Hiking and Biking Trails
For the latest information regarding National Forests in North Carolina, please check out the Forest Service website.
Our public lands offer more than 245 miles of bike trails. In addition, forest roads are also open for mountain biking, unless otherwise signed.
The Ramsey Bluff Bike Trail System is located at the Hanging Dog Campground area, and offers under-utilized adventure in Mountain biking, hiking, and cross-country running. The eight mile labyrinth of trails is actually a group of connected loops, allowing an interesting variety of combinations for repeat visitors to explore. The trail difficulty ranges from easy to moderate, and range from 1500 to 1900’ in elevation. The trail system has two good access points with parking: the Upper Parking area above the Boat Launch, and Iceberg Hill on Ramsey Bluff Road. Restrooms are near the Boat Launch trailhead.
Jack Rabbit Trail
Jackrabbit Mountain trail system provides access to over 14 miles of trails with a main central loop, which is easy and nearly level, and has junctions with several more difficult side trails, traveling to some interesting destinations such as ridgetops and beaches.
From Murphy, follow Hwy 64 for 19 miles and turn right on Hwy 175 South. Go 1 mile and turn right to stay on Hwy 175, crossing a long one-lane concrete bridge over an arm of the lake. Go 2.5 miles and turn right onto Jack Rabbit Road. Bear left after 250 ft., staying on Jack Rabbit Rd. The signed parking area is on the left after about 1/2 mile.
Fires Creek Recreation Area
The 25-mile Rim Trail in the Fires Creek Backcountry Area climbs the ridge around Fires Creek and makes a large loop. The trail offers vistas as it crosses several high elevation balds. From the Leatherwood Falls Picnic Area, a 0.7 mile loop goes to Leatherwood Falls.
From Murphy, travel US 64 towards Hayesville. At Hills Store turn left on Fires Creek Road (NC175) for 2.5 miles, left on Fires Creek Wildlife Road (SR 1344) for two miles. The recreation center is on the left after the bridge.
Ocoee Whitewater Center
Boasting more than 20 miles of trails, this trail system has it all. This trail has tons of options from a hke with history along the 2.4 mile restored segment of the Old Copper Road Trail, or an easy 1 mile stroll around the Olympic course at the Whitewater Center to a screaming 1.5 mile mountain bike ridge on the Thunder Rock Express.
Located on Hwy 64 approximately 6 miles west of Ducktown, Tennessee. Day use parking is available in the lower lot at the Ocoee Whitewater Center.
The approximate 3 miles of easy walking trails start at the far end of Konehete Park along the Valley River, and end at the Old L&N Depot by the Hiwassee River bridge. Enjoy walking through Konehete Park then along the river past the historic Leach Place and the abandoned railroad trestle to the Historic L&N Depot.
The Murphy River Walk is located in Downtown Murphy and has several access points including the L&N Depot, McClelland Street, and Konehete Park.
There are two entrances to the Appalachian Trail that are easily accessible from our area and both are 40 minutes away! You can get on the AT at the Nanatahala Outdoor Center in the Nanatahala Gorge on Hwy 74 or you can get on at Winding Stair Gap on the top of Franklin Mountain on Hwy 64. There are many other short day-hike options!
Piney Knob Trail
Piney Knob Trail System, 22.3 miles of recreational hiking and mountain biking trails on the 700+ acre Murphy Watershed property off of Piney Knob Hill Road. All trails are dirt single-track trails and built in accordance with International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards.
On the Road with Riley Series
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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…
Early Trip Down Hiwassee Lake in Murphy, NC So far in “On the Road with Riley,” we have hiked, biked, and run across the Appalachian terrain. This, however, does not fully encapsulate the vast array of adventures that await in Western North Carolina. Therefore, on this outing, we took to the waters for an early…
On the Road with Riley – Jack Rabbit Trails I recently visited the Jackrabbit Mountain trail system for a mountain biking excursion with my dad. Let me begin by stating that I am by no means an expert mountain biker (hiking and running are more my forte), yet I still had an excellent experience. Jackrabbit…
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