Goldmine Loop Trail [CLOSED]

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Swain County Park

Goldmine Loop Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bryson City, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.0 miles Elevation Gain: 780 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

road biking

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

closed

no dogs

Users have reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
muddy
4 days ago

Tunnel was cool. Lake view was nothing spectacular; muddy bog. No matter which way you go first, you are gonna go downhill, then of course, uphill. Definitely gets that heart rate going.

Fun trail but the lake view was disappointing. Lots of trash in the water.

hiking
18 days ago

Did this hike in spring 2019. Really enjoyed this one because of the constantly changing landscape. You start off in a dry, wooded section (if you go thru the tunnel first), and the scenery just keeps changing from there. There’s what I think was the site of an old homestead, creeks and cascades running thru different spots, a rhodo tunnel, lots of wild flowers, and a place to stop and sit by an inlet of Fontana Lake. It is a bit of a climb back, no matter which direction you take, but I woud totally hike it again. Only bad part was all the trash strewn anout at the lake front. The garbage can was overflowing so everything just got tossed on the ground and made it into the water and crappied up the shoreline. Was really disappointing. Otherwise a beautiful hike.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

Currently unable to access it due to Fontana Road, the only way to get to it, being closed when it enters the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Will review it properly when the COVID-19 crisis is over.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Not a bad hike at all, decent views, also found an old chimney. Pretty groovy

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Beautiful trail some mud but overall awesome.

hiking
blowdown
4 months ago

5 months ago

Nice trail love going through the tunnel at the start! Will do again when the lake is up and flowers are in bloom! The road to no where is a short hike with a nice steam most of the hike also the Backcountry camp site is really nice right next to creek and new cable system for food storage thanks to the friends of the smokies hiking group!

hiking
8 months ago

A fun relaxing day hike. We took the tunnel bypass trail (It's before the tunnel on the left directly across from the parking lot .4 miles to goldmine loop trail.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful forest and great short hike, would definitely do again!! Bear signs in area but no actual bear sightings.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Great hike. Was buggy in few parts. The trail signs could have been better. We could not find the entrance to one side of the loop. But the lake was beautiful. We went clockwise. You will get hit a good for 10-15 minutes in the later part of the trail.

horseback riding
muddy
washed out
10 months ago

Took my horses on this little trail, they did great but weren't happy about the tunnel (to be expected). Rated as a 4 because this trail should have better signage. I had to use an external map to stay on the right trail and it took me 10min to find the beginning of the trail (as the sign is covered by dense trees). Otherwise, short trail that gives access to the lake, little steep, and narrow.

hiking
bugs
muddy
11 months ago

We also inadvertently took a shortcut by following trail signage and not downloading trail map. It was still a gorgeous hike but limited views and no water was seen. We did however see a turkey, several squirrels, and a black bear! The bear ran from us and we sang loudly for the last mile or so. :)

hiking
muddy
11 months ago

hiking
muddy
washed out
Sat May 18 2019

hiking
Thu Apr 18 2019

A surprisingly-great loop with a tunnel, a stream, a lake (or lake bed, depending on the water), and spurs to campsites. Perfect small outing hike that’ll get your heart racing. Best in the AM, a lot of the trail is shaded on the way down (counterclockwise). The elevation spike on the map is totally bogus (you’re in the tunnel, not climbing over the mountain), but the trail does still feature quite a bit of elevation change.

hiking
Thu Mar 28 2019

Nice easy trail.

hiking
Sun Feb 03 2019

Was a very enjoyable hike next to the sound of the creeks. Very shady on a sunny 60 degree day so very pleasant. Trail easy to follow. One turn off for backwoods camp site 67 to the left. Once to the lake wasn’t as scenic due to water level being way down. The hike out becomes steeper and more challenging. But not overly difficult. Only suggestion is bring a trash bag and help carry some trash out that washed up on the shore.

hiking
Sun Jan 27 2019

Great day hike!

Wed Jan 16 2019

I haven't been on a hike in some time so it was somewhat hard at times but I enjoyed it! would definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
Sun Nov 04 2018

Use the AllTrails app to verify you are on the Goldmine Loop. We didn’t and we inadvertently cut the loop short by taking a turn onto what we later learned was a bypass of Goldmine Loop after exiting the tunnel. This resulted in a very unremarkable and disappointing hike. We didn’t see any water features or views described by the other reviewers. I’m giving it 4 stars because I want to do it again right!

hiking
Tue Oct 30 2018

We loved this trail...a beautiful walk through the forest. The colors were magnificent, very cool seeing bear tracks by the lake, the homestead site was fun to see. We had the trail all to ourselves most of the time...loved that, too!

Sun Oct 07 2018

Ok trail. Not much of views. Only one interesting spot by the water. We saw bunch of bears tracks there near the water and views of delta were pretty.

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

We didn’t do the entire loop. Ended up taking the bypass trail which was narrow winding trail but well traveled and marked. Would like to try the whole trail to the lake sometime.

walking
Mon Aug 27 2018

Nice little trail. Many people don’t go past the tunnel - we only encountered one other couple on the trail, which was nice considering the full parking lot. The old homesteads and the variety of flora were neat. Only 3 Miles, so doesn’t take long and is worth the time and effort.

horseback riding
Wed Jul 18 2018

We were horseback riding. There were many Down trees. Hot, humid, still and not fun. Wish we’d skipped it.

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