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Harper Creek Trail and Raider Camp Creek Trail Loop

MODERATE 33 reviews
#68 of 206 trails in

Harper Creek Trail and Raider Camp Creek Trail Loop is a 8.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Collettsville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,423 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
over grown
washed out
4 months ago

Poorly marked trail. Prepare for wet feet, 7+ crossings. Trail intersects with many trails throughout and very poorly marked. I ended up hiking in the creek at one point because I couldn’t find the trail. I agree with other commenters, my gps read 10.6 miles.

hiking
muddy
over grown
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I had tried this hike last year and was stymied by the high waters. This year I came compared. I went over Yellow Buck and up and around, coming back down Harper Creek to Raider Camp. Yellow Buck was a lot harder than I had expected for a relatively small peak. You start up right out of the parking lot and keep going up to the top, a little over a mile or so. After that the terrain gets a bit easier. I cut around to get back to the Harper Creek Trail and hit my first crossing. Took off my shoes, put on my water shoes, put my shoes back on at the other side. Not a tough crossing, about knee deep at points. Then shortly later I hit another crossing. This time I put on my crocs and kept going. Found the Raider Camp Trail and stopped for lunch. Thought it was safe to put the boots on and made the next crossing with boots, but by the second one it was another couple of miles of hiking with crocs and making another 5 or 6 crossings. Most were above the knee. Water felt good on legs. Raider Camp on that side of the falls is terrible. A couple of hard turns to follow, steep climb at times and the trail is in terrible shape. The real disappointing thing was after climbing up the falls the trail must have made a turn that I couldn't find. There was a well marked left turn that I took (twice!) but I could never find the actual trail. I continued up the left turn trail and soon knew I was off my route. Came out to a nursery, found a trail on the other side of it and hiked back up to the trail. At least at this point the trail was in good shape and coming down Raiders Camp was easy. I'd love to know where that trail cuts off. Something wasn't right! I ended up doing well over 12 miles on my 9 mile hike! (My GPS said 15 but I think I'll go with All Trails).

backpacking
11 months ago

Myself and my dad had planned a overnight trip to take raider camp trail out and the Yellow Buck Mountain Trail back the following day. The raider camp trail is well marked and nice hiking along the creek. There is also a good view of grandfather mountain. You do need to cross Harper Creek to access the trail, which after all the recent snow was thigh high at the deepest. We camped along raider camp creek at one of the camp sites. In the morning we crossed Harper Creek just above South Harper Creek Falls. The trail going down beside the falls is rough. It is very steep, poorly marked and there are many trees down blocking the trail. Once down to the bottom of the falls we eventually lost the trail. After searching unsuccessfully for an hour or so to find some markers, we decided to turn back. The trail is likely rougher due to the recent 18" of snow that fell last week, however this trail is in need of a lot of maintenance around south harper creek falls. Especially this time of year this trail is not well traveled. We did not see any other hikers while we were out. If you take this trail you need to leave plenty of time to navigate your way through the fallen trees and find the trail around south harper creek falls(The reason for the two stars). I cannot speak for any of the trail after that. Despite the rough trail south harper creek falls is beautiful.

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

*WARNING* do not park on the road. Use the parking lot or the overflow lot 1/4 mile down the road. The sheriff threw his lights on right after someone had told me they towed 8 cars the day before and the sheriff confirmed it. DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD. The good: the area was beautiful, plenty of places to camp through out the hike. Beautiful waterfalls, once we hit the split we went left and saw only one person about half way through. The bad: sections very poorly marked. Thank you to whoever is tying markers in the trees and the 12 or more stream crossing (knee high in places) there are quite a few down trees along the route. There are new paths around them but not the greatest way when it’s raining good. This is not an 8 mile hike by any means. Well over 12. A lot of the trail while visible was very overgrown. Don’t think it’s a commonly used trail so a little sprucing up would make it great.

camping
Mon Jun 25 2018

Harper Creek Falls Trail was an excellent hike. It was very beautiful! I highly recommend going there on a hot summer day. Jumping into the water at the base of the falls was refreshing to say the least. There is many campsites along the trail that looked ideal for future visits. A permit is required to camp along the trail. I will be going back.

Thu May 10 2018

started from the kawana side, about 8.5 miles and counted 6 waterfalls. Beautiful loop, highly recommend.

backpacking
Mon Apr 30 2018

Started the hike April 28 at 9:45AM. Took the right fork in the trail at the Y intersection. Hiked 4.9 miles and made camp. Trail is not well kept as we are used to on our Appalachian Trail hikes. Just keep following blaze marks on trail. Many water crossings where u will get wet, water up to knees or above. We took Water shoes to keep our boots and socks dry, and kept water shoes on for several crossings. Made camp at 2:00PM. Hiked 8.6 April 29. Most beautiful hike I have ever been on. Very challenging but rewarding. Do not get in a hurry on this hike. Some trails are no more than a wash out, going up the side of mountain. Beautiful waterfalls and a very high rock wall. Trip would be more difficult if left fork is taken at Y intersection, about a mile from start. Water crossings where u will get wet every 1/10 mile in some areas. I would not recommend for kids. Overall very satisfied. 4 stars well deserved . The only reason I didn’t rate a 5 Star was some of the trails not easily marked, but it is a wilderness hike, and we were never lost!

backpacking
Sun Apr 29 2018

Beautiful trail, but the 8 miles listed above is wrong. My GPS clocked this loop at over 12 miles, and I met other hikers who said the same thing. The west and north sides of the loop were very poorly maintained, so bring a compass and pay close attention to your map. Also, there’s a really bad washout on the west side of the loop that was almost impassable as of April 21 2018. There are over 12 stream crossings on the north side, so avoid this trail if the water is high. When the water is low be prepared to get wet up to your knees. If you like adventure, this trail is for you

hiking
Fri Apr 27 2018

Tried this hike and was unable to get past either of the first creeks. Got to the one on Raider Camp and it was high and running hard. Decided to try the other way and the first crossing on Harper Creek Trail was higher and faster. I'll go back in the summer! Don't miss the side hike to Harper falls though, that was worth the trip.

Mon Feb 12 2018

Beautiful, easy, refreshing watering hole!

hiking
Thu Jan 04 2018

Hiked this late December. Trail was scantily marked on West and North sides, and was difficult to maintain in areas due to downed trees and debris. Be prepared for the creek crossings, they are a challenge if you’re trying to avoid getting wet.

hiking
Sat Jul 29 2017

Prepare to get wet on some of the creek crossings. Trails can be poorly marked at times.

Wed Jun 14 2017

Poorly marked, tricky creek crossings, and a set of washed out switchbacks, but an exciting rewarding hike. Had a great time.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
Fri Jul 27 2018

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