Start those 2022 resolutions out right by hitting the trails in and around Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure! The Blue Ridge Mountains offer nothing short of spectacular views in every season of the year – not to mention some great workout opportunities. Work hiking into your New Year’s resolutions with this guide to five public hiking trails around Rumbling Bald:
1) Dittmer-Watts Nature Park Trail
- 3.3-Mile Connecting Trails
- 2 Hours Max (time varies on trail choice)
Only a 6-mile drive from Rumbling Bald (15 minutes), these public trails are the ultimate trail system for every member of your family. Perfect for hikers and runners, a graveled parking lot just off the trailhead allows for easy access to this nature walk. These ten trails overlap throughout the wooded mountain landscape to offer snippets of mountain vistas, nature, and forest landscapes. These intermixing trails are the perfect reflection of mountains and nature without the more strenuous escapades of high elevations. Be sure to study the trail map and choose your path accordingly (271 NC 9 Hwy, Lake Lure, NC – across from Ingles).
2) Bearwallow Mountain Trail
- 2-Mile Round Trip
- 1.5 Hours
Although this is the farthest trail from Rumbling Bald on our list – 21 miles (roughly 45 minutes) – this mountain overlook is worth the drive. A short one-mile hike up Bearwallow Mountain rewards you with a beautiful meadow at the summit. These breathtaking views offer a nearly 360-degree view of the mountains with key focal points such as the Hickory Nut Gorge, Tryon Peak, Mt. Mitchell (the highest point in Eastern U.S.) and the Great Smokey Mountains. This mountain is also home to grazing cattle, so be sure to respect their space to allow more hikers to appreciate these views as well. This short, easy hike of Bearwallow Mountain also links to the much farther (combined 7 miles) and challenging Trombatore Trail if you’re in the mood for an all-day experience. Follow blazes for the Bearwallow Mountain trail and reference the trail map for your hike (Bearwallow Mountain Trail, Hendersonville, NC).
3) Rumbling Bald At Chimney Rock State Park Trail
- 1.5-Mile Loop
- 1 Hour
This trail highlights the southern face of Rumbling Bald Mountain and is one of the many trails offered at Chimney Rock State Park. This looped trail is a hot-spot for rock-climbers, due to the expansive number of boulders and rock faces among the trail. Located just 13 miles (roughly 20 minutes) from property, this public trail is nestled between downtown Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. This trail gives you a look into the beautiful forests and a small sliver of the rocks that our area is so famous for. Follow the orange trail blazes to complete the loop and reference park maps on your trip (827 Boys Camp Rd., Lake Lure, NC).
4) Buffalo Creek Park Trail
- 3.5-Mile Loop
- 2-3 Hours
This public trail loop is one of the only multi-use trails in the area and is frequented by hikers, bikers, climbers, and runners alike. At the start of the loop, be sure to move the appropriate way to avoid run-ins with bikers: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday’s hikers go left (clockwise) while Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday’s hikers go right (counterclockwise); mountain bikers will be doing the opposite. Buffalo Creek trail offers a beautiful, shaded forest landscape with mixes of small waterfalls, boulder fields for experienced rock climbers (aka don’t try this at home kids), and a snapshot of Young’s Mountain. The loop connects at the halfway point to Weed Patch Mountain Trail with an additional 8.6-mile long connection requiring at minimum 8 hours – which we only recommend for very advanced hikers. Rumbling Bald guests have the added bonus of a secluded private parking lot available within the property (just off West Lake Drive). Wellness Center staff can get you moving in the right direction if you need further help. Check out the trail map here (2191 Buffalo Creek Road, Lake Lure, NC).
5) Wildcat Rock Trail
- 6-Mile Round Trip
- 4 Hours
If you could pick a trail that has all the views, this would be the one. Located 18 miles from property (roughly 35 minutes), this public trail is instantly customizable depending on what you want to experience (waterfalls, rocks, and or overarching mountain landscapes) and the level of workout you desire. Roughly one mile into the trail is the first attraction of Little Bearwallow Falls – a stunning 100-foot waterfall. From the waterfall, one mile further brings you to Wildcat Rock, which overlooks the upper side of the Hickory Nut Gap with views of Little Pisgah Mountain and Blue Ridge Pastures. After Wildcat Rock, one last mile brings you to the end of the trail and the ridgeline meadow of Bearwallow Mountain (the same peak mentioned earlier with the Bearwallow Mountain Trail). Be prepared for some strenuous climbing for this hiking workout, but the view is always worth it from the top (and be on the lookout for the cool caves under Wildcat Rock). Follow the red trail blazes to make your way up and back on this trail and be sure to reference the trail map (3823 Gerton Hwy, Gerton, NC).
These five trails are some of our personal favorites with easy public access and beautiful representation of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Lure community. In no way are these the only great trails to try out – if you’re content with spending some money, be sure to check out the six hiking trails included when you purchase tickets for the Chimney Rock access, which is located just 11 miles (roughly 20 minutes) from Rumbling Bald.
When you stay with us at Rumbling Bald, you gain access not just to the amenities, but to the full exploration of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rumbling Bald has its own private access to the Buffalo Creek Park, which hosts over 1500 acres of conserved pure mountain landscapes. At the very heart of Rumbling Bald, we treasure the backdrop of our property and the outdoor experiences we can build through connecting with nature. Reserve your lodging now so you can start taking on the mountains today.