Palmer Creek Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

9.2 miles
1,814 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


no dogs

Directions from Blue Ridge Parkway, NC: 10 miles north of Soco Gap on Balsam Mountain Road (closed in winter), off the Blue Ridge Parkway around Milepost 458. Take the road to the very end where Palmer Creek Trail begins.

3 months ago

This trail can be done from either direction - starting at Cataloochee Road or Balsam Mountain Road. I started at Cataloochee. Going this way, the first part takes you 1.6 miles on I believe Pretty Hollow Gap trail before it connects to Palmer Creek Trail. This first part is quite a nice walk in the woods next to the creek. From there you head up the ridge - an unspectacular climb up out of the valley. There's a nice walk along the ridge top in a nice rhododendron tunnel the last half mile to mile before reaching Balsam mountain road. The allure of this trail and why I'd call 3 stars versus 2 would be having it nearly entirely to yourself.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Of course I'll give it 5 stars!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I used this trail to begin a loop around Balsam Mountain, Sterling Ridge and Pretty Hollow for a long day-hike out of Cataloochie. The first 2 miles consist of a moderate elevation gain following the creek up a hollow before making a brisk ascent up a ridge and ending on Balsam Mountain Road at 3.3 miles.

I found the trail kind of a spooky - definitely would have made a good hideout for a moonshiner.....or maybe a witch! Its definitely not one of the more traveled routes, so chances are good that you'll have it to yourself. The second foot bridge (about midway) is no longer there. I had to ford that crossing. Bring a towel!

The final bit travels through a nice ridge top, with views of Shanty Mountain to the east and Sterling Mountain to the west.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

nice walk and good flyfishing

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016