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Fire's Creek in Hayesville, NC - A Local Favorite with Lots to Offer

Back on Firm Ground

This week, we are back on firm ground, exploring the trails at the Fires Creek Recreation Area in the Nantahala National Forest. Fires Creek is composed of a variety of paths of differing lengths. For those in search of a short stroll, look no further than the asphalt trail at the entrance. Located just across from the picnic area, this path parallels the stream, providing a variety of easy-access points for fishers, swimmers, and tubers. Fires Creek also offers the Leatherwood Falls Trail, a heavily-trafficked 0.7-mile loop that overlooks Leatherwood Falls. Additionally, the Fires Creek Rim Trail begins at the picnic area and spans over 25 miles through the Fires Creek Backcountry Area. This lightly-trafficked trail follows the ridgeline, providing fabulous views of the pristine national forest. The Rim Trail is designed primarily for hikers, but some sections are open to horses.

Every Outdoor Activity You Want in One Beautiful Location

In addition to hiking, Fires Creek is an ideal location for picnicking, swimming, horseback riding, trout fishing, and primitive camping. At the entrance, an array of picnic tables and barbecue grills are available for public use. From the picnic area, guests can also view the aforementioned Leatherwood Falls, a medium-sized waterfall located just across the stream. The creek itself is ideal for swimming and tubing, especially for families. Although the stream is swift in some areas, there are some notable locations along Fires Creek that offer deeper water for swimming. One such swimming hole is located just across the river at the end of the paved path. 

Fires Creek is located in Clay County NC, about 30 minutes from downtown Murphy and roughly 20 minutes from downtown Hayesville. Fires Creek is part of the Nantahala National Forest, Tusquitee Ranger District and is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. In full, the Fires Creek Recreation Area contains 14,000 acres and has been designated as a black bear sanctuary.


- Written by Riley Lachance

On the Road with Riley - Fires Creek

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