What a great destination! What a fabulous family hike!
The Big Laurel Falls Trail is the perfect “little” hike for people of almost any age. The path runs along bold streams and through thick Rhododendron tunnels. It’s easy to negotiate with just enough ups and downs to make it interesting.
A Little Piece Of History
Besides the natural beauty of the bold, rocky streams, you may notice an occasional piece of rusted old railroad track here and there.
Railroad track, you ask?! Here in the middle of a vast wilderness?
It makes you wonder how it got here, doesn’t it?
After digging around a little I found there once was a railroad grade through this remote part of Standing Indian. The path to Big Laurel Falls actually follows this grade for part of the way.
I suspect the railroad was used to haul equipment in and resources, like timber, out at one time. Whatever the reason, it makes for a great history lesson or educational mystery for your children to solve.
Best Time Of Year?
Anytime from spring through fall would be a great time to visit Big Laurel Falls.
In the spring, if you time it right, you’ll find an abundance of wild flowers and native plants blooming, including Trillium, Blue Eyed Grass, Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel.
In the summer, when it’s hot and sticky, you’ll find a cool reprise from the heat anywhere along the trail, but particularly at the pool at the bottom of the falls.
And then in the fall, with the leaves showing off their radiant colors, you can sit by the waterfall, enjoying the spectacle of nature as you’re lulled into peaceful meditation.
Wouldn’t that be fun?
I could go on and on about how great this hike is, but…as they say…seeing is believing, so here are a few videos I made of my last visit. Enjoy!
Should you ever find yourself in the mountains of western North Carolina, be sure to visit Standing Indian and especially Big Laurel Falls. And, of course, let me know if you do. I’d love to hear what you think about it.
See ya’ on the trail,
Trail at a glance
Mileage: 1 mile round trip
Elevation change: 250 ft
Water sources: Streams/Springs
Trailhead: 4.9 miles past the Backcountry Info Center at Standing Indian