hiking

forest

trail running

walking

kid friendly

views

wild flowers

nature trips

lake

birding

horseback riding

Absolutely beautiful!!!

hiking
9 days 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.

This trail is easy and beautiful! I loved the open field about a mile into the trail. A great hike to do with friends or even alone!

Pleasant uncrowded trail with many options to extend or shorten your hike. One or two good views, but mostly forested. Some interesting rock outcroppings along the trail.

Easy walk with beautiful views. Would be good year round. Next time will check out Rich Mountain Trail as well.

Nice open trail. My two year old was able to walk it easily. My only negative is the tower was closed and it was heavily trafficked even during the week (parking was full). Will definitely go back, hopefully when not so foggy.

Nice, wide open trails. Do not believe it's 6 miles. Beautiful lake views