Laurel River Trail

EASY 39 reviews
#17 of 114 trails in

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.

7.0 miles 1163 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

whitewater kayaking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

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.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful scenery, flat trail. Ate our lunch at the clearing at the intersection of the Laurel and French Broad with 2 folding chairs mentioned in another review. Coffee shop near the parking area is great.

hiking
23 days ago

Large trailhead parking area just beside Hwy 25/70 where 208 intersects. Reach a fork in the trail soon after leaving trailhead, either route is fine...they will join back up shortly. Pass 2 or 3 cabins and a couple of railway cars on the left. Beautiful scenic river with very unique rock formations for the rest of the hike. Come to the remaining fragments of Runion and continue on to an intersection with a rail line. Cross the tracks and scramble down the other side passing the confluence of Big Laurel Creek with the wide and the French Broad River. Someone's even left a couple of folding chairs to sit and gaze at the river before heading back. Trail was a great way to spend the afternoon. It took us about 3 hours walking time.

1 month ago

Easy path, shaded and follows river. My dog enjoyed playing in the water. Thankfully we did not encounter any snakes, which I later read were plentiful here. We went on a Sunday afternoon, and there were several other families there. Would recommend going on a weekday.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

2 months ago

Trail is actually a little over 8 miles. Super easy hike. Not one I would normally pick but the wild flowers were beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy hike out and back. Plenty of swimming opportunities. Wonderful beginner trail.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike!!!

hiking
3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

Easy and beautiful

hiking
5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

5 months ago

Easy with 5 and 7 year old boys and plenty of spots to relax by the river and get wet.

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

Great walk along the river

hiking
7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

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.