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South Mountains Eastern Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great afternoon hike which shows the best South Mountain's Park has to offer.


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Map Key

7.2

Miles

11.6

KM

Loop

2,266' 691 m

High

1,240' 378 m

Low

1,445' 441 m

Up

1,483' 452 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Picnic tables, benches along Raven Rock Trail, wide paths, and plenty of great views. Might be tough for children under 7.

Overview

This is a challenging trail in some parts, but it offers great views of the surrounding mountains. This trail is also good for horseback riding. Only some of the trail are accessible to bike riders.

Need to Know

There are no facilities along this trail, other than picnic tables at the connection of Saddleback Trail and Raven Rock Trail. Saddleback Trail can get very wet after rain storms, and if there is a lot of rain, the Park service will close off the trail.

Description

Follow a sequence of trails to make a loop that will give you an enjoyable and challenging 7-mile hike. It starts where Turkey Ridge Trail crosses the park access road. Approximately 150 feet past the trail, there is a small parking area for 3 or 4 vehicles. Unless you have water shoes, start the hike going north on Turkey Ridge Trail.

You'll turn left on to Little River Trail which then takes you to Raven Rock Trail. Raven Rock Trail has a number of seats as you climb to the top of the trail, where you'll connect with Saddleback Trail for a long, 3-mile trip down the mountain, where you turn left back on to Turkey Ridge Trail.

Just before you return to your vehicle, you need to cross the Jacob Fork River, which will most likely leave you with wet feet, since the water is usually at least a foot deep.

Flora & Fauna

This hike will take you through a wide variety of hardwood and softwood trees. This area was not affected by the forest fires of 2017.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ian Greveling

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3892

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#144

in North Carolina

#3,892

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74 Since Nov 22, 2020
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Well maintained trails with beautiful fall colors.
Nov 22, 2020 near Drexel, NC

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