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Woody Ridge Trail (177)

Extremely Difficult


2.4 mile 3.9 kilometer point to point
45% Runnable
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 2,973' 906 m
Descent: -11' -3 m
High: 6,152' 1,875 m
Low: 3,178' 969 m


Avg Grade: 23% (13°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)


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Trail shared by Brandon Thrower

The shortest, steepest climb in NC - 3,100 ft of climb in 2.5 miles.

Brandon Thrower

Features Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

Tough as nails!


Woody Ridge Trail is the toughest climb in NC. It is unrelenting, technical, and down right AWESOME! Good views can be had from a couple of overlooks. The trail is blazed in yellow. The trailhead is off White Oak Creek Rd near Burnsville, NC. The trail ends at its junction with the Black Mountain Crest Trail near Horse Rock on top of a small bald.

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Oct 29, 2019
Joseph Anderson
Hard run up, slow moving back down. Technical terrain with all the rocks and roots 2.4mi — 1h 05m
Oct 28, 2019
Joseph Anderson
2.4mi — 1h 05m
Jul 6, 2019
Adam Miller
Gonna scramble up!
Mar 31, 2018
Chris Woodrow
When in doubt, pick the hardest option and you’ll stay on the trail 2.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 17 votes


  4.8 from 17 votes
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Trail Rankings


77 Views Last Month
5,528 Since Dec 9, 2016
Extremely Difficult



Sun rising over the cloud encased South Toe River Valley as the wind begins to whip up the just moments before still clouds as seen from Sunrise Point along the Woody Ridge Trail
Oct 17, 2017 near Burnsville, NC
Autumn leaves blowing in the foreground along Woody Ridge Trail after a pre-dawn hike up to catch the sunrise. The cloud encased South Toe River Valley where the trail begins is below in the forefront.  10/15/17
Oct 17, 2017 near Burnsville, NC
Pre-dawn sky looking east from Woody Ridge Trail with the moon and Venus (barely visible in the middle) in the sky and the South Toe River Valley below covered in early morning low cloud cover. (10/15/17)
Oct 16, 2017 near Burnsville, NC
Pictures do not do justice of how steep Woody is.
Feb 8, 2019 near Burnsville, NC
Sitting on a prominent overlook along Woody Ridge Trail after a pre-dawn hike to catch the sunrise.  Warmer morning temps. gave way to chilly howling winds up top. 10/15/17
Oct 16, 2017 near Burnsville, NC
Trying to capture the uphill climb of this trail but it's impossible. I'll just say that my heels rarely hit the ground because the climb is so vertical!
Oct 10, 2017 near Burnsville, NC

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