Hikers along the Blue Ridge Parkway have three new trails to explore this spring, thanks to a partnership among volunteers, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and environmental groups. The three trails—the Rose Creek, Little Table Rock Mountain, and the Saddle Mountain trails—range in length from 1 to 3 miles and wind through state game lands in Western North Carolina.
Each trail offers unique views, some that date back to the pre-Revolutionary War era when Native Americans and early settlers walked through the same forested mountains, said Kip Hollifield, a Wildlife Resources Commission land management biologist.
The Rose Creek Trail follows a uniquely historic route that Patriot militia took crossing the mountains in 1781 on their way to defeat British-led forces at Kings Mountain. The trail follows Little Rose Creek through oak and cove forests. The Little Table Rock Trail also winds through oak and cove forests, but the summit offers multiple views of well-known natural landmarks. Both trails are accessed near mile marker 326, at the Heffner Gap overlook of the parkway.
The Saddle Mountain Trail is accessed at mile marker 221 and passes through a dense understory of mountain laurel.
All three trails are located on state game lands adjacent to the parkway, thus hikers are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange during hunting seasons: April through May and September through February.