lucky you can view the Elk in the field adjacent to the parking lot. A short road walk you begin the Rough Fork Trail, about 1 mile, stop and visit the Woody Place. A half-mile later is Campsite #40 the end of Day 1. You will warm up quick as you break camp as the climb continues on the Rough Fork Trail for about 1.4 miles until you reach the Caldwell Fork Trail (turn left). A little more than a mile you reach the spur trail (turn left) to the "Big Poplars" a must side trip. Backtrack to the Caldwell Fork Trail (turn left) and continue until you reach the Boogerman Trail. Turn right as this will loop around to the Caldwell Fork Trail. Turn right to return to the car.
This is a good trip for beginning backpackers. I like starting on the Big Fork Ridge Trail, camping at Caldwell Fork #41, then passing the Big Poplars before descending Rough Fork Ridge Trail past the Woody Place. It's a nice winter trip when you just want to get out for an easy weekend.