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Trail through the trees. Photo by BLM.

New hiking trails



Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Western North Carolina hikers can now enjoy three new trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway, thanks to private citizens, The Conservation Fund, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Rose Creek and Little Table Rock Mountain Trails are on Pisgah Game Land and the Saddle Mountain Trail on Mitchell River Game Land. The Rose Creek Trail is a 1.3-mile loop, rated easy. The Little Table Rock Trail is a straight 2.1-miles of moderate difficulty. The Saddle Mountain Trail is a 2-mile loop, rated moderate.

The trails are accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway or nearby access roads on Commission game lands, and are marked with stone markers, as well as informational and directional signs.

The Rose Creek Trail is part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail that follows the route taken by patriot militia when they crossed the mountains on foot and horseback in late September 1781 on their way to defeat British-led forces at Kings Mountain. The trail generally follows Little Rose Creek for much of its length through oak and cove forests.

The Little Table Rock Trail winds through oak and cove forests, but the summit offers views of different natural landmarks. The Saddle Mountain Trail goes through oak and mixed oak-pine forests with a dense understory of mountain laurel.

Because the three trails are located on game lands, wearing blaze orange is recommended September through February and April through May.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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