Day Hike 3: Holloway Mountain Road Parking Area to Trout Lake

Wet ‘n’ Wild

Distance: 8.2 miles, plus 0.3-mile connector trail

  • Difficulty: Moderate with two strenuous segments—steep uphill climb at 4.5 miles and a stout climb at 5.3 miles of more than 500 vertical feet in less than a half mile. Rocky passages along the creek bed and several rock-hopping creek crossings.
  • Camping: One site on the north side of Boone Fork (permit needed). Price Lake campground within a half mile of trail from point where MST parts with Tanawha Trail. 877.444.6777 for reservations (half the sites may be reserved in advance), 828.963.5911 to reach the campground.
  • Land manager: National Park Service.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Randy Johnson,
  • Piggyback trails: Tanawha, Boone Fork.
  • Connecting trails: Tanawha, Boone Fork, Moses Cone Carriage Trails.

This passage through Boone Fork is easily the wettest crossing on the northern Blue Ridge Parkway stretch of the MST.

Two miles down the trail (hiking from west to east), the trail parallels and frequently crosses Bee Tree Creek. You will cross Bee Tree Creek and later Boone Fork several times by rock-hopping and using several bridges, including the 80-foot bridge across Boone Fork.

After a short rise from the Boone Fork bridge, you’re in for a mellow walk along an old roadbed. The trail couldn’t be more different, passing through an old growth forest that aurally escapes the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. At 5.3 miles, it’s time for take-off as the trail climbs more than 500 feet in just under a half-mile. Finish with a mellow descent to Trout Lake.

View on Map

To see this hike on a map, visit our Interactive Map and click “Day Hikes” to view the endpoints.


Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way (west » east) Mileage
Trailhead: From parking area on Holloway Mtn. Rd., cross road and go through a stile onto the trail. 0.0
Follow Tanawha Trail signs to right; another trail goes left. 0.3
Trail appears to fork. Leave old roadbed and go left onto single track. 0.4
Go through stile and join old roadbed. At fork, stay right for few yards, where you skirt and then walk through meadow. 0.5
Leave meadow and cross bridge. 0.9
Just after passing by stile on right is a second bridge. 1.0
Tanawha Trail intersects with Boone Fork Trail (BFT). It is 0.5 mile to right to Julian Price Park Campground. Continue left on BFT. 1.1
Cross meadow. At top of meadow, there is a milepost sign for BFT (3.5 MP). Turn right at that sign and proceed downhill. 1.4
At large rock on left, trail goes right, following orange diamonds. You see closed trail to left. There are 3 creek crossings via rocks. 1.6
Cross bridge; a few yards later is BFT 3.0 milepost. Cross 2 creeks using rocks. 1.8
Cross second bridge, followed by 2 more quick creek crossings. After second creek crossing, trail goes uphill to the left. 2.0
In the next 0.2 mile, there are 3 more creek crossings. 2.1
Cross old log bridge and then metal bridge. About 100 yards later is BFT 2.5 milepost. It is 30 feet to first of 4 creek crossings, some of which may require getting your shoes wet. After the third creek crossing, you have to climb up large rocks. After the fourth creek crossing, it is 100 yards to a plank walkway. 2.3
Follow steps down to right to cross creek using large boulders. In the next 0.2 mile, you climb up and down hills, with a series of cascades in creek on left, followed by 3 sets of wooden steps. 2.6
Cross metal bridge, just past BFT milepost sign. Within a few yards, there are 2 easy creek crossings. 2.8
Trail goes right, following stone walkway uphill and around large rock formation. Go a few yards to wooden ladder leading down rocks, followed by BFT milepost sign. 2.9
Side trail to Hebron Falls is on left, but stay on main trail. 3.4
Old dam site is on left. 3.6
Leave BFT at large rock outcrop. Cross the Boone Fork footbridge, then continue straight uphill. Climb over large boulders for 75 yards. At top of hill, stay right. 3.8
Pass Old Johns River Road backcountry campsite. 4.0
Follow old roadbed. Side trail is on left. Keep on main trail. 4.4
Turn left as trail leaves old roadbed. Watch closely for trail sign on right, indicating left turn up the hill. 4.5
Pass gate to reach Shulls Mill Rd. near an informal parking area. Turn right and walk 75 yards on road’s shoulder. On left, take wooden steps up the hillside, into the woods. The trail climbs 500 feet in elevation in next half-mile. 5.3
Climb over a step stile to reach gravel road, which is part of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park’s carriage trail system. Turn right onto that road. You are on Rich Mtn. Trail. 5.8
At trail intersection in pasture, turn right. 6.4
Just before reentering woods, turn left onto trail leading to Trout Lake. 6.5
In next 0.3 mile, cross over 3 culverted streams before reaching a gate. 6.8
Continue past short side trail to a stream on north near small dam. 7.5
When the trail forks, go right to reach the Trout Lake parking area. (The MST continues to the left.) continue on the MST. Note: The trail to the right leads to the Trout Lake parking area approximately 0.3 mile away. 8.2
Trailhead: Trout Lake parking area. 8.5