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The Raiders of the Pines Fitness Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A crazy route with diverse terrain, and gorgeous views in the Wilson Creek Area. This route was made for hiking.


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Map Key

13.3

Miles

21.4

KM

Loop

2,835' 864 m

High

1,412' 430 m

Low

2,217' 676 m

Up

2,231' 680 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This loop in the Wilson Creek Area has it all on very navigable terrain. There are good views through the woods and an epic view of South Harper Falls and Grandfather Mtn from an amazing perch on a cliff. Minus the first half mile, the entire route can be easily negotiated, and you could pick up the pace for that first half mile if you really wanted to red line off the bat.

Need to Know

This loop is located within a Wilderness Area, which means keep you group size down to 10 or less.

Description

The route starts behind the Wilson Creek Visitor Center on the Pine Ridge Trail. Take the Pine Ridge Trail to the Pine Ridge Connector, and turn left to follow this very nice stretch of easy gradient hiking. Take this trail to FS198 and turn right. Follow this road with good views of Brown Mountain until you reach the Mountain to Sea Trail.

Continue straight onto the MST until you reach the yellow blazed Raider Camp Trail. Turn left for a short out and back to the epic view of South Harper Falls. Return back to the intersection and the continue onto the MST (also Raider Camp). This section is an epic downhill with some technical spots to a mandatory creek crossing of Harper Creek.

Once across the creek, turn right (stay straight really) onto the Harper Creek Trail and follow this flatish trail back down to Brown Mountain Beach Road. Turn right onto the road and work your way back to the visitor center where you started.

If you'd like to add some additional length and scenery to your hike, you can extend the loop by taking the Harper Creek Trail. You can even make this trail your starting point, and it will add similar views to your journey.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brandon Thrower

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 11 votes

#2

in Wilson Creek

#2599

Overall
  4.0 from 11 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
9%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Wilson Creek

#2,599

Overall
134 Views Last Month
4,548 Since Jan 16, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
50%
0%
50%
0%

Photos

Largest of several waterfalls along trail.
Jun 13, 2020 near Linville, NC
Crossing Harper Creek on Raider Camp / Mountains to Sea Trail.
Mar 21, 2020 near Linville, NC
View of Grandfather Mountain from Raider Camp Trail
Mar 21, 2020 near Linville, NC
Take a breather at the South Harper Falls Overlook and truly enjoy the falls' majesty.
Jan 16, 2017 near Linville, NC

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Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2019
Amy Lynn Kelley
Saw a bear!!!!!!
May 25, 2019
James Papke
Jan 31, 2019
Richard Scarborough
Dec 29, 2018
Mick Berry
a spectacular view. lots of down trees but all navigable. 10.3mi
Dec 2, 2018
H Diaz
This loop I finished with 15.77 miles. Terrain was ok, muddy and tons of trees on the ground. Views were spectacular, surely is not for the beginners.
Dec 2, 2018
Eddie Diaz
Strenuous but amazing views. River crossings about 11 times. Knee deep most of them. Scarce markings so paying attention to the trail is a must. 15.8mi
May 21, 2017
Joe S
Start
Apr 30, 2017
Mike Fallowes
Trail was very tight the first half. The last half was pretty easy.there is a big creek crossing that is about knee deep in flowing water near the end 15mi