Three Forks Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,085 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

4 months ago

The trail that starts off the highway is not marked, with no “actual” parking spots. Right at the start is a creek that you’re going to have to cross. Either get your feet wet (not advised this early on in the hike) or go across barefoot. BRING EXTRA SOCKS!! The entire trail is covered in mud, brambles, fallen trees, spider webs, and ticks! Bug spray is also a necessity. When you get to the main fork that starts the loop, GO RIGHT then slightly left to stay on track. You’ll follow the trail down through more downed trees and brambles, then through a “mini loop” to the water. The converging rivers are beautiful! There’s some rocks to sit on and take a break, right at the center of the rivers. When you head back up, GO BACK THE WAY YOU CAME!!!!! I know it’s a “loop trail” but the back side of the trail is completely destroyed! All the trees are down, making the tiny trail literally invisible. We ended up bushwhacking our way out of the mess, nearly getting lost in the process. I wasn’t so judgmental on the rest of the trail after that. Overall, the hike was rough. Sure, it’s flat, but the lack of maintenance made the trail exhausting. The view at the water really is beautiful, “a little Montana” as we called it. I just wouldn’t advise taking kids, dogs, or anybody who isn’t ready to “rough it” a little.
Take-away points:
1. Extra socks
2. Bug spray
3. DO NOT take the backside of the loop! Go right at the fork then come back up the way you came to get back to the highway!!!!

Friday, November 03, 2017

This trail is listed in Highlands, NC and Clayton, GA. It took some time but we found an entrance off of Hwy 28 just outside of Highlands. Absolutely nothing was marked and we had to cross a small stream to gain access to the trail. The trail was beautiful but a lot of downed trees. There were no markings and we only found the waterfall by chance. It was amazing and worth it. We had to double back on the trail at the waterfall due to blocked paths which made our hike almost 8 miles.

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trailhead starts on hwy 28 north of big creek on pullout. Map is not accurate. What is shown is private property. Residents were helpful getting us to the right place. Good hike but couldn't get to waterfall. No signage to point the way. Saw pileated woodpecker, box turtle and lots of bugs.

hiking
Monday, August 26, 2013

This is a good trail with nice scenery and is a good hike for a family. I hiked this trail with my son and some friends and we camped overnight at the site near the Long Creek Falls. The trail is easy with little elevation gain and follows the creek all the way to the falls.

nature trips
Sunday, January 08, 2012

This trail has the feel of 'real hiking' for smaller kids and has a nice little waterfall. The drive to the trail is a beautiful one! There is very little gain, making it nice for a family picnic at the falls.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Saturday, April 08, 2017