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Hickory Branch Trail is a 3.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Old Fort, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.3 mi Elevation gain 1,328 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Scramble

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

District Ranger, Grandfather Ranger District, 1-828-652-2144

From Asheville take I-40 East, to exits 72 & 73 at Old Fort. Go 0.2 Mi. into town, turn Right on US-70, and go 1 MI. to Jct. of Curtis Creek Rd (SR-1227). This becomes FR-482, after 5.1 Mi. from US-70 reach the campground. Go to second camping clearing, park on left, trail begins at lower end of clearing (signed).

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (58)
Photos (54)
Recordings (38)
Completed (95)
Abigail Temoshchuk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

Great trail & easily accessible from the campground. Beautiful foliage, nice waterfall, and a pretty good workout to go up the switchbacks past the falls. Only saw three other people. Perfect trail if you want a little bit of everything in a short amount of mileage

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Shawn Blair
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Nov 29 2019
Hiking

A nice trail, the fallen leaves are a challenge since it’s a nice incline.

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Samantha Samantha Spence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Nov 07 2019
Hiking

Might as well stop at the second waterfAll. Beautiful hike

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Michelle Christine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Sep 24 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

about 1.6 miles to the "big waterfall" which was underwhelming. no big payoff for the definitely challenging rest of the hike. camped outside the campground in a very private single drive up camping spot next to the stream. lovely stream, even found a few baby swimming holes!

Angie ***
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 24 2019
Hiking

The kiddos and I hiked in on a rainy day while we camped at the Curtis Creek Campground. After a steep incline at the trailhead (behind site #21-the start point in this map is off), you have a few creek crossings to a series of small waterfalls. The trail is narrow, rocky and covered in roots sometimes and slippery and muddy at others, FYI. We headed off trail on a pathway to the biggest waterfall we could see — and what a find! The waterfalls around western North Carolina can seem overrun sometimes so it was so nice to find a place that felt a bit hidden and wild. The kids and I loved exploring the pool at the base of the falls (shallow at not more than 3-feet deep) and finding dozens of crawdads and salamanders. We spent a long time at the falls so we didn’t venture any further up the trail and instead headed back to camp. Maybe next time, because we’ll definitely be back! **Note that the map on this app is really off, so I received tons of alerts that I was off trail - even within 20 feet of the trailhead marker. We stayed on the orange blazed trail the whole way until we went off to find the falls, for what it’s worth.

View Angie's Recording
Amber Michales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 22 2019

We did this trail today on a whim because we drove to Catawba falls and it was closed .This was near by . Honestly , it had never made my bucket list , it didn't seem very interesting but I'm so glad we went because it was fun and interesting! Moderate hike to the falls, lots of creek crossings and saw a ton of wildlife . Snakes , mice, lizards, gopher , woodpecker , lots of snails and a huge turkey. We were able to find a small side trail to the base of the fall for a better view . We did go a ways past the falls uptrail and this is where the difficult part kicks in. Steep and lots of switch backs .Past the falls there are a few orange blazes , which were nice because it's a narrow trail and a bit over grown ( not too bad ) We did not plan for this hike so we didn't have a trail map and didn't make it to the end of the trail because we honestly didn't know when it would ever end haha .

John G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu May 09 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

The first half, although buggy to the larger waterfall was my favorite part then it's switch backs without much of a view. There were a few creek crossings but no need to get wet. Very shaded. I saw a turkey with her chicks and 3-4ft snake but I couldn't identify it. This trail begins right behind site #21 at Curtis Creek Campground. It ends at the T intersection of Lead Mine Gap Trail.

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garland hughes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Apr 24 2019
Hiking

Then to lost mine then to cutis creek road

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Jean Carson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 11 2019
Hiking

great hike! definitely challenging by the end as there is a lot of steep uphill with no big views as a reward, but there are still some cool lookout spots. you cross the creek multiple times and it is a bit of an adventure. the waterfalls are awesome too! the trail starts back behind the campground. we weren’t able to take the service road all the way back because the campground wasn’t open yet so we had to park by the gate and add half a mile there and back but still totally worth it. the ending of the trail is weird as it turns into the yellow trail, not sure where that goes recommend this hike if you want adventure and challenge!

Terri Miner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 10 2019

very nice hike, the waterfalls are amazing and running good.

Chris Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 16 2019

I live close and use this trail often. perfect for short strenuous trail runs. good mix of steady up hill to steep switchbacks. and the view near the top isn't bad. plus two waterfalls

Jacob Roper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 11 2018

Hiked this today with the girlfriend. it's a nice hike and well worth it because it's not far to a nice little waterfall. Seen a copper head in the first place you cross the Creek.

Saari Gardner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Apr 05 2018
Hiking

Seemed to us that the trail ended at the waterfall after a little over a mile. The falls and hike in general were pretty scenic. We were disappointed that at the falls there was no where to really have a seat and relax/ enjoy the view. Basically got there and turned right back around.

kevin shusko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Dec 12 2017
Hiking

Excellent trail. Hiked in December after snowfall.

Toni Lamb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Sep 05 2017

This trail is very narrow, with poison ivy that brushes against your legs. Thankfully I had long pants on and have never had poison ivy, however those prone to it should be aware. We came across a timber rattler too, which prompted us to turn back around 1.25 miles in. It's located within a campground and there were only a few campers there. I felt uncomfortable most of the time and honestly couldn't wait to get back to the car. I hate to leave not so great reviews however I think it's good to be honest!

Briana Steele
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 09 2017
Hiking

Really fun spot. Once you leave the creek, it's up, up, up. Not lots of views but we got snipits on the switchbacks. The bottom part along the creek was my favorite part.

Michael Methot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 07 2017
Hiking

I liked how it was alongside the river for the dog, however, it was extremely narrow. There were also several yellow jacket nests that I saw which forced me to turn around. It's okay but I don't think I will be going back.

Jerry Spencer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed May 31 2017
Hiking

If you like hiking by a stream, this trail is for you. The trail was marked in red/orange paint. We also passed 3 or 4 small to medium sized waterfalls. After about 1.25 miles in, the hike was mainly all uphill and ended into another trail that was marked in yellow where you could go right or left. We went about quarter mile in each direction on the yellow trail and never did find a view. The campground at the trailhead was very nice with ample parking and facilities, we had a picnic there. In hindsight, I would have stopped about 1.5 miles in unless you just wanted the exercise. Personally, I like a nice view for my efforts and this time is just didn’t happen.

Hal Latner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Feb 27 2017
Hiking

Beautiful hike with my 71 year old mom and 70lb golden doodle (IG @joedog_thelatnersdoodle) Trail has been recently cleared. Plan to do a trail run on it in March.

Fritz Hunter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 13 2016
Hiking

Really beautiful day, but very dry and smoke in the valley so we didn't do the whole trail. I would recommend this trail after the rains come as the falls look beautiful and I can only imagine what normal year's rainfall would do for the cascades. The trail itself is really nice, a bit overgrown with dog hobble, but very accessible.

Jason Watkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 22 2014
Hiking

Very nice hike. Great view of small water fall about half way in. The "top view" is about 1.4 miles in. If going to 1.75 mile mark the trail kind of was difficult to find.

Forest Kelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 04 2013
Hiking

Yeah the trailhead is pretty hidden. Turn down Curtis creek road in old fort, the road will turn into gravel, keep going till you reach Curtis creek campground, park in the parking lot and the trail head will be behind campground 16c. It's a pretty nice hike. The waterfall is pretty cool, plus there are some nice bouldering spots for climbing.

Ann Stamey
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 19 2012
Hiking

So does anyone know where the trailhead is?? We searched for awhile then gave up. Directions are not very clear at all!!

Andrew Rose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking
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AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking
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Amamda M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking
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Chris Armenti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 22 2020
Hiking
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Benjamin Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking
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