Flat Laurel Creek Trail/Old Railroad Grade is a hiking and biking trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is 3.6 miles long and begins at 5,806 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,188 feet. Near the trailhead there are parking and restrooms.
Flat Laurel Creek Trail/Old Railroad Grade Professional Reviews and Guides
"The Flat Laurel Creek Trail leads you into the Shining Rock Wilderness, which boasts an impressive five peaks above 6,000 feet. The views are stunning, and Flat Laurel Creek is brimming with character. While the dogs wade out into the water, you’ll sit alongside it, taking in the sights of the immense Sam Knob. The rock-faced mountain dwarfs the tall pine trees soaring above the waterway. Rock cairns left by campers pique your curiosity, as the crystal-clear water passes over a shallow rocky creek bed."
--Melissa Watson, Best Dog Hikes North Carolina (Falcon Guides).
"Starting in the high meadows between Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness, this ride connects with the Blue Ridge Parkway, passes the Devil’s Courthouse, and goes through a tunnel. Don’t let the first quarter mile of washout intimidate you. Things smooth out, and all the single track is downhill.The ride surface is 2.6 miles of single track and 4.6 miles of pavement. Highlights include waterfalls, creek crossings, cliff views, high meadows, rocky trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Devil's Courthouse tunnel."
--Jim Parham, Off The Beaten Track Volume II: A Guide to Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina - Pisgah (Milestone Press).
"This is your opportunity to explore one of the highest mountain valleys in the East. But the mile-high hike is about more than the Flat Laurel Creek valley. It is also about extensive mountain panoramas in the highlands of the Pisgah National Forest. Panoramas are immediate as you cross a meadow then take a side trip to rocky 6,000-foot Sam Knob, where panoramas stretch in all directions. Flat Laurel Creek, a tributary of the West Fork Pigeon River, is located just outside the busy but beautiful Shining Rock Wilderness. The gorgeous valley, covered in a mingling of grasses, meadows, wetlands, and forests, presents a continual canvas of Southern Appalachian highland beauty."
--Johnny Molloy , Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides).
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