Laurel River Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hot Springs, NC that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Nice hike along a very scenic whitewater rive, ruins and swimming * The map shows that it is in Fairview but it is in the hot springs area - I tried to relocate it closer This is a very nice hike along the Big Laurel River. This is an In-out route that will take about 3.5 hours and cover 7 miles. You start the trail by heading south and will shortly come to a private residence that is posted "Private" Continue walking on the trail until you resume your hike in the forest. The trail is flat and for the most part, tree covered. You will notice numerous trees in the process of being "felled" by area Beavers. There are quite a few rapids and trout pools along most of the route. There are also some excellent camping spots and swimming holes along the way. About 3/4 of the way in there are some foundational ruins from the old town of Runion. After the ruins stay on the trail until you intersect the rail road tracks and hike back out.
Pretty trail that follows the Laurel River until it meets the French Broad. According to our tracking app, it was over 8 miles (so not sure which was off). Flat and shady the whole way. Our 8 and 9 year old boys did fine. We had a picnic on rocks by the river along the way.
Trail is actually a little over 8 miles. Super easy hike. Not one I would normally pick but the wild flowers were beautiful.
Great hike, flat easy, shady, but very rocky trail boots recommended, beautiful swimming holes and waterfalls entire length of trail, very popular on weekends. If you go swimming or bring dogs off leash beware of copperheads, I see at least one every time I go either in water or in rocks on bank so much so I don't enjoyong swimming unless in one of the big holes with lots of people and I dont let dogs run the riverbank off leash.. love this trail beautiful after good rain.
Nice easy hike out and back. Plenty of swimming opportunities. Wonderful beginner trail.
Great hike with lovely river breezes. Nice and flat and great scenery especially if you can't do elevation hiking. Nice tree lined trail. Definitely buy farm fruit from the older gentleman with his farm stand in the parking lot. The best peaches and apples ever! If you need supplies just past the parking lot to the left around the corner is a small store.
Easy and beautiful
Perfect for a hot day when you want to hike a little and swim a lot. We only made it about 2mi in because swimming in the river was too tempting. Beautiful. Spent the day jumping off the rocks into the water and looking for crawdads and salamanders. Rope swing further down that we didn't make it to but heard was crowded. Will try to hike the whole trail next time.
Easy with 5 and 7 year old boys and plenty of spots to relax by the river and get wet.
We almost made it to the end. If we had a map we would have made it. It was a fairly flat, easy hike. Some places were a bit rocky. There were many places to stop and swim.
Great walk along the river
Hiked whole trail to fork at two rivers. Easy hike with gorgeous views. Saw "ruins" of old town. Not much there to see. Fun day.
Took my dog and my kids aged 8-16. Found the remains of Runion and walked up the tracks to Stackhouse. Good spots for swimming and a relatively easy trail, though there's a couple of precarious spots you should be careful of with small children.
Did this trail after a recommendation from some one in Hot springs. We took our two large dogs, and were able to let them run the trail and swim. There were lots of small beaches for water access, and the river had some great rapid spots. We didn't make it to the ghost town of Runion, but plan on doing this trail in its entirety on our next visit.
Went there today, always a delight. The water was really rushing, rapids were amazing. Lots of places to sit and meditate or get in the water. This was first time I noticed a couple of little waterfalls along the other side of the river. Saw 2 nonvenous snakes - I think a brown water snake and a rate snake. Neither were big. I nearly stepped on the brown and he was just a scared of me as I was of him. Saw some trees the beavers have been gnawing on. The trail ends at a railway crossing at the point where the Laurel River joins the French Broad River. Would rate it a 5 star for an easy hike, only gave it a 4 overall because I also like some panoramic views and some challenge. Biggest challenges on this one are small rocks jutting out along the trail, so you want to keep your eyes on those sections to prevent twisting your ankle.
Easy flat terrain, lovely river views. Want to come back in the summer - several good swimming holes
We walked this trail a little over a week ago. It is an easier trail but there are roots across the trail and some rocks so you have to watch your step in some places. We saw evidence in a few places of beavers working on felling some trees - a first! We saw the ruins of the town of Runion on the left side of the trail toward the end and walked up the hill off the trail a bit to get a closer look. When you get to the end of the main trail, you will come to railroad tracks. If you cross them and go down the little hill, you will come to where the Laurel River meets the French Broad just a few steps down the path. We ate lunch there before returning. It was pleasant to walk alongside the river and hear its sounds. The trail is very close to Hot Spring, NC so we drove there afterward to stroll around the town. Enjoyed it - plan to go back some time.