High Line Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,760' 841 m
Descent: -2,769' -844 m
High: 5,562' 1,695 m
Low: 2,897' 883 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
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“A 13-mile loop on old logging roads and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.”— Matt Kirby
From here, the run starts on Beech Flat Creek Trail, an old road bed that heads northeast. Continue climbing to cross an old bridge, and once across the bridge take the trail to the left. You'll pass an old homesite on your left and continue. You'll pass another old cabin and then come to a creek crossing.
Once across the creek, you'll follow the trail to a switchback and then pass a forest service gate. The trail will begin a significant climb toward the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. At about 3.5 miles, you pass the Mountains-to-Sea Trail; this section will take you toward Cherokee.
For this run, you'll continue east for another 0.5 miles. Now you are above 5,000 feet in elevation and on the locally known "High Line", which is also the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Continue for about 3 miles. You'll slowly descend, eventually ending at a trail junction. If you continue left on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail you'll be headed toward Asheville. For this run, take the right-hand trail down to Piney Creek.
At mile 8-ish, you'll come to another creek crossing; use caution. At mile 9, you'll come to another forest service gate. From here, you'll be on Piney Creek Trail, a gravel road. For the next 3 miles, continue descending. You'll eventually hit another gravel road. This is Caney Fork Road, the same road you drove up. Turn right, and head back to your vehicle which is a little over a mile away.
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Need to Know, History & Background
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Local Club: Plott Balsam Runners
Land Manager: USFS - North Carolina National Forests Office
Feb 20, 2020: Portion of Davidson River Campground to Reopen