Forney Creek Trail is a 23 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cherokee, 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 best used from March until October.

Distance: 23.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,878 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Directions from Cherokee, NC: Travel to the end of Clingman's Dome Road off US 441, north of Cherokee.

backpacking
4 days ago

Forney Creek is an awesome trail. We hiked it during a backpacking trip memorial day weekend 2020. Weather was pretty wet and rainy most of the day. The trail itself is in really good condition with an occasional muddy spot. Be careful with the river crossings as they were waist deep at times with really strong currents. The trail is an awesome site to see especially the closer you get to the Clingmans Dome junction. The forest changes to mostly evergreens and the landscape is amazing especially if you get a chance to hike it in the fog. We camped at site 68 which has an upper and lower. The upper is the more gorgeous site with amazing waterfall and waterslide views. The lower though will accommodate large groups and we had 7 tents there and still had plenty of room.

backpacking
5 days ago

I am a fairly experienced hiker but this was tough for a first time backpacker! When you make your way onto the Forney Creek Trail it gets a little intense, especially if it has rained or is raining. There are several down trees to get over/under. Sure footing is a must, the descent is real! I took a tumble but lived to tell the tale. The water crossings are a challenge, yet we persevered. We camped at #68, which was just gorgeous by the waterfalls. We had plenty of time to relax and enjoy. The next morning we climbed that thing right back up. It was challenging enough to be fun, but not enough to be traumatizing!

hiking
Fri Jul 20 2018

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it. Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river. Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70. Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles. Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

backpacking
Sun Jun 17 2018

Started at Clingmans Dome and made our way down to site #68. We camped there for the night because it was just too beautiful and peaceful not to camp by a waterfall. The next morning we made our way down to #69. The creek crossings were not bad except for the very last one to reach the camp spot. Due to heavy rain that day the water was way up and stomach deep. I ended up bending one of my treks while navigating across. However, we conquered it and came out alive. Definitely not for beginners when the creek is up like that in my opinion, but definitely a peaceful sleep for those who do it!

Mon Oct 24 2016

Myself and 4 others began Friday morning from Clingmans Dome in 38 degree temps and blowing mist and rain. Once off from the parking lot and below the ridge the wind subsided, however the rain continued into the night. The route chosen was Forney Ridge trail to Forney Creek trail and out on the Lakeshore trail to the road to no where. The trail condition was excellent along the Forney Ridge section with obvious maintenance and steps being constructed. This section was mainly composed of large rocks and soil and a gradual decent to the intersection with the Forney Creek trail. The Forney Creek trail narrowed markedly and contained beds of loose stone and a steeper decent to Forney Creek. Sure footing is a must especially during periods is wet conditions. Many times the footing slipped with the stone or slid across leaves, etc. Once down to campsite 68 the trail runs along an old rail bed left from the timber harvest back in the day. Remnants of said harvest are still evident with exposed rails, etc. The decent is more gradual as it makes it way along the creek. Several crossings are made, the smaller of which have a single timber for crossing, while others require scouting for a place to cross. In lower water it may be possible to step from stone to stone. We chose to camp at site 69. Upon arriving, the main site is on a small point on the north side of the trail. There, water is plentiful with several creeks coming together. From site 69 on down to 74 the trail remains the same although there are several additional wet crossing having to negotiated. Forney Creek picks up in volume and many runs a available for those fishing. Along in the area where Jonas Creek comes in, horses are along on the trail. There are a couple areas where the trail runs over ridges and away from the creek. However the climbs are not strenuous. The trail runs by a beautiful old home place evidence by the remaining chimney. This location make for a good break. Site 74 is very large and adequate for both hikers and riders. Again, water is plentiful from Forney Creek. The lakeshore trail winds its way up from site 74 across a of couple ridges to the intersection of the Whiteoak trail. The signage is somewhat confusing however stay to the right and you'll hike over another ridge all along old haul roads/rail beds. You'll have the choice of bypassing the tunnel of the road to no where or staying left and coming out at the end of the pavement and continuing through the tunnel to the trail head. The total distance traveled was approximately 15 miles and was moderate in nature. Though the first two miles could take it toll on worn knees and hips.

hiking
Sun Aug 16 2015

It was awesome. My son and I hiked a total of 60 miles in 5 days. Forney Creek Trail was our last leg. It was brutal; loved it.

camping
Sun May 24 2015

Went in April the creek was flowing strong and wide made for some challenging crossings. Camped at 70. Very scenic trail incredible experience. Started at Clingmans.

camping
Sun May 24 2015

Amazing

hiking
Fri Jun 28 2013

A nice hike with unexpected waterfalls.

camping
Fri Aug 03 2012

Starting from Clingman's Dome it's a great summer hike. the elevation and shaded path is a nice break from the heat of the lower regions. When you step off Forney ridge trail the start of the Forney creek trail is rough. Rocks in the steep trail add difficulty but it's worth the effort. About 3 miles down the trail you reach camp site #68 (steel trap is the name of the site) you will find the cascades and several nice falls. In addition are the interesting remains of the logging days that once wrecked the forest. The forest has long since grown back. As a result of the difficulty of the trail it is not as worn as more accessible trails. A bonus is the great fly fishing the creek offers. Camping at #68, #69 and 70 is a real back county camping and fishing opportunity.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

recorded Forney Creek Trail

hiking
9 months ago

horseback riding
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

recorded Forney Creek Trail

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Fri Apr 05 2019

hiking
Tue Jul 03 2018

hiking
Mon Jul 03 2017

Sun Jul 17 2016

hiking
Sat Jun 22 2013