Spring Creek Nature Trail
Directions to Trailhead
Driving from Asheville: Take I-26 W towards Weaverville. In 8 miles take exit 19A to get on US-25 N/ US-70 W towards Marshall. In 26 miles you will arrive in Hot Springs where you continue straight onto NC-209 S for 7 miles before arriving at Rocky Bluff Campground, where parking is available and the trailhead is located.
There is ample parking at the Rocky Bluff campground, the trailhead is located at the north end of the park. Public restrooms are available in the building in the middle of the campground.
Yellow blazes guide this trail, the hike begins with a slight descent on a single track path that takes hikers past campsites and reaches the beautiful Spring Creek in approximately 0.5 miles. Here, the trail runs adjacent to the creek where there are numerous spots to access the water.
Benches are available every 0.5 miles along the Spring Creek Nature Trail.
Following the creek, hikers will proceed through tunnels of rhododendrons and pass a small waterfall feeding into Spring Creek.
After continuing along Spring Creek for approximately 0.75 miles the trail turns back into the forest where the hike begins a gradual climb back up to the Rocky Bluff Campground. Hikers will cross a junction leading to an amphitheater before returning back to the campground where the hike began.
Van Cliff Loop (2.6 miles - Moderate)
For hikers seeking a longer, more challenging hike, the Van Cliff Loop Trailhead is located at the southern end of the Rocky Bluff Campground. Sections of this trail used to be the old wagon road that was used prior to NC-209 being built.
The yellow blazed trail passes several camping sites before leaving the campground, and after approximately 0.25 miles reaches a fork in the trail which is the start and end of the Van Cliff Loop.
Follow the right trail and begin a moderate ascent up the Van Cliff Loop. The trail crosses NC-209 and continues a climb for approximately 1 mile before reaching the crest. There, the trail levels out and begins a gentle 1.5 mile descent that crosses NC-209 again before returning hikers back to the start of the loop.
**Along the trail are several small bridges that are narrow. Please take caution when crossing.