I hiked this trail last week and it is very pretty, well built but NOT easy. It was 2+ miles DOWN to a beautiful cascade falls, I assume Thunder Hole, then 2+ miles UP. The upper trail head is across from the equestrian center on Laurel road just west of Blowing Rock on 221.
John W. on Lower China Creek
We may not have found the correct trail... But it appeared to be a logging road that went along the China Brook. It was very nice our dog really enjoyed it. Relatively easy. After four miles out we decided to turn around. Very pleasant.
Dog paw friendly. About three and half miles and you cross the creek stop and enjoy the scenery.
For mountain biking around here this trail system is on the mediocre side of things but a little less climb and then ride down, or vice versa, than much of what I've been finding around here. Benson Hollow is part of this trail system too. The trails are well marked and primarily used by the tenents of a nearby horseback riding campsite. The Horse club publishes an excellent map. I suspect if there's a dryer season the trails would be a pretty good cross country work out. My ride was pretty muddy and the horses exacerbate that.
For a guy like me this trail is a great workout. I think the info here at alltrails is a little off. I rode down Globe rd. and up the china creek trail and it's a pretty long climb, quite a bit more than the 250 ft quoted here. The gentleman at Footslaugers outfitters in Blowing rock said a friend of his told him from the top of china creek trail you could bushwack to connect with RT 221 and so I was determined to do this rather than riding back down and then up Globe road. I should add that local maps do not show this trail as a loop and my experience riding it confirms that but after many creek crossings and quite, some time climbing, probably two hours for me, the creek has become much smaller and the trail takes an unexpected switchback to the left and up, of course. At what I assume is the top of this switchback section there is a trail branching off to the right, continuing uphill whereas the original trail goes downhill. Following this trail, more grueling switchbacks, I reached Laurel road where a rt turn returned me to downtown Blowing Rock. This trail is Upper Thunderhole trail and next time I will start there and ride down the creek and back up Globe road.
Overall a great trail, tricky at spots technically but nothing crazy. Riding down Globe road and up China Creek is a long tough climb and not a casual bike ride. I can imaging downhillers would enjoy this ride the other direction; Upper Thunderhole to China creek trail but be prepared for the long climb back up Globe road.