What a great hike. Did the loop, it was little long but worth the work. Great views and beautiful scenery!! Definitely recommend

My sister and I hiked this trail in the rain, sleet, and snow. What a challenge! We hiked the entire loop. Some horses passed us and added to the challenged. They tore up the wet trail and left their mark.

hiking
2 months ago

As quick and easy and picturesque as this hike is, it's hard to believe it isn't more popular! (Probably because it's so hard to find) It's a perfect bonus hike if you're in the area for Max Patch.

Directions:
Coming from I-40, follow signs for the Harmon Den horse camp, and then the trailhead listed here is a pull-off less than 100 yards from the fork in the road. As far as I can tell, you can park further up the road where it ends at a gate where the creek crosses under the road. If you choose to walk, it's easiest to follow on or along the road, past the horse camp, to this road gate (not to be confused with the road gate into the horse camp. You'll pass by that one). The actual trail is the most subtle of openings into the woods to the left, just past the gate. From this point, follow the narrow trail along the creek to the falls.

Nice short walk to a beautiful little falls. The trail was hard to find though: take the Horse Camp Loop Trail and follow the little opening past the horse trough.

Short drive from our home. Easy to find the road leading back to the falls.Beautiful river and small falls on the road back. Easy hike for any skill level, very slight elevation.Trail was not marked so we guessed we were on the right trail.Small stream leads you to the falls.Very short hike but worth the effort.

hiking
8 months ago

Perfect fall hike, great views of the mountains in the distance and experience the change in the color of the leaves as the elevation change. This is the 3rd time I have done this hike and this time of year is my favorite!

horseback riding
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Nice trail

backpacking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Beautiful trail. Saw elk along the way! Be careful as I heard numerous reports that bears frequent this trail. Besides that, it was a fairly easy hike. I will say that it is a 'gradual uphill' most of the way so prepare to get a little bit of cardio work done!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Couldn't get to it gate was blocking sheep back rd

hiking
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My 17 year old son and I got onto the trail at Polls Gap and proceeded to Hemphill's Bald. The views were really fantastic! The hike on the way was definitely strenuous at times, but enjoyable! After the Bald, we proceeded on Hemphill Bald Trail, but missed our turn at Double Gap. If you go straight ahead at Double Gap, you will be on Cataloochee Divide Trail. We ended up following that trail, accomplishing right at 9 miles total for the day, before we exited the trail at Big Laurel Road where we were picked up by my husband. I sure wish we had accomplished our goal of the whole loop, but we did enjoy a great hike with stunning views!

hiking
Monday, April 27, 2015

hiking
Friday, April 24, 2015

Starting from Caldwell Fork, the Hemphill Bald Trail begins as one of the most tedious paths in the Catalooch. If the deep erosion from weather and horse travel makes you grateful you brought your boots, the six stream crossings will make you even happier you waterproofed them. At the first crossing, you have to hug the laurel on the right side of the stream to be able to discern where the trail picks up on the other side. I had to ford the next crossing, so packing a small towel is recommended.

After the final crossing, you'll encounter a lone, old growth poplar!

The trail conditions improve as it begins its strenuous 2 mile ascent toward the the Cataloochie Divide. On the way, you'll get some excellent views of Balsam and Sterling to the northwest and views of the approaching divide ridge to the south. When you arrive to the park boundary on the divide, the Cataloochie Ranch is beyond the fence line with awesome views of the Pisgah corridor to the northeast, the Plott Balsam range due east and Hemphill Bald waiting in the south.

Based on the beauty of the trail during its earnest ascent and the rewards to come at the divide, I'd easily give this trail 4 stars - but the first mile is too brutal to forgive.

Worthwhile? You bet!!!

hiking
Monday, October 10, 2011

Great Hike, not a lot of steep up hill. Beatiful views for Fall Season. Got to take tons of pictures!