Walking & Hiking Trails
There are numerous hiking opportunities in Caldwell County offering enough challenge for any active outdoorsman and gentler pathways for walkers who prefer strolling. From viewing waterfalls at Wilson Creek with the rugged terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a less strenuous walk in over 20 walking areas throughout Caldwell County, there’s something for everyone.
The trails in the Wilson Creek area are generally rugged, so be prepared. Most are signed at trailheads and a few have internal signs or blazes on the trees. The descriptions below are for a few of the more popular waterfall trails. Use these descriptions in conjunction with a map of the area (available at the Wilson Creek Visitor Center or from the U.S. Forest Service). The Mountains-to-Sea Trail, blazed with white circles, crosses through the area.
Harper Creek Falls
Being one of the more popular hikes in the area, you get double waterfalls at Harper Creek starting at 40 feet. This walk is an easy to moderate hike and takes about an hour. The trailhead is about 1.9 miles north of the Wilson Creek Visitor Center on Brown Mountain Beach Road. Follow the creek until you get to the waterfall. The trail is blazed in orange. There is a parking area at the trailhead.
Waterfall on Thorpes Creek
This waterfall is easy to get to and is excellent for beginners. The trailhead starts at Mortimer Campground and follows Thorpes Creek. This 15-foot, cascading waterfall is about .18 mile on the trail. From Brown Mountain Beach Road, turn left on N.C. 90. Mortimer Campground is on the right. Follow the road through the campground and park at the end.
Hunt-Fish Falls is a wonderful destination for more advanced hikers. The trail winds down a scenic cove to a 20-foot waterfall and becomes very steep at the end. The length of the trail is .7 miles. The trail intersects with Lost Cove Trail above Hunt-Fish Falls, which provides several opportunities to connect to other trails for longer hikes past Hunt-Fish Falls. From Brown Mountain Beach Road, turn left on N.C. 90. Follow N.C. 90 for 1.8 miles to Pineola Road (SR464). Turn left on Pineola Road and go 3 miles to a marked parking area on the right.
Falls on Gragg Prong
This trail is one of the more scenic trails in the region. There are three falls along this route with several easy to difficult creek crossings. The trail reaches the Upper and Lower Gragg Prong Waterfalls and Hunt-Fish Falls. This trail is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and is marked with a white blaze. From Brown Mountain Beach Road, turn left on N.C. 90. Follow N.C. 90 for 2.1 miles to Roseboro Road (SR981). Turn left on Roseboro Road and go 4.1 miles to a bridge. A small parking area is just beyond the bridge.
Below is a list of 22 walking areas in Caldwell County. For more information, visit Caldwell County Pathways. Each map number corresponds to a walking map.
|1||Baton Ruritan Park||2611 Connelly Springs Rd.||Baton||0.33-mile lighted paved track with
a playground, porta-jon and two shelters
|2||Buffalo Community Park||Buffalo Cove Rd.||Buffalo Cove||0.1-mile lighted track with picnic tables, playground and a creek stocked with trout; no restrooms|
|3||Collettsville Park||Adako Rd.||Collettsville||0.33- and 0.67-mile lighted track with picnic
tables, ball fields, playground, and restrooms
|4||Davenport School Park||901 College Ave.||Lenoir||0.3-mile unlighted trail for day use with
picnic tables, playground and benches; no restrooms
|5||Dudley Shoals School Park||1500 Dudley School Rd.||Granite Falls||0.5-mile unlighted paved track with ball
fields and playground; no restrooms
|6||Gamewell Park||Gamewell School Rd.||Gamewell||0.4-mile track near Gamewell Middle School
with picnic tables, playground and ball fields; no restrooms
|7||William B. Shuford Rec. Center||56 Pinewood Drive||Granite Falls||0.33-mile paved lighted track with ball fields,
playground and restrooms
|8||Hibriten High School Track||550 East Blvd.||Lenoir||0.25-mile unlighted paved track with no
|9||Hudson Uptown Building Walking Trail||Cedar Valley Rd.||Hudson||0.1-mile unlighted trail; no restrooms|
|10||J.E. Broyhill Park||509 Ridge St.||Lenoir||Near downtown Lenoir; a 0.5-mile lighted
paved track with restrooms, playground,
shelters, tables and grills
|11||Lenoir Aquatic Center Trails||1031 Jim Barger Ct.||Lenoir||1.6- and 3.1 mile unlighted trails|
|12||Lenoir Greenway||Powell Rd.||Lenoir||Over 7 miles of a network of trails; restrooms
|13||Lenoir Mall||1031 Morganton Blvd.||Lenoir||0.25-mile indoor track with restrooms|
|14||Leslie J. Hagaman
|1350 Yadkin River Rd.||Happy Valley||Happy Valley School; 0.36-mile lighted paved track with porta-jon, ball fields, playground
and picnic tables
|15||Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Track||122 Greenhaven Rd.||Lenoir||0.33-mile unlighted track with indoor fitness
area, ball fields, playgrounds and restrooms
|16||Oak Hill Community Park||4603 Oak Hill School Rd.||Oak Hill||0.2-mile unlighted trail with picnic tables, playground, benches and shelter|
|17||Redwood Park||450 Redwood St.||Hudson||1.5-, 0.5- and 0.3-mile unlighted walking and
bike trails with playground and restrooms
|18||Sawmills School Park||4436 Sawmills School Rd.||Sawmills||0.33-mile unlighted paved track with playground;
|19||T.H. Broyhill Walking Park||509 Golf St.||Lenoir||0.5-mile lighted paved track with restrooms|
|3420 Playmore Beach Rd.||Gamewell||0.2-, 0.33- and 1.75-mile trails with restrooms,
picnic tables and shelters
|111 Elizabeth Drive||Valmead||0.23- and 0.37-mile unlighted track with ball
fields and playground; no restrooms
|22||West Lenoir School Track||125 Maple Drive||Lenoir||0.2-mile unlighted paved track with playground; no restrooms; for daylight use only|