Fires Creek Rim Trail #72, Fires Creek
The 25-mile Rim Trail follows the ridge around Fires Creek Wildlife Management Area.
The trail, marked with blue blazes, has several access roads and trails. Camping offered at Huskins Branch Hunter and Bristol Horse Camps. Dispersed camping sites are along Forest Service Road 340.
Two picnic areas are near the Rim Trail. Fires Creek Picnic Area offers 10 tables and a restroom. Other trails in the Fires Creek area are Chunky Gal and Bald Springs.
Along Rim Trail are rhododendron and spring wildflowers, such as trillium, lady slipper, and Solomon's seal. Grouse, warblers, deer, bear, Russian boar and hawks roam the area. Camping is not allowed in the marked wildlife openings and off-road vehicle use is prohibited.
At a Glance
|Reservations:||Reservations not needed|
|Open Season:||Open all year|
From Hayesville:From Main Street, take Tusquitee Street (SR 1300), go about 4.4 miles. Turn right on SR 1344 and go about 0.7 miles. The road turns into FR 340 (gravel). Drive 0.1 mile to Fires Creek Hunt Camp and 0.3 miles to Rim Trail Trailhead.
From Asheville: Take I-40W to Canton. Follow US 74W/US 23S to Exit 81. Follow US 64W, follow Main Street in Hayesville, then follow above directions.
Rim Trail Sections:
Huskins Branch Hunter Camp (1,800 feet) to Big Stamp (4,437 feet)
Average hiking time: 6 ½ hours
Features: Good view of Andrews, Haysville and Lake Chatuge
Big Stamp (4,437 feet) in Weather man Bald (4,960 feet)
Distance: 5.4 miles
Average hiking time: 4hours
Features: Overlooks Andrews and river
Weatherman Bald (4,960 feet) to Tusquitee Bald (5,240 feet)
Distance: 2.6 miles
Average hiking time: 2 ¼ hours
Features: Great views of Lake Chatuge
Tusquitee Bald (2,996 feet) to Fires Creek Picnic Area (1800 feet)
Distance: 3.5 miles
Average hiking time: 2 hours
Features: Good views of Lake Chatuge
Leatherwood Loop Trail:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Average hiking time: 3 hours
Features: A trail begins at Fires Creek Picnic Area and follows Leatherwood Branch up to the ridge top. At this point, trail connects with the original Rim Trail. The trail also loops back into Fires Creek Picnic Area.
Alerts & Warnings
- Black Mountain and Briar Bottom Campground Closures
- Cheoah River, Cochran’s Creek River Access Facility Temporarily Closed
- Fontana Loop Trail TR157 and Portions of Bee Cove TR421 Temporarily Closed
- Point Lookout Trail will temporarily close for repairs beginning August 8, 2022
- Linville Gorge Camping Permits Required for Summer Weekends
- Be Bear Aware
- Catawba Falls Trail (TR 225) Closed
- Camping and other restrictions now in effect at Max Patch
- Nantahala RD: Multiple areas under construction
- Appalachian RD: NCDOT construction near Harmon Den may affect Forest access
- Grandfather RD: Old House Gap Rd (FS192) temporarily closed
- Recreate responsibly
- Joyce Kilmer Trail Lower Loop Closed due to rain damage
- Target Shooting prohibited on Croatan National Forest