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Rewarding falls at the end! Trail is tight in the beginning but opens up for a nice decent to the bottom. Waterfall is beautiful and great for a mid hike rest! Trail diverges towards the end, stay left. If you go right, you’ll navigate over/under/through fallen trees. Not the right way!

Overall: great hike! Be prepared for the assault back up to the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Very steep trail with amazing flora and an awesome water fall at the bottom called thunder hole. additionally if you continue past thunder hole you can connect to the lower china creek trail a 4.5 mile loop with plenty of river crossings a few waterfalls and a couple good spots for swimming.

hiking
11 months ago

This trail starts at the kiosk on Laurel Lane across the road from the sign for the equestrian center in Blowing Rock. Although in existence for many years, the trail has been restored and improved through a partnership between The Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Youth Conservation Corps. Now well groomed and maintained, the trail is narrow and literally carved out of the hillside with switchbacks and steep dropoffs along most of its length; so be careful. No panoramic vistas here, but the local flora and many rock outcrops along the way make this an interesting hike. At GPS coords N36.124 W81.696 another trail comes in from the right which goes back to the US 221 rest area, although it is not as well maintained. Either way back up will be strenuous. If you continue on the China Creek trail (left at this junction) you will meet fire road 4071 in about half a mile, and according to the trailhead kiosk, continuing on another half-mile will bring you to Thunderhole falls, although I never actually found that. My GPS track stops at FR4071. The trail is not marked and there is no signage, but it is well defined and blazes really are not needed. What is not obvious is where the trail continues on at FR4017. It's directly across the road, but you will have to look for it. Note: Alltrails calculated an elevation "gain" of 45 feet from the GPX file - very wrong. Actual elevation change by GPS is 1688 feet from trailhead to FR4071.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago