Fork Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 8 reviews

Fork Mountain Loop Trail is a 18.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Waynesville, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

18.6 miles 4893 feet Loop




nature trips

trail running


horseback riding



wild flowers




no dogs

3 months ago

Beautiful hike through lush rhododendron forests and misty pine forests. Very lightly traveled and even overgrown in some parts. One of my favorites.

8 months ago

Wrong! Dogs are not allowed on any trails in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It spoils a hike to bring your dog and meet a ranger, who sends you backtracking with the dog and an unpleasant fine.

You can do an in and out hike from the Big Creek Trailhead to the tower, which is 12.4 miles and 4100 feet ascent. The trail is rocky and an ankle turner at the places where it sidelines a ridge.

There are a few nice views along the route. Initially you follow Big Creek, with its huge boulders and noisy water. There are some peeks at Mt. Cammerer, Luftee Knob, Waterville tower, and Mt. Guyot. At the top of the climb, you can climb the old fire tower steps for even nicer views.

9 months ago

Amazing fall hike. The ecosystems change with the elevation and the creeks are so clear you can see the rainbow trout hunting for food. I probably won't camp on Mt. Sterling again due to the fierce wind we faced all night. But on a calmer night, I can see how it would be perfect.

Side not: zero cell service along the entire 20 miles hike

1 year ago

3 years ago

Very nice hike. Great trees for hammockers. I highly recommend the view from the firetower at night.

3 years ago

The trail was a gradual steep upslope but not bad at all. The view from the firetower is amazing and well worth the quick 2.5 miles uphill. Don't let the elevation gain scare you!

4 years ago

Great moderate hike. Beautiful climb through the woods with several partial views. Didnt see a soul on the way up. But the firetower and views from the summit made it all worth it.

My only complaint is that it was difficult to find. I didnt see any signs from the road. Don't trust your gps to do all the work. Know what to look for.

But overall, awesome hike!

6 years ago

We did this hike after LeConte. I thought oh boy only 5.4 miles no big deal. Big deal, this is steep steep steep and demanding the entire trip. It sucks your energy right out. Great training hike though. A couple of nice views and if you make it to the top the view from the tower ( and cell phone reception) is great. Kind of a shady place to have to leave your car but no one bothered ours. There were only 3 other people on this trail on labor day weekend, no one wants to try it. One of the other parties of 2 had given up and were coming down could not handle how steep it was.