Three Top Mountain Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Creston, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.1 miElevation gain1,414 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeMuddy
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Note: This is public gameland, when hiking please wear orange or bright clothes. This trail is not well marked and not highly traveled, but the view from the top are incredible. In first section, you will cross three streams and then head up the ridge. There is significant canopy and heavy brush in some places, with very little flat areas on switchbacks to catch your breath.

Traveling North on Three Top Rd from Todd, make a right onto Eller Rd just before the town of Creston. Eller immediately becomes Hidden Valley Rd. follow this road until it becomes gravel. It will change names to Oak and then Poplar. Ignore "No Trespassing" signs. You will pass through several neighborhoods. About 1 mile from where the gravel began, make a hard right turn on Poplar. The entrance will be on left marked with very small sign NWCRG. .4 mile to parking. Trailhead on right marked with low brown bar gate.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (149)
Photos (156)
Recordings (96)
Completed (238)
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Ma Ed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2021
Hiking

great trail. not alot of people here. be careful one way road in and out.

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Jim McCall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 31, 2020
Hiking

Well marked trail, a few downed trees to step over but not a problem. Starts out level for about a half mile then starts a fairly step series of long switchbacks. Summit views are great! 360 degrees.

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Bob Rogers
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Hiking
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Herb Hanson
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Hiking

Easy to follow trail that is a bit rocky and a very steady climb! The views are 360 from the top and well worth the effort!

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Travis Rains
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
HikingBlowdownRocky

Hike up to the summit is definitely a lung burner but take some breaks along the way and you’ll be good. 360 view at the top makes it worth it. Only ones up there today and couldn’t ask for a better day. Follow the signs up the gravel road to the trail head. Once you park walk past the brown metal gate and follow the old logging/fire road up to the summit. You will see blue blazes/paint marks on the trees directing you along the way. Happy hiking!!

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Bryan Welborn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking

It’s steep but worth it!!

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Benjamin Wolf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2020
Hiking

Truly stunning views, but a steep hike to get to them. I found the trail very easy to follow. AllTrails takes you to the base of the road. I followed Waze to this point and it followed the route the signs point you on. The signs direct you to continue up to the parking area, which AllTrails considers part of the trail. I was able to do this in my Prius, so I think most vehicles should be able to in dry conditions. It got a little rough at the very top, but a steady throttle and traction control got me up in one try. I got here at about 10am on a Friday, and didn’t see anyone else until I started down, where I passed three groups. Worth the effort!

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Cliff Brisson
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HikingGreat!

Trail is a strenuous uphill climb all the way to the top. Was a beautiful October day and the view is 360 degrees. More people than I had expected so this trail has been discovered. Are 3 small waterfalls on the way. Last part of the road to the parking lot is rough so it helps to have AWD or 4WD.

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Trey Eastman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2020

This is public gameland, meaning this is hunting land, you shouldn't hike this, but you if you do at least wear orange or bright clothes and stay quiet your may scare hunters prey. I don't even understand why this is a hike on this app, you hike without bright clothes don't be surprised if you get shot!

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Russ Suddeth
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Hiking

strenuous climb to the summit but well worth the effort.

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Morgan Fergus
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HikingGreat!

The incline was no joke but one of the best views I’ve ever seen. Well worth it!

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Pamela Oakley
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Hiking

Definitely a steep continuous incline - lots of cardio going up! Views were beautiful.

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Eddie Bishop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful views at the top. Not super difficult but steep and some loose rocks. Dog friendly.

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Arunas Balkevicius
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking

Hard to find. But it's very good trail First half a little bit challenging.

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Greg Mceachern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2020
Hiking

steep but easy, if that makes sense. Trail is easy to follow. Beautiful views, well worth the quick hike, made it up casually in about 1 1/12 hours while stopping plenty for photos. Very quick down hike done in the dark in about 30 min with no problem as I stayed at the top until after sunset. Honestly the drive out was as beautiful as the hike, the autumn colors were insanely beautiful. Definitely recommend for a quick hike near Boone.

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Hiking Fool
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 22, 2020
Hiking

Nice steady incline all the way up-some of it seems like an old rocky river bed-glad it was in the 50s. Great views at the top.

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Candace Gorham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020

Love it! Not difficulty in terms of technique but, oh boy! That incline! Whew! My view from the top was quite magical, I came out above the clouds. So I didn’t get to see the world below. So I can’t speak on that kind of view but I will say I felt quite lucky to see what I saw that day! I passed the stop for the trail head according to AllTrails b/c the signs once in the park tell you to keep going. The road to the top is TERRIBLE and I almost got stuck which would have been horrible since the road is so steep. Although you cut off about a mile on the hike going to the top, I recommend starting at the lower trailhead. (I was not intentionally seeking to cut off miles. I was just following the signs.) The potholes in the gravel road are just terrible. (Went on 9/16/20)

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Candace Gorham
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HikingMuddy
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Elise Langston
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HikingGreat!Over grownRocky

NGL, this trail makes you work as hard as your car does to get up this mountain. But it’s probably one of the best panoramic views of the Appalachians I’ve ever seen. You can see both sides of the mountain range from the peak.

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Don Costa
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Hiking

If you’re looking to lose your soul on a steep incline 2 mile trip up THIS is your trail, but oh so worth it.

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Alan McDougal
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Hiking
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Tiffany Judy
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HikingGreat!

As others note below, the way up is strenuous but doable. From the parking lot straight to Big Rock took 1.5 hours. Once you get to the Big Rock Trail, the way out there is a mix of dense lower brush and dense low hanging trees and shrubs. Be prepared to do some maneuvering. Having a walking stick will help you clear the ground brush and spider webs since this trail doesn’t seem too well traveled. The views are absolutely spectacular out there, and well worth the trouble. Three Top Mountain overlook offers really nice views. If you’re able, continue on over the rocky outcrop to your right. There are some trails and rocks you can climb on for even more views than what you first encounter at the trail’s end. Total from Big Rock to Three Top was a mere 15 minutes. Going down is so much easier, but be careful not to slip and fall! The gravel road leading to the parking lot had ruts in it, but this was manageable after a few dry days. Since cell phone service is spotty out there, you can download the maps.me app and locate the trails. It functions without service so this was nice to have!

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Dave Calverley
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Hiking
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Thomas Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
Hiking

It is strenuous with most of the trail uphill and rocky. You need to be in shape or at least take your time. I’m 71 but in shape and didn’t have a problem. Absolutely Beautiful at the top. The All Trails app has the best directions to help find the trailhead. Watch the YouTube videos about this hike and you will be rewarded just like I was.

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Aaron Healy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
BackpackingRocky

If you are adventurous. If you want to push yourself. Set time aside to travel here and take it all in. Making it to the top is rugged but beyond rewarding.

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Horst Jakob
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

Wry hard incline , authentic wild hiking trails We started the hike at 6 am , crack of dawn, The view from the three tops are incredible Well with the effort Nobody on the trail with us perfect Temps in low 60 by 6 am 68 during our decent ! Five stars for me

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Robert Z
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Hiking

Excellent 360 degrees views from the top!

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