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Florence Nature Preserve Trail

MODERATE 134 reviews

Florence Nature Preserve Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Gerton, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.1 miles Elevation Gain: 830 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching






11 days ago

An easy but lovely trail for those seeking some workout, but mostly enjoyment of nature. The first half is uphill, but nothing serious. Even with the foliage gone, it’s still gorgeous because of all the evergreens. There’s a cute stream and some small waterfalls. The trail splits off to several other trails of different colors, so you can make it a bigger loop if you look for a more serious hike.

15 days ago

Beautiful hike with lots of trail options

1 month ago

Great moderate trail with fall/winter views. Trail is very well-maintained and clearly marked.

Hard at first but then super cool

2 months ago

Great late summer day for a hike to the small waterfall and back. Surprisingly few people for a warm Sunday afternoon.

2 months ago

loved it.

3 months ago

steep uphill at the beginning up stairs, but the waterfall makes it all worthwhile. took side trail to rattlesnake knob. better in the fall when leaves are down.

3 months ago

Shady with some nice creek crossings. No scenic overlooks though and we were unsure and got turned around a couple times.

off trail
3 months ago

4 months ago

We took on our own version of the nature preserve by trying to stop at as many marks we could in a loop. We took a five mile hike all together and saw multiple overlooks and stream falls. There was no huge waterfall but on the path we took there was a lot of streams and small waterfalls. I highly enjoyed this hike but it did have a lot of steps and really worked out the calf’s and legs!

7 months ago

good trail

8 months ago

This trail is on the easy side of moderate. The only climb really is the first 3/4 mile (yellow trail). After that, it’s a nice walk around in the woods near the creek at a rather consistent altitude with several easy crossings. Take the orange spurs to see a couple of decent lookouts, and walk the blue/red loop to see the entire area (though a significant bit of the red side is on a gravel road above 74A).

8 months ago

I originally intended on hiking the Little Bearwallows Falls Trial, but got mistaken with this trailhead as it is in the same small parking lot. The easier trail that leads to the waterfall is across the street. Little Bearwallows Falls is only 1.3 miles to the falls and another 3 miles to the Wildcat rock view one way. As for this hike it is very high inclined especially in the beginning, but most of the incline has built log stairs, which makes it easier. Meaning the way back down is much faster and not as hard. I did about 5 and 1/2 miles round trip. Extremely light traffic. Although the trails are color coded and have a few markings as you go up , it is not specific, which makes it difficult if you do not have a map. The start head is yellow then there is a break off to another color trail, and again in about another 1/4 of a mile is a reddish/orange color trail head. I followed the blue marks all the way up. If you make it up all the way it will be a bit confusing as it seems it is the end of the blue trail head. There will be nothing but a dirt road. You will see an old broken down tractor to your left and postage of no motor vehicles in the surrounding area. If you go right and head up the dirt road all the way up the mountain you will get great views. I had about another half a mile, if that, to make it all the way up to the top of the mountain. I know this information is correct as I got the "great views" remark from two different locals on my way back down.

9 months ago

Nicely kept and well marked trails. Good forest hiking.

10 months ago

Nice hike, didn’t do the full loop. Saw some pretty, but small, waterfalls with ice. Very steep initial ascent.

Fri Aug 31 2018

nice uphill hike with interesting things to see along the way. I also did not ever see a waterfall. My one complaint is at the first part of the trail it is VERY narrow. If you have dogs (I have 4) you have to find a good spot to gather to let other hikers pass.

Sun Jul 08 2018

One of my favorite trails in the area.

Tue Jul 03 2018

Lovely hike. We tracked it as 4.7 miles. It was a moderate hike through an idyllic forest. The trail is well marked and maintained. Take a pic of trail map before you head up.

Tue May 08 2018

Well maintained and seemingly well marked trail but I never did find the full loop of the blue trail! And, the red trail seemed to just mysteriously end at some large was quite confusing. Otherwise decent walk in the woods, I had my two dogs and we only saw a couple other people. Probably wouldn’t go out of my way to do this again unless I was already headed down to chimney rock/lake lure.

Sat Apr 21 2018

Incredible wild flowers!! Well maintained. Great switchbacks. Well marked. Do the loop

Wed Apr 04 2018

To be clear. There is at no point a waterfall. There are a few small streams. Zero waterfalls. Great for exercise if that’s the only goal but for a nice hike with your dog and some good scenery I wouldn’t recommend. Definitely hits the glutes on the way up :)

Mon Mar 26 2018

Very steep initial ascent. The yellow trail starts you off through a steep slump of dead trees. You can then pick up the blue trail which is the longest section and ends at a Forrest service road. From there if you turn around pick up the red trail, you'll loop around and eventually meet back on the blue. Blue will take you to yellow and you'll be back at the trailhead. A few water crossings but there are foot bridges and stepping stones.

Wed Oct 25 2017

Steep in some places-a bit confusing - the blue trail goes either left or right - if u go left it connects with red, yellow, then Meets up with blue (the right trail) - follow the right Blue trail to go top & see waterfall...we did the Left & took us about 3 hours...too tired to go up to the top of Blue when we hooked in with it...well marked trails, good parking,

Fri Jul 07 2017

Very shaded, lots of access to the stream for the dogs. Steps at first but then a well worn mud packed path.

Tue Apr 11 2017

Moderate hike, well marked and maintained. Would definitely do it again! First part is a little steep - grab a walking stick at the trailhead.

Sat Mar 11 2017

Great hike that is not too hard. We met several families with young children. It would be interesting to know the history of the large house that must have stood many years ago just before the loop at the end. The large rock foundation of the house and two large chimneys are all that remains.

Sun Nov 06 2016

Actually took the longer route back to get view from Rattlesnake Knob. Babbling brooks along most of the route. Well marked and maintained.

Thu Sep 29 2016

Very enjoyable hike with delightful setting and views at the top. Some of the log bridges were unsteady as was the only handrail we came across. I recorded most of it but haven't found the map to add here.

Wed Sep 21 2016

Nice rhododendron tunnels.

Sat Jul 23 2016

Good steep start, through the woods up! I enjoyed it.

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