Steels Creek

HARD 7 reviews
#52 of 128 trails in

Steels Creek is a 12.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Morganton, North Carolina that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and trail running.

DISTANCE
12.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2706 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

forest

waterfall

hiking
1 month ago

gorgeous hike! will do it again and next time camp.

2 months ago

The road down into this hike is dusty, graveled and sorta bumpy in the curves. I wouldn't bring a low rider to a Subaru fight. lol.

First off.... hike this trail dry, or risk some rather slippery situations . Have you ever done slide rock? This trail could be called Steel slide trail after a good rain , in two or three spots.

Now, this place is chock full of surprises! It begins feeling like you are hiking in Georgia, and end out like you are hiking in Oregon ! The terrain and surroundings change constantly, making this a very interesting and beautiful walk. If I were a runner , this would be a little slice of heaven going in and down, and ...well , then you gotta come back up, right?

The trail head is tame and wide. Then the Laurel and Rhodies canopy over and the trail narrows down a little. You will come upon stairs , cross a branch, and then take a left at the large fallen log. A small camp site is to the right with another trail , I think, which will lead back up to the road.

Eventually the trail will become close and steeper.... with areas you will want to watch your step carefully, or end up down hill quite a ways! Lol. Single file only.

Then the rhododendron give way to a pine and hickory wood which is total enchanting.... literally , you feel like the brothers Grimm probably just passed thru . The trail gets steeper thru this phase, with lots of nice toadstool and fern variety.

As you finish into the bottom , you can hear Steel creek and there are numerous areas to camp. The "bear tree" you can see in my pics is just to the entrance of one camping area .

There is a small stream to cross and then "stay right as you go along... as the trail will become part of mt to sea trail" , we were told by a very serious and experienced hiking lady. I really have no idea .

We never did find the falls that are shown in other photos. But we didn't care too much by then....just shucked off our shoes and settled into the cool mountain Steel's creek, up to our ears. The water was full of fish and crystal clear. Heavenly! I'm not big on hiking in 90 plus temps and so humid you could cut it with a knife, but the stream was cold, the sky blue and quiet was broken only by bird call and the water tumbling. (totally sappy , I know...sorry)

Coming out wasn't too hard... as long as you stop and let the fire go out of your calves once in a while. It is really steep , but not so steep that you need your hands touching the ground in front of you , if you know what I mean. I would carefully consider bringing anyone on this trail who has a history of cardiac issues, all joking aside.

So, just when you think you are gonna "keel over right here and now", the trail will level out, and gives you a breather . Evidentially the grade softens considerably and the , "this may not be much of a hike , honey" feels awfully nice at about your tenth mile. By this time , if you are still alive, you will feel awesome ....the theme from Rocky , or Freebird, or Shady grove, or Appalachian Spring or something playing in your head!

I looked for a good bear track to photo... no luck, but they are plentiful in this area , per the local folk. Take plenty of snickers and water.

Steel's Creek trail was awesome !
Happy Hiking!
Pammie

5 months ago

great little falls with lots of character. very easy & short walk to get to falls.

7 months ago

dogs loved it

10 months ago

Hard trail. Downhill from the Table Rock road and 1430 elevation on the way back up. I went out and back for 6.67 miles. I ran down but had to walk a good portion back up. Beautiful and worth it.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

Very difficult trail but awesome experience. Me and my wife are in very good shape but it was challenging. Waterfalls are really nice.

hiking
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beautiful. A bit challenging of a hike but well worth it when you get to the falls.