While there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout North Carolina, avid hikers turn time and time again to the trails in the Wilson Creek area. With everything from easily traversed trails to some quite long, steep, and rough ones for a challenging hike, there is something for everyone. If you visit Lenoir & the NC Foothills, you won’t want to miss the views you can enjoy while hiking trails in the area.
Wilson Creek has the special accolade of being a designated National Wild and Scenic River. As a center point for the Grandfather Ranger District, with Grandfather Mountain being the headwaters for Wilson Creek, there are many different amazing things to see along the trails. The trail network is quite extensive, but there are two trails that are among the most popular for hiking.
Harper Creek Trail
The Harper Creek Trail is 6.0 miles in length. It first has a moderately easy trail that leads to a waterfall with two swimming holes. You can get to the base of the falls via a rope. You could return at this point, but if you are up for an exceptional challenge, continue the remainder of the trail, and you’ll be rewarded with another waterfall. Be prepared to cross several creeks and be watchful for drop-offs. The end of the trail is past the settlement of Kawana when you reach Kawana Road.
Big Lost Cove Cliffs Trail
The Big Lost Cove Cliffs Trail is a relatively short trail. Some sites quote it as being 3.3 miles, others say 1.2, 1.3, or 2 miles one-way. It is unknown why there is such a difference of opinion on this, but suffice it to say that most agree it is moderate in difficulty as a hilly trail with some obstacles. The view of Grandfather Mountain in the distance is a captivating feature of this hiking trail. You can also add Little Lost Cove Cliffs Trail to your hike. It is 1.3 miles in length with some strenuous parts.
Something to consider when hiking in the Wilson Creek area is that there are many hiking trails that can be joined together to create a more challenging hike. For example, combine North Harper Creek, Little Lost Cove Cliffs, and North Harper Creek Falls for a moderate loop hike. Another option for a more difficult excursion is combining Mountains to Sea, Yellow Buck, Raider Camp, and North Harper Creek.