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A scenic hike along the Green River and then a climb up to views of the gorge and other peaks.


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Map Key

8.4

Miles

13.6

KM

Loop

2,191' 668 m

High

1,045' 318 m

Low

1,632' 497 m

Up

1,643' 501 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a nice long loop that, for much of the hike, stays relatively close to water. There are some great views of the gorge and peaks, and nice waterfalls along the trails that make this hike really special. The trails are all natural surface trails and mostly singletrack with a few rocky sections scattered throughout the whole loop. Hikers will have to do some rock hopping at several creek crossings, but there is no wading. The crossings can be easily done unless the water levels are abnormally high. There is a sturdy wooden bridge for crossing above Stair Step Falls. Stair Step Falls does not have a trail to the base. The grade is very steep.
The trail is closer to 12 miles in length.

Need to Know

Description

From the parking area on the north side of Green River Cove Road, follow Green River Cove to the southwest. The loop parallels the Green River for 2.8 miles with only a little bit of an uphill grade. At the junction with Pulliam Creek Trail, turn right to begin ascending slowly as the trail traverses over to meet and then follow Pulliam Creek.

Hike through some nice hemlock trees, and at about 4.7 miles into the hike, at the junction, turn right onto Rock Hop Trail; follow this to the junction with Bishop Branch Trail and turn south. The loop continues to climb but never up terribly steep grades. Turn left at the junction with Bear Branch Trail and then shortly after a right onto Long Ridge.

The trail reaches it highest point at the junction with Long Ridge and Stair Step Falls Trail. As you descend Stair Step Falls, there are nice views of the gorge and Tryon Peak. At the junction with Turkey Gut, there is a nice waterfall just down stream of the wooden bridge that can make a nice resting place.

Turn right onto Turkey Gut, then quickly right again onto the Bluff Trail. This is a steep descent back to the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Eli Smith with improvements by Steve Marek

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes

#2962

Overall
  4.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#120

in North Carolina

#2,962

Overall
10 Views Last Month
3,704 Since Nov 28, 2017
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0%
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14%
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Photos

The Green River along Green River Cove Trail
Nov 28, 2017 near East Fl…, NC
Creek Crossing on Pulliam Creek Trail
Nov 28, 2017 near East Fl…, NC
View of Green River
Jan 29, 2022 near East Fl…, NC
Bridge over Stair Step Falls, where Turkey Gut & Stair Step Falls trails meet.
Jan 29, 2022 near East Fl…, NC
View of top of Gorge from Bluff Trail, views are ok, best during winter. With leaves there would not be much visibleble.
Jan 29, 2022 near East Fl…, NC

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Check-Ins

Nov 6, 2022
brent birsa
May 30, 2022
B B
Feb 12, 2022
Glint Gossamer
10.1mi — 3h 17m
May 31, 2021
David Smith
Aug 2, 2020
Lucas Stone
Good run/hike
Nov 1, 2019
Chilehead Craig
Oct 6, 2019
Joye Harmon
Still the best kept secret in western NC. 8.4mi — 4h 00m
Nov 4, 2018
Joye Harmon
Thoroughly pleasant hike, v. easy grades on everything but the last mile. Bluff Trail is the only one with any difficulty, helps to do it descending. 8.4mi — 4h 30m
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