Explore the best trails near Fort Loudon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Todd Trail connects the Tuscarora Trail and the Standing Stone Trail (SST) via a very steep ascent (or descent). I used this trail to make a 9 mile loop trail hike from Cowans Gap State Park. You can head north on Tuscarora Trail to Todd Trail and go up the mountain to SST. Head south until you get to the Horsetrail (an even steeper trail) back to Tuscarora Trail.
I think this should be called the Tuscarora Trail which is a spur trail to the Appalachian Trail. Two miles of it goes through Cowans Gap State Park. From the main parking lot you can take the trail south to a beautiful overlook of Path Valley and Franklin County (about 9 miles out and back). Or you can take the trail south until Geyer trail to Cameron trail then to Plessinger Trail which will get you back to your car (about 5 miles). There are two pretty steeps areas on both these paths and the trail is rocky at times.
This should be called Cowans Gap Trails (plural) There are a number of trails within the park so, depending on your fitness level and amount of time you want to spend out in the woods, you can combine a number of trails. Keep in mind, some of the trails take you up to the top of Tuscarora or Cove Mountains which means the ascents can be steep. I gave this trail a five-star since the trails were well marked and well maintained. Enjoy.
We only hiked 6 mikes of this link trail but the back half was straight up a mountain side with a 40 pound backpack in the rain. Other than that the mountain side scenery overlooking the park was amazing.
I did this trail with my 6 y/o son. The trail is easy and well marked. I have been going to Cowan's Gap since I was a little boy, but never walked the trail. The trail is approx 2 miles and goes completely around the lake. Cowan's Gap is a man made lake built during the Great Depression. It has a swimming area and camping, which are the two big draws to the park. If you live near by and want to have a weekend of swimming and mild hiking, I recommend it. The park is clean and well maintained.