River Loop Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#42 of 147 trails in

River Loop Trail is a 3.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.5 miles
479 feet

dogs on leash







Excellent trail in South Toe River Valley near Black Mountain Campground.

24 days ago

My wife and I took our two small dogs along this trail around noon in the summer of 2018. The trail offered a lot of shade in most spots and takes you along the river for the majority of the trail. We saw some small wildlife and some sign of other larger animals. Some parts of the trail had some loose ground, so be cautious in some areas with your footing. We had one small crossing where some backwater had made a mud hole, so if you have kids or small pets, be ready for toweling off at the car. There are fantastic views of the river from the two bridges and there are some small areas where you can wade out into the shallower sections if you can handle the cold water. During the spring and summer be on the lookout for ticks, and most of the trail is tightly bordered with ferns and small dense foliage. Overall it was brisk and relaxing walk with excellent scenery. In my opinion, I would definitely do this walk again in a different season to get some great photos.

3 months ago

Great trail. Round trip is actually around 4 miles. Still nice walk and a great hike. This is on our list to revisit.

5 months ago

ive hiked this trail alot. its very enjoyable!

5 months ago

Great trail

8 months ago

Will definitely come back. Beautiful spot. Be very careful the trail signs and markings are NOT clear

Friday, June 02, 2017

A gorgeous late spring hike! Mountain laurel in bloom and Reishi Mushroom Wonderland! The dogs had lots of opportunities for cool dips in the river. just the right amount of challenge for a journey-oriented hike.

Monday, May 29, 2017


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I want to do it again, but start earlier so I can do the entire loop. Only a 3+ mile trail, but you definitely need full daylight. The drive in includes abut 6 miles of gravel road and 2 single lane bridges. I missed any signage indicating where the trail started, and eventually was told by a hunter to go back to the campground (1/2 football field sized area on the right as your driving on the gravel). Trail is unmarked but can be found at the back of this field. Two choices: Quite a steep entry, or to the left are switchbacks. I'd recommend the switchbacks.
BEAUTIFUL, and well worth the effort.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

This is a very enjoyable, well maintained and pretty 3.5 mile loop. The first half includes a climb and then a descent back to the river. There are good views of the river from above and Mt. Mitchell from directly below. After crossing the bridge, the trail then returns mostly at river level. Don't miss the short spur to Setrock Falls just before making it back. You also pass the trailhead for the strenuous Mt. Mitchell trail near the Black Mountain Campground. I will hopefully be back for that one day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nice trail. Very secluded.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Start was uphill... However, trail was magnificent.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Nice easy trail for families. Starts at parking area and climbs up moderately then follows above the Toe River. Well kept trail, no technical parts, well marked. Trail comes to bridge where you cross the Toe River. Then later you cross two small streams. It took about 2 hours for our family (a 3 year old and 10 year old) to walk it. It ends in the campground. You literally walk by Setrock Creek Falls on your way back to parking area so you should make a detour, see this pretty fall and cool off.

Friday, May 18, 2012

This is a very enjoyable loop trail. Not too much vertical, nice river views, close to Blue Ridge Parkway and approximately 3.5 miles in length. Park at trailhead near Black Mountain Campground. Several other hiking options from this trailhead.

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6 months ago

recorded River Loop Trail

9 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Monday, January 02, 2017

recorded Track - Sep 03, 02:22 PM

Saturday, September 03, 2016

recorded River Loop Trail

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday, April 04, 2016

Tuesday, December 29, 2015