Laurel River Trail

EASY 147 reviews
#24 of 198 trails in

Laurel River Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Marshall, North Carolina that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.0 miles Elevation Gain: 767 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

Nice hike along a very scenic whitewater rive, ruins and swimming This is a very nice hike along the Big Laurel River. You start the trail by heading south and will shortly come to a private residence that is posted "Private" Continue walking on the trail until you resume your hike in the forest. The trail is flat and for the most part, tree covered. You will notice numerous trees in the process of being "felled" by area Beavers. There are quite a few rapids and trout pools along most of the route. There are also some excellent camping spots and swimming holes along the way. About 3/4 of the way in there are some foundational ruins from the old town of Runion. After the ruins stay on the trail until you intersect the rail road tracks and hike back out.

hiking
2 days ago

beautiful river trail

hiking
14 days ago

Very beautiful, super easy hike.

hiking
28 days ago

I am a frequent hiker on this trail during the warm months and have always enjoyed it. Unfortunately in the last month or so it has been totally trashed and just an all around nasty feeling. Always busy in the summer with @out of towners” and their kids. A lot of people choose to let their dog off leash.

hiking
1 month ago

Really enjoyed the first half of the hike. The last mile or so isn’t worth it in my opinion; it’s very overgrown and you can’t see the river. I actually prefer this hike in the early spring, before the leaves come in. That way, you get all the pretty views of the river!

hiking
blowdown
1 month ago

Great trail with the first mile and a half or so wide flat gravel suitable for everyone. Once the gravel ended the trail was still fairly level and quite passable. Turned around at about the 2 1/2 mile mark. Had some low hanging blowdown on the trail but nothing major. Great hike. Will push to end next time. Went on a Sat morning around 8am and crowds were very light.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail. We went all the way to the end. The foundations from the town of Runion were cool to see. The trail gets a little overgrown towards the end. Not much room for others to pass. Train tracks at the end were cool too!

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked early on a Sunday morning, a bit muddy from the rain the day prior but very beautiful views of the river. We hiked only about a mile and a half down because we have a 5 and 3 year old - they loved it and we were able to find several places to take off their shoes and let them get their feet wet. It was very secluded, didn’t run into anyone else on the trail. Would definitely recommend this to others.

2 months ago

small trail, very crowded on weekends in June, so it was difficult to find a spot to ourselves. our dogs enjoyed it and it was an incredibly easy trail (we took our old English bulldog and he was fine), but I'd recommend another place,or go during the week, if you want some peace and quiet

hiking
2 months ago

What a fantastic place that is truly “fun for everyone.” It can be hard to find hikes in this area easy enough to bring the family, from very young to not-so-mobile. The very easy gravel trail/gravel driveway is on private lands for the first mile allowing auto access for the owners, but public is allow to walk the path which stays directly along the water. Lots of people bring their lawn chairs and coolers to hang out in the water on a hot summer day. Plenty of areas to wade, fish, swim... you can walk about 7 miles before it dumps into the French broad river. Walk further down or go during the week to get away from the crowds. Oh, and watch out for naked hippies...I’ve seen all sorts of wildlife on my hikes but never ran into naturists before... somewhere around mile 2 it got a little weird!

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is amazing in May. Hiked about 2.5 miles in, swam in the river for an hour. Very easy. Beautiful river views.

3 months ago

been hiking and camping here for over 20 years .very easy trail that ends at the old town of runion where you can see old foundations and a strong hold that was once laurel river logging company. great place for all abilities .... WARNING....several timber rattle snakes have been spotted .my first encounter in 20yrs my son and i got very lucky when one struck at my feet nearly tagging my ankle. Im 5miles from hurricane 2.5 miles from stackhouse with no cell phone service..

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Easy trail right next to a beautiful river. Some parts of the trail are considered private property, there are signs for that. If you want to make it all the way to the French Broad, out and back would be at least two to three hours. We hiked for a little over an hour and didn’t make it before it was getting too late for our schedule and needed to hear back. Also there is a private home or property you pass first thing on the trail, it looks like an old train car and a caboose that was remodeled into a home... interesting! We will come back again! Beautiful river views!

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty trail along the river. Good for most all abilities.

hiking
5 months ago

Love this trail! Easy with great river views! You can definitely see the remnants of all the rain we’ve had from the wood and trash debre from high water flooding.

hiking
6 months ago

Nothing spectacular on this trail, but I always enjoy trails that follow rivers, and this one is relatively flat without too many rocks and roots, so a nice scenic payoff for the amount of effort involved.

hiking
6 months ago

Super easy and very relaxing. We will definitely be back again when it gets warmer just to enjoy it more! Not strenuous and beautiful views of the Laurel River the whole way

Very picturesque hike along the river. Great hike for novices because the trail is pretty flat. Would definitely recommend!

nature trips
8 months ago

Pretty trail, very easy to walk. You park off the side of the highway and immediately come to a fork one along the road and one by the river, they quickly merge into one. It looks like private property but eventually turns into Public. Beautiful small waterfalls that fall down into the trial. Good for dogs. Depends what you are looking for, would Recommend for an easy low key trail with dogs or kids.

8 months ago

Easy hike but long distance for me as a beginner but fun day with Becky

walking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail for a leisurely stroll! I’ve been on this trail numerous times and I am always in awe of the scenery.!

10 months ago

A walk in the park. Only a very beautiful park. A sunny day mid 60’s. Had the entire trail in and out to myself.

hiking
10 months ago

Really pretty trail that follows the river. Flat the whole way, so a very easy one. Saw fresh bear tracks along the river in a couple of spots.

11 months ago

Echo the sentiment - a must-hike! Flat and not at all strenuous but enough rocks, roots, and fallen trees in the path to keep the walking interesting. The rare combination of easy hike, quiet/isolated, and gorgeous scenery. No restrooms at the trailhead, but the Laurel River Store will graciously let you use their clean and well-tended portajohn. Be sure to round out the day with a soak in the hot springs at the spa just five miles beyond the trailhead!

hiking
11 months ago

Easy trail but has some rooted and rocky areas that require your attention. The river is beautiful. The ruins of Reunion aren’t spectacular.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

An easy way to get 7 miles in. Enjoyable stroll along the river, some rocks and roots along the trail but easily tunable. 4 of us went and all agreed it was great :)

hiking
Sunday, July 15, 2018

Beautiful! I would definitely do it again!

hiking
Saturday, June 09, 2018

This is a great little trail. The river is beautiful and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of people there on a Saturday morning in June. Basically flat the whole way. Can’t wait to go back and find the perfect picnic spot!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Rocky trail but awesome scenery!

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