We couldn't find the trailhead or any markers. (And we weren't the only ones. We ran into another couple who had finally given up.) We followed what appeared to be a fisherman's trail along the river. It was not easy, but the scenery was nice. We had our four-legged babies with us, so we didn't venture too far (about 0.5 miles in and back) because it gets very steep in certain places. There has been a lot of flooding in these parts over the past year, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but even the trail marked on here is not the actual trail. It may be worth asking a ranger before heading out or a local- neither of which we did and I kind of regret now. We only had enough time to squeeze in one hike and I feel like we picked the wrong one...
What an outstanding trail in WNC!!!
The trail has very little elevation change considering the overall length.
I would guess 65% of the trail is shaded - which really helps on an August hike
We only passed a dozen hikers (and that accounts for the 4 legged trekkers too.)
Colors were great even in late summer - both plants and insects.
What an awesome trail! The trail can have a few soft spots after a rain, but it can all be passed and remain dry and clean!
The access is only too easy. There are good lavatory facilities at the trailhead (not a normal feature for most hikes)
If your time and skill allows, I would highly recommend an hour diversion off to the Mtn to Sea trail.
The BRP was outstanding as well, with the colors are just changing.
My only complaint would have to be parking for the trail - I actually parked up the parkway at the overlook and walked back down. Weekend parking is always a challenge, and during leaf peeping season, it is worse!
This Trail is beautiful in the Fall. If you start from the hatchery do not stop at the fire tower, which isn't worth going up, it has no spectacular view from the top. If you continue on you will come to an open area, there is a sign that says glade restoration, that has a great view of surrounding hills. Keep going! You will eventually cross a highway and the trail will start following part of the river where you and your dog can get in and cool off. It's a pretty long hike so make sure you take some water and snacks!
Phuong H. on East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere)
First half of the hike leading up to the bridge is fairly easy with some scenic environment & river/stream crossing.
The later portion is a bit harder especially in the mid day sun beating down. No cover as you hike up elevation with repetitive landscape of river rocks & boulders below.
If you're stopping at the bridge then it's a little disappointing. From pictures and videos seen online you assume it be big, but that's not the case. To really enjoy the area head down below the bridge and relax by the water. That's one of the few best thing I found about this hike.