Lake Lure offers many adventures and scenic hiking

trails just minutes from our vacation cabins!

Chimney Rock State Park

Where can you ride a 26-story elevator to the top of a 500-million-year-old mountain monolith, and then walk down 500 stairs to the bottom? Chimney Rock State Park, which offers a full day of thrills with breathtaking scenery, hiking trails, wildlife, and one of North Carolina’s highest waterfalls, Hickory Nut Falls. A few miles down the road, discover gorgeous Lake Lure, a popular resort destination for decades of Blue Ridge visitors.

Family Fun and Discovery

Chimney Rock State Park – all 4,000 acres of it – will awaken your sense of adventure. Special events include “Off the Beaten Path” guided hikes, live music concerts by various artists as well as sports challenges like the Annual Race to the Rock that takes place in August. At Grady’s Animal Discovery Den, Grady the Groundhog invites little ones to view local wildlife such as non-venomous snakes. Kids are also treated to educational handouts about the park’s geology, birds, and wildflowers. Bring the family dog too – Chimney Rock is pet-friendly!

Hiking High and Low

Reach the pinnacle of Chimney Rock State Park on the Skyline Trail, which brings you to the natural rock formations, Devil’s Head and Exclamation Point. From this vantage you can see 75-mile views of Hickory Nut Gorge, including idyllic Lake Lure. Kids will enjoy the Great Woodland Adventure trail, featuring sculptures and 12 “discovery stations” along the way. The 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls, featured in the movie The Last of the Mohicans, is accessible by an easy 1.5-mile hike on a wooded trail.

Lake Lure View

Lake Lure hiking is one of the many allures of Lake Lure NC. The natural beauty that surrounds the town: mountains, waters, and wildlife is amazing. The best way to drink in all the splendor of the area is to put on your hiking shoes, grab a nice hiking stick, and walk your way through the wonderful wilderness. Below are 12 great trekking locations within 35 minutes of the Lake Lure NC Beach area. Each hike offers different visual rewards as you journey through nature’s wonders.

The Top 12 Hikes below around Lake Lure is in order of hiking difficulty (easy to hard) and provides general information to get you there and let you know the highlights of the hike. For the majority of these hikes, we also have links to detailed Trail Reviews where you can learn a lot more about the hikes, see beautiful pictures, GPS trail maps, and more. Happy hiking!

1. Morse Park Town Walk – Lake Lure, NC – FREE

Morse Park Lake Lure Walking Tour

  • Directions: Located at the Lake Lure Town Center on Memorial Highway
  • Hiking distance: Approximately 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Picturesque views of the surrounding mountains, Lake Lure and area flora, and fauna. A special treat from Spring through Fall is the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.
  • Trail Review: Morse Park – Lake Lure Town Center Walking Tour

2. Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail Park (formerly Donald Ross Nature Park) – Lake Lure, NC – FREE


  • Directions: Located on NC 9, ¼ mile south of Highway 64W (across from Ingles)
  • Hiking Distance: ½ to 3 miles – several side trails bi-sect the main loop
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Surrounded by nature, well-maintained trails and 2 open fields to let the pups run. Also, one nice view overlooking the Lake Lure Municipal Golf Course and up the Hickory Nut Gorge.
  • Trail Review: Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail Park

3. Little Bradley Falls – Saluda, NC – FREE

Little Bradley Falls

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take Highway 64E to NC9S – Right on Garret Rd. – Right on Silver Creek Rd. – Left on Holbert Cove Rd. for 6.2 miles: parking on right – Trailhead on the Southside of the road
  • Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Highlights: The majority of the trail follows Cove Creek so you have great rushing water sounds as you walk the wooded trail. There are 5 or 6 creek crossings so be prepared to get wet or rock hop. The pay-off: a triple-tiered, 50+ foot waterfall – gorgeous!
  • Trail Review: Little Bradley Falls

4. Big Bradley Falls – Saluda, NC – FREE

Big Bradley Falls Saluda NC

  • Directions: Same as above – except – Trailhead is on the Northside of the road.
  • Hiking Distance: Approx. 1.5 miles round trip (to the precipice that looks out to falls)
  • – Add .5 miles to go down to the base of the falls
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – much more difficult if going to the base of falls
  • Highlights: Beautiful wooded hike with creek crossings and a nice view of a 100-foot tall waterfall – getting to the base is well worth the effort, but be careful; people have been hurt getting there.
  • Trail Review: Big Bradley Falls

5. Florence Nature Preserve – Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead – Gerton, NC – FREE

Hiking Florence Nature Preserve - Gerton, NC - View from Trail

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take 74A North 7.7 miles just shy of Gerton, NC. You will see a house ruin with nothing left but the chimney on the right. Park here.
  • Hiking Distance: Up to 9 miles – numerous side trails to allow shorter distance
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Highlights: Beautiful wooded trails crossing and running along the side of several creeks. Some trails pass by small waterfalls and old cabin ruins. Some nice views of Hickory Nut Gorge can be seen when foliage is off the trees.
  • Trail Review: Florence Nature Preserve

6. Bearwallow Mountain Trail – Gerton, NC – FREE

Beautiful View from Bearwallow Mountain

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take 74A North 8.9 miles to Gerton – Left turn on Bearwallow Mountain Rd. (paved road turns to a gravel road) continue approx. 2 miles to where the road is paved once more – park on side of the road – Trailhead on the south side of the road.
  • Hiking Distance: 2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Highlights: a Nice wooded trail that takes you to a huge pasture on the top of Bearwallow Mountain (4232 ft. – tallest within sight of Lake Lure). Walk around the top to see 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Great pasture to let dogs run, run, run … if the cows are not grazing.  Please note that this is privately owned and in the Summer months there are cows grazing in the pasture. Please keep dogs on a leash during this time.
  • Trail Review: Bearwallow Mountain

7. Chimney Rock State Park – Rumbling Bald – Climbing Access – Lake Lure, NC – FREE (This is separate from the official Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park which HAS AN ADMITTANCE FEE.)

Hiking Chimney Rock Climbing Park

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach head west on Memorial Hwy. (64W) for 6/10 of a mile. Turn right on Boys Camp Rd (just past Flowering Bridge). Follow Boys Camp Rd. 1.3 miles to the entrance of Park on the left.
  • Hiking Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Highlights: Huge boulders cover the landscape of this park. Watching people boulder and climb can be quite interesting. Views from the trails are best when foliage is down. Numerous side trails will take you to the granite rock face at the base of Rumbling Bald Mountain – a unique perspective.
  • Trail Review: Chimney Rock Climbing Park

8. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park – Lake Lure / Chimney Rock, NC – ENTRY FEE – check the official website for the current entry fee.Chimney Rock and Flag

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take 64W for 1.4 miles to Chimney Rock, NC. The park entrance is on the left.
  • Hiking Distance: Varies with trail – Shortest about 1 mile to longest 1.5 miles – round trip
  • Difficulty: moderate to strenuous depending on the trail and if you take the stairs or the elevator
  • Highlights: Hickory Nut Falls Trail (moderate) takes you to the base of the 404-foot waterfall – gorgeous. Four Seasons (moderate) is a beautiful wooded trail. Exclamation Point Trail (strenuous) takes you to the top of a rock face with breathtaking views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge.
  • Website: Chimney Rock Park

9. Buffalo Creek Park – Lake Lure Hiking and Mountain Biking Park – FREE

Bridge at Buffalo Creek Multi-Use Park Lake Lure NC

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take 64E for 6.1 miles and turn left on Bill’s Creek Rd. Continue 1.9 miles and turn left on Buffalo Creek Rd. Continue on Buffalo Creek Rd. 4.9 miles passing Rumbling Bald Resort. The trailhead is on the left. Park on side of the road at trailhead entrance.
  • Hiking Distance: Currently a 3.5-mile loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Highlights: This is a multi-us park for hiking, biking, trail running, and even climbing. Beautiful wooded trails with many creek crossings. Some nice views along the way when foliage is down and pretty distant views of Lake Lure at the top. There is also a huge boulder field for climbers to enjoy.
  • Trail Review: Buffalo Creek Park10. Hike to Little Bearwallow Falls  – Gerton, NC – FREELittle Bearwallow Falls
    • Directions: GPS users may enter N35.4734, W-82.3320 in their units. From the Lake Lure Beach and town center, head west on Memorial Hwy. (74A) for 7.7 miles (about 15 minutes). You will see the parking area on the right side of the road along with informative signs and the remnants of a chimney from an old house. The Florence preserve trailhead is above the parking area and the Little Bearwallow Falls trailhead is across the street.
    • Hiking Distance: Approximately 2.3 miles (round trip)
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Hiking Highlights: Hike the newly opened Phase 1 of the Little Bearwallow Trail to a 100-foot cliff and see Little Bearwallow Falls. You’ll enjoy views of Hickory Nut Gorge, encounter several creek crossings, and get the close-up view of Little Bearwallow Falls. This is a very enjoyable hike and the trails are very well done with regard to how they are cleared and constructed with stone steps, bridges, and trail markings.
    • Trail Review: Little Bearwallow Falls

    11. Trombatore Trail – Gerton, NC – FREE – Adjacent to Bearwallow Mountain Trailhead. Trailheads are on either side of the road. 

    Trombatore Trail

    • Directions: From Lake Lure, follow US-74 ALT W to Bearwallow Mountain Rd in Gerton and turn left. Go 2.1 miles to the top of the ridge and park on the side of the road where the pavement starts. There is space for parallel parking on both sides of the road. You’ll see the Bearwallow Mountain Trail on the left and the log steps to the Trombatore Trail on the right. GPS N35.4607, W-82.3681
    • Hiking Distance: 5.2 miles round trip.
    • Difficulty: Strenuous
    • Highlights: This 5-mile round trip woodland hike takes you through the Upper Brush Creek watershed, along the Eastern Continental Divide to the grassy summit of Blue Ridge Pastures at 3,780 elevations. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Hickory Nut Gorge, including Bearwallow Mountain, Florence Nature Preserve, and Wildcat Rock. On a clear day, Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains are visible to the north.

12. Party Rock – Lake Lure, NC – FREE – Warning: Not an Official Trail – no designated parking and a small part of the trail may be on Private Property.

Party Rock Lake Lure NC

  • Directions: From Lake Lure Beach take 64W .6 miles and turn right on Boys Camp Rd. Continue 2.1 miles and turn left on Carson Way. Continue .7 miles. Go up the narrow paved drive just past the entrance to Blue Heron Point Gated Community and park. Walk .2 miles up the dirt road to the trailhead on the left side of the road. Approximately 1 mile in you reach a side trail to the left that takes you to Party Rock – just past the truck in the trees – you’ll see.
  • Hiking Distance: 2.4 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Highlights: Numerous great views along the hike when foliage is down. Once at Party Rock, spectacular views of Lake Lure and the surrounding terrain. The best views of Lake lure year round!!!
  • Trail Review: Party Rock

Nothing beats a great walk in the woods so let’s hit the trails and enjoy the natural splendor of Lake Lure, NC! Remember, be safe and don’t leave any evidence of your visit so others can enjoy their journeys.

GREEN RIVER ADVENTURES -: https://greenriveradventures.com/


Visit Green River adventures at their website above


GREEN RIVER TUBING – http://www.greenrivercovetubing.com/

Top 4 River Tubing Places Near Asheville


There are many great adventures waiting for you and your family in Lake Lure!