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Caldwell Fork Loop is a 16.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 16.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,435 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

washed out

no dogs

Great winter hiking and stand along Big Poplars Winter is the perfect time to enjoy these low elevation horse trails. Your hike will begin at the Caldwell Fork Trailhead. The first three miles will be an easy climb as you follow Caldwell Fork Creek. Turn right at Big Fork Ridge Trail and follow this trail to Rough Fork Road where if you're lucky you can view the Elk in the field adjacent to the parking lot. A short road walk you begin the Rough Fork Trail, about 1 mile, stop and visit the Woody Place. A half-mile later is Campsite #40 the end of Day 1. You will warm up quick as you break camp as the climb continues on the Rough Fork Trail for about 1.4 miles until you reach the Caldwell Fork Trail (turn left). A little more than a mile you reach the spur trail (turn left) to the "Big Poplars" a must side trip. Backtrack to the Caldwell Fork Trail (turn left) and continue until you reach the Boogerman Trail. Turn right as this will loop around to the Caldwell Fork Trail. Turn right to return to the car.

bridge out
muddy
washed out
7 days ago

This was a beautiful trail, but we started it with the intention of going to the giant poplars so did not want to take the Boogerman loop as it adds considerable miles. The first mile is okay, but then quickly degrades. There are a lot of river crossings that are knee to thigh high. When we came to the fourth, it looks like a footbridge is needed but is gone. We had our 9 year old with us and the swiftness and deepness looked dangerous so we turned back. If you want to go to the Poplars, take the Boogerman trail and avoid this one.

hiking
bridge out
7 months ago

The section of the Caldwell Fork Trail that can be bypassed via the Boogerman Trail has most of the bridges out, resulting in numerous deep wet creek crossings, about knee deep. This is not a safe option in very cold weather. I and five others made it through on 11/10/19, but had it been much colder than the 40 degrees it was, this would not have been doable or safe. Going around on Boogerman is a good option, to stay dry.

hiking
muddy
rocky
11 months ago

trail not well marked. horses have created horrible footing for hikers. lots of old growth. numerous creek crossings, some were crotch deep.

hiking
Sat Feb 14 2015

This is a good trip for beginning backpackers. I like starting on the Big Fork Ridge Trail, camping at Caldwell Fork #41, then passing the Big Poplars before descending Rough Fork Ridge Trail past the Woody Place. It's a nice winter trip when you just want to get out for an easy weekend.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

recorded Caldwell Fork Loop

hiking
Wed Apr 24 2019

hiking
Sun Jun 17 2018

hiking
Sun Jun 17 2018

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Sat Apr 21 2018

hiking
Thu May 18 2017

hiking
Tue Oct 25 2016