Rough Fork Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, NC and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Easy hike, Beautiful Trout Stream, Old 19 Century House, Wildlife This trail is described in Allan DeHarts North Carolina Hiking Trails. The trail is very easy, and the old Woody House is a must see. Also take time to visit the old School House, and Palmer Chapel while you are in the valley. Wildlife in the valley consist of Bear, Deer, Elk, and Wild Boar. In early spring close deer sightings are common. Do not attempt to approach the Boar or Elk. Bear are seldom seen, they remain on the remote high ridges of the valley. For hikes other than those listed here visit my other web site <a href="http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/nctrailtime/">North Carolina Hikers</A>
This trail is not dog friendly- their is a sign at the trailhead showing that dogs are not allowed. I spoke with a park volunteer who said that dogs are not allowed on any of the trails within this park.
My husband, son and I enjoyed this little walk! Points of interest were the stream that the trail stays near, the log bridges, and the Woody House with spring house. Didn't have a lot of time today, so this was perfect! Took us about an hour and a half.
After its first mile up to Campsite 40, the Rough Fork begins a brisk ascent to the Caldwell Fork Trail (2.9) and then onward to Polls Gap (6.5). Although in better shape than most of the other trails in South Catalooch, it still has its share of loose rocks, protruding roots, and erosion caused by weather and horse travel. Since it's a ridge trail, there are no major stream crossings to navigate - bring plenty of water! The rewards for the relentless elevation gain are nice views to the west, while continuing up to the Cataloochie Divide.
I actually came down the Rough Fork by making a loop with the Big Fork Ridge Trail, linking up to the Hemphill Bald Trail, and then descending down the Divide.
Didn't see a soul during the whole 19.5 mile trek - pretty sweet!