Rough Fork Trail

EASY 14 reviews

Rough Fork Trail is a 12.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

12.3 miles
2,293 feet
Out & Back


horseback riding

nature trips

trail running



no dogs

This trail is described in Allan DeHarts North Carolina Hiking Trails. The trail is very easy, and the old Woody House is a must-see. Take time to visit the old School House, and Palmer Chapel while you're in the valley. Wildlife in the valley consist of Bear, Deer, Elk, and Wild Boar. In early spring close deer sightings are common. Do not attempt to approach the Boar or Elk. Bear are seldom seen, they remain on the remote high ridges of the valley.

7 months ago

Today was our second time on this trail, both times with our own and friends’ littles. Last year we hiked it with our 5 year old as well as 4, 6 and 9 year old. Today we hiked with our little who is 6, another 6 year old, and a 4 year old. We hiked about 4 miles out and back, past the Woody House. It looks like the house was being painted this year, as it was cleaned up from last year. The kids love the trail as it follows the water line and over log bridges, providing lots of magical places to explore and play. We tend to
hike more moderate and difficult trails with our daughter, as her favorite part is climbing and scrabbling, but this trail provides enough fun to keep her engaged despite its ease. We’ll be back again!

11 months ago

Great Trail. Loved the Woody house.

11 months ago

This is a great trail but is mis-tagged for mountain biking - please remove that tag. There is a sign at the trailhead saying no bikes. I went there specifically for that and ended up doing a run - nice trail.

Friday, September 09, 2016

This trail is not dog friendly- there is a sign at the trailhead showing that dogs are not allowed. I spoke with a park volunteer who said that dogs are not allowed on any of the trails within this park.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My husband, son and I enjoyed this little walk! Points of interest were the stream that the trail stays near, the log bridges, and the Woody House with spring house. Didn't have a lot of time today, so this was perfect! Took us about an hour and a half.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

After its first mile up to Campsite 40, the Rough Fork begins a brisk ascent to the Caldwell Fork Trail (2.9) and then onward to Polls Gap (6.5). Although in better shape than most of the other trails in South Catalooch, it still has its share of loose rocks, protruding roots, and erosion caused by weather and horse travel. Since it's a ridge trail, there are no major stream crossings to navigate - bring plenty of water! The rewards for the relentless elevation gain are nice views to the west, while continuing up to the Cataloochie Divide.

I actually came down the Rough Fork by making a loop with the Big Fork Ridge Trail, linking up to the Hemphill Bald Trail, and then descending down the Divide.

Didn't see a soul during the whole 19.5 mile trek - pretty sweet!

4 months ago

4 months ago

10 months ago

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Friday, September 07, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012