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Woody Ridge Trail (177)

Extremely Difficult


2.4 mile 3.9 kilometer point to point
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


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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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


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Aug 4, 2019
Tim Welsh
Jul 4, 2019
Phil York
Clean cut trail. A lot of fun! Relentless and steep, but does not deserve the double black diamonds. Chimbric from Table Rock is way more committing. 2.5mi — 1h 40m
Jun 16, 2019
Moritz Kathe
Apr 4, 2019
Seth Dent
2.8mi — 1h 15m
May 25, 2018
Matt Sweeney
May 14, 2018
Kayla McFadden
Intense gradient, steep climbs with traverse switchbacks. Short hike, 2 hours. Gnats are gnarly this time (May) bring bug spray and maybe hat w/ net. 2.4mi
Apr 3, 2018
Ben Boaz
May 19, 2017
gar.r0b rob
One of the funniest trails I have ever hiked. Can't recommend it enough. 2.4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 14 votes


  4.9 from 14 votes
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Trail Rankings


169 Views Last Month
5,178 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
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
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
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
View about 3/4 of the way up the Woody Ridge Trail.
Oct 10, 2017 near Burnsville, NC

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