The trail descends along Groundhog Creek for most of its length. Just below the shelter, the trail crosses an old road. Water is available along the trail and at the shelter. Groundhog Creek Trail can be traveled from either its intersection with Rube rock Trail or the Appalachian Trail. If hiking a loop, it is best to start at the Rube Rock Trail. The trail terminates at I-40, however, parking at this end is illegal. The trail should be accessed via the Appalachian Trail or Rube Rock Trail. A 9.5 mile loop can be hiked by combining the Groundhog Creek Trail, Rube Rock Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The trail is blazed with blue rectangles.
Directions: From Hot Springs, NC, Travel south on SR 209 for 7.5 miles to SR 1175. Turn onto SR 1175 and go 4 miles to SR 1181. Turn right onto SR 1181 and follow it to the intersection of SR 1182. Turn left and take the next right which is Forest Road 148 (Cold Springs Road). Follow 148 to the Harmon Den Parking Area. Just past the parking area, turn right onto Forest Service Road 148A. Follow 148A to the top of the ridge where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. Access the trail by going south on the Appalachian Trail 2.9 miles. Forest Road 148 can also be accessed from I-40 via the Harmon Den Exit.
Elevation Gain: 1,160 feet
Distance: 2.3 miles
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Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
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