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Heartbreak Ridge via Star Gap Trail is a 11 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.0 mi Elevation gain 3,188 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble
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Reviews (68)
Photos (50)
Recordings (65)
Completed (105)
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John Dennis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking
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T V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking
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William Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking
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Kevin Click
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking
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Alicia Rambo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Overall it was a good hike but the distance advertised is not accurate. At first I thought it was possibly GPS/fitness trackers that were throwing off the distance for the other reviewers, but the Alltrails recording (after sync) and Garmin say it was 11+ miles. Clocked 3250 feet of gain on this hike which is no joke. Took me 3 hrs up and 3 hrs back with a few stops each way. Beautiful forest smells and sights along the way and some gorgeous views. Even with trekking poles this was a doozy though, and I've been training for hikes like this for 3 months. I wanted a trail that had a lot of elevation, and I found it lol. Good training for Mt. Mitchell (?) Hope you have healthy knees!

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Mary Beth Benton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Great hike for dogs that are reactive. We only came across a few mtn bikers and one hiker on a Sunday afternoon.

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Alex Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 13, 2020
HikingMuddy

early mar, 2020. took the wrong turn on the first fork (right before the switchbacks) so I lost an hour...quite sad! remember to take a steep right in the first clearing after 2 streams. like other reviewers have said, pretty much all uphill with the exception of a couple short portions. It was a fun day hike with the dog, though there were some really muddy bits. had a tough time getting over the giant fallen tree(theres 2) with the dog. you could definitely do a trail run here, it would be perfect for uphill training. If youre looking for a view, plan on adding the 2 mile round trip at the end of the trail to pinnacle mt. otherwise theres not really any scenery worth seeing. seems like thered be a lot of flowers in spring...i just saw buds. oh and wear some sunscreen or a shawl. trail goes west up and east down so the sun is on the back of your neck the entire time. railroad track at the start was the highlight picture of the trip

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Pepe Chavez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2019
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grown
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John Hillert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2019
HikingBugsRocky

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.

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Andrew Rollwitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRocky

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.

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GretschBeastFan .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2019
Hiking

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

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Henry Pharr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2019
HikingBugsRocky

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 las the top of the Ridge for an additional 4 miles round-trip as well as 1000 more feet in elevation gain. Long day!

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Meaghan Stokes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 4, 2019
Hiking

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

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Chris Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2019

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

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Lucinda Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 20, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Tim Thacher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Dave Russell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Jeremiah Strecker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Sterling Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Kasey JB
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 16, 2018
Hiking

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. :(

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Ashton Johnston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Bryan Palmer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 4, 2017

Seeking info on this one!

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