From the trailhead, hike west on a wide, grass path that winds through longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods. After 0.8 mile, cross a dirt Forest Service road and turn left for a brief road walk to Fairly Bridge Road. After connecting with the trail on the other side of the road, meander to the northwest through more longleaf pine forest.
Less than 2 miles in, the trail rolls through a series of short, sometimes steep, ascents and descents that pass through a mix of pines, oaks, beech, and other hardwoods. Less than half a mile later, a brief, but steep climb leads to a wooded hilltop. In winter when the trees are bare, views of tall pines and hardwoods stretch to the east. At mile 3, hike past moss-covered rhododendron in a lush stream drainage, then ascend a ridge with 360-degree views. Absorb the views, then prepare for the steep descent that follows.
The final 2 miles to the turnaround point trace Black Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River—look for intermittent views for the creek as the path rises above the west bank of this broad and gently flowing channel. Turn around at mile 6.4 when the route intersects FS 382 B, an asphalt road, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Marcus Woolf