Hidden Lake and Lower Higgins Creek Falls Hike

Morganton, North Carolina

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This hike takes place on one of the most significant remaining Southern Appalachian lands to be purchased for and open to the public—the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork tract. You will visit two important aquatic features here—60-foot Lower Higgins Creek Falls and Hidden Lake, a rare highland tarn. It is an easy and short trek to Lower Higgins Creek Falls, but the pull up to Hidden Lake is tougher. After tracing an old logging road to the falls, the hike climbs more, making a few creek crossings, then turns up steep Birchfield Camp Branch. There you pass an unlikely and rusted truck from the logging days. Emerge from the rhododendron and find Hidden Lake, sitting at 4,000 feet in the shadow of Frozen Knob.
Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina

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Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina

by Johnny Molloy (Falcon Guides)

This hike takes place on one of the most significant remaining Southern Appalachian lands to be purchased for and open to the public—the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork tract. You will visit two important aquatic features here—60-foot Lower Higgins Creek Falls and Hidden Lake, a rare highland tarn. It is an easy and short trek to Lower Higgins Creek Falls, but the pull up to Hidden Lake is tougher.

After tracing an old logging road to the falls, the hike climbs more, making a few creek crossings, then turns up steep Birchfield Camp Branch. There you pass an unlikely and rusted truck from the logging days. Emerge from the rhododendron and find Hidden Lake, sitting at 4,000 feet in the shadow of Frozen Knob.

© 2017 Johnny Molloy /Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Morganton
Distance: 4.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Cherokee National Forest, Watauga Ranger District, 4400 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, TN 37692, (423) 735-1500, www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee
Local Maps: National Geographic #782 French Broad & Nolichucky Rivers, Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests, Rocky Fork Trail map; USGS Flag Pond
Driving Directions: Directions to Hidden Lake and Lower Higgins Creek Falls Hike

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Apr 2018