Heartbreak Ridge Trail

HARD 49 reviews
#47 of 205 trails in

Heartbreak Ridge Trail is a 9.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, North Carolina that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,188 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

running

views

rocky

scramble

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

Reviews are correct in saying there is an anticlimactic finish. The glade-like area at the end was quaint and a nice spot to read a book otherwise. The views are best going up and down. The last mile going up is the toughest part. Lastly, the trail itself is closer to 10.5 miles versus the advertised 9.7 miles.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

6/30/19 Hike - The trail starts off pretty flat both before and after you cross the railroad tracks. It then transforms into a series of switchbacks. There are running streams in this area so if you have a water filter device you can get water (it is cold!). After this it moves into a little bit of a steeper uphill where the flora and fauna move in a bit closer to you. I ate countless spiderwebs and bugs in this area. The top of the trail opens up again. There are some beautiful views; particularly one about 2/3 of the way in on the left. I would recommend the hike. It was slightly strenuous but nothing that a seasoned hiker cannot conquer. Side note: watch for mountain bikers. Because the trail is steep they can come around corners quickly. Happy trails.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail, moderate, steady climb to the parkway Beautiful scenery all the way

hiking
bugs
rocky
6 months ago

Everything it was supposed to live up to happened. Don’t do this one in the afternoon when it’s hot or if you’re inexperienced. Stiff then moderate ascent continuously for a little less than 5 1/2 miles. You can continue on to the Pinnacle for an additional 4 miles round-trip as well as 1000 more feet in elevation gain. I’m just fine with the 4073 that I got. Summitted Glass Rock Knob and some other locations around the Parkway before returning.

hiking
8 months ago

This hike wasn't particularly difficult in the technical sense, but was definitely strenuous in that you start going up and you never really stop. None of the trail really required scrambling/ climbing - although there is a downed tree about a mile in on the Star Gap trail that connects to the Heartbreak Ridge Trail. There were a few great vantage points located throughout, but the end was anti climactic.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike with great views, was difficult. Only 4 stars because it was difficult to find, you reach the trail head from star gap trail

9 months ago

super hike with tremendous views of the east side of greybeard mountain and the "Pinnacle" the highest point in McDowell county

hiking
10 months ago

This was a fantastic trail and definitely plan on going again! One of my favorite parts was the rail road tracks. However, this was definitely not a trail for the faint at heart as it is all up hill.

hiking
Sun Sep 09 2018

Gentle incline, but was beat by the end of it still. Some great views along the way. Had to step off a few time for mountain bikers coming down. Think we stepped in a yellow jacket nest about ten minutes up from the split from Star gap. Two people and two dogs all received multiple stings.

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2018

I chose it for the elevation gain and it delivered. I made the "summit" in 2:10 and the whole hike in 3:53. My All Trails app recorded it as 10.4 miles with 3,225 elevation gain. It's not as hard as I thought it would be. The steep, rocky parts are short. Most of the incline is pretty gentle. As you drive in, the trailhead is on your right and looks like a dirt/gravel road. Parking is on your left about 50 yards later. There is a creek to cross at .3 that was difficult due to lots of recent rain, but I think during "normal" flow, it should be easy enough to jump from rock to rock to cross. I almost did not do this one as there are no water sources past .3 and it was August, but I started at 08:30 and the temp was cool. There was a little spring at about 4 miles up that would offer dogs an opportunity to drink, but I would not count on it when we've not had rain in a while. One yellow jacket sting on the way down.

hiking
Tue Jul 24 2018

Beautiful views along the way. The end of the trails ends at blue ridge Park way. Pretty tough hike. Found water pretty high up there. Heard a water fall but it was not in sight.

hiking
Mon May 28 2018

Really into it but was a bit bummed out when we reached the top, there was no view. However there were some really nice views along the way. Also if you have something 4x4 just drive the trail till you find the railroad tracks. Take the road to the right the other to the left dead ends but still fun to go down tho.

hiking
Mon Apr 16 2018

I thought I would write a recent review. First off, there is NO signs that I saw of for Heartbreak Ridge. The only reason I knew it was the trail was because of the reviews I read that said you cross a section of the railroad tracks. I was unable to go far because of the rain we had which overflowed the creek. I do intend on going back when it’s drier though! I have it 3 stars because I was unable to hike the rest of it due to the weather. :(

hiking
Wed May 17 2017

Not hard to find. Lightly marked (yellow marks on trees) so there were some questionable turns at points. Views are nice, but mostly through trees until you get to the top. Steep in parts, not as rocky as I was expecting based on the other descriptions. All in all a good day hike.

Sat Mar 04 2017

Seeking info on this one!

Sat Feb 11 2017

Love it

hiking
Mon Feb 06 2017

Great Local Trail for the family!

hiking
Sun May 01 2016

Very nice hiking trail, not as hard as people say. I hiked this trail right before fall, and the views are worth it even when it's not fall! At the top, you can see many ridge-lines/mountain ranges. Also, you can see several sections of distant train tracks, including train tracks that you cross over at the beginning of the hike, The view is phenomenal.

hiking
Tue Jun 26 2012

nice views, but was very strenous

hiking
Thu Jun 07 2012

Good trail. Is a difficult one. Made it in 3 hours, and my legs still hurt.

mountain biking
Sat Apr 07 2012

awesome trail, on the side of the mountain. Rocks, roots and areas that are sure to give some vertigo.

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