“A 13-mile loop on old logging roads and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.”
— Matt Kirby
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a great loop run over some decent trails. Some of the trail traverses old logging roads to just below the Blue Ridge Parkway on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Segment 2
. There may not be huge vistas on this trail, but you'll enjoy a remote setting. This is a great trail to run if you'd like to get away from crowds.
Until you get to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, there are no trail markings. I am working on adding flagging to make the course more user friendly. The two homesites you'll encounter which are private property—take only pictures. I have never encountered a bear, but there are bear in the area, so use caution.
To access this trailhead, head south on Hwy 107 from Sylva toward Caney Fork Road. Turn left onto Caney Fork and continue for almost 10 miles. The pavement will end; continue on gravel road. Upon crossing the second bride, parking can be found in the area that is locally known as Camp Ten.
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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