Flat Laurel Creek is a 4.3 mile out and back trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.3 miles
524 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


mountain biking




A very easy trail from NC-215 up to the Forest Service parking area at Black Balsam Mountain. The overall elevation gain is very modest over the length of the trail, and there are some beautiful views to the west and also of Sam's Knob.

2 months ago

A most excellent adventure. We did the one way hike from Black Balsam to NC 215. Easy trail with lots of places to get my paws and fur wet. Trail was in good shape. Only one big mud puddle to navigate around. Lots of four legged friends to play with along the way.

3 months ago

Wife and I walked this trail today and it went to the top of our favorites list. Gradual incline which I love and lots of water features for her. Some nice camping sites for future use, and tons of blackberries for the picking. Very light traffic (6 folks and 3 dogs) besides us. This is a trail you can take friends and family to no matter what their hiking experience level. We'll be back.

4 months ago

Great hike with the family! Climb is super gradual and full of incredible natural sights and waterfalls. The top makes a great picnic spot or even camping spot. Will definitely be back and even go further on the trail.

4 months ago

My son and I had a great time hiking this trail. It is marked as moderate but it is an easy hike. The only thing I can think of that may be difficult for some people are the rocky parts.

5 months ago

beautiful hike today... it has been raining in the evening so the trail was wet and a little muddy but I didn't mind at all the scenery was gorgeous.

8 months ago

Beautiful crisp morning with a little snow on the ground still. Falls were gorgeous.

9 months ago

Great loop with the Mountains to Sea Trail and Little Sam’s Trail

10 months ago

Great time on this trail yesterday! Some very nice views and some great campsites!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Very nice easy trail

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lovely trail with some cool water features to cross.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Awesome hike. Did the 7 mile loop starting at trailhead off of 215. Not difficult and beautiful views!

Friday, July 28, 2017

We hiked this in November 2017 with our dog. Very cool having to hike across small frozen streams. Got some great videos and pictures of the dog encountering ice for the first time. We cut across midway through to go up Sam Knob.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nice how the trail crosses several smaller creeks. Shady and pretty.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Relatively easy trail with a cool waterfall feature that flows under the trail bridge. Great creekside camp spots at the trial head and leads to even better ones the closer you get towards Sam Knob.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Very easy trail to hike. Great beginner trail. Lots of water on the trail. Crossing the creeks not a problem but lots of water running down the trail.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Solid trail for a day hike, overnight or extended stay. We parked at the trailhead off of 215 and camped towards the end of the trail near a creek. Very easy trail with plenty of water access and nearby destinations, including Sam's Knob, Devils Courthouse, and Black Balsam Knob. If camping in this area, bear canisters are required.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

We hiked about a mile passed Wildcat Falls. It was such a beautiful trail I hope we can come back and do the whole thing!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great trail! Gradual ascent and beautiful cover! Nice waterfalls.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Loved it! Berries, flowers and waterfalls...easy trail!

Friday, August 05, 2016

August 5, my wife and I hiked this 5 mile total in and back trail. Slight climb in but not hard. Very nice falls at the top. Tough climb down to the bottom of the falls but doable. Very little laurel left. Blackberries and blueberries. 60 - 65 degrees in the morning. Mostly covered with canopy. Would be beautiful in June, a lot of laurel. Will hike this again!

Monday, July 25, 2016

wonderful scenic trail near the Shining Rock Wilderness.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Awesome trail!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beautiful hike along Laurel Creek. Lots of camping spots and enjoyed the Cascades and 2 Waterfalls.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beautiful hike next to Laurel Creek. Lots of camping spots - enjoyed the Cascades & 2 Waterfalls

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Beautiful vistas almost every step of the way. Easy. Bring some water and bear repellant and enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Great hike with great campsites along the creek! Only about an hour hike to shady campsites, then another hour (moderate to strenuous) up to the bald. Beautiful view!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

This is a great trail for anyone looking for an easy hike up in the SHining Rock Wilderness area. If you hike from west to east, you leave from the trailhead just off NC-215 and hike up towards Black Balsam Mtn. The elevation change is very gradual, and there are some spectacular views, especially in fall and winter.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yes, this was an easy hike, but don't be put off by that! The scenery was great with several waterfalls and points of access to the creek. I admit I almost didn't do this one but I am very glad I did. From the Parking Lot heading west it is a steady decline, which means the trip back is an incline. Not that big a deal, but some might want to be aware of that. Because of previous days of rain, the trail was a bit soggy, but not too bad. Again, this is a delightful trail and one I will be trying to get back to.

1 month ago

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