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Van Cliff Loop Trail offers a walk along streams and ridgetops where remains of old homesteads and fields are evident.

Van Cliff Loop Trail leaves Rocky Bluff Campground near campsite #8. The trail leaves the campground on an old roadbed. At the first fork, the trail becomes a loop. The easiest route is to follow the left fork which crosses the creek and climbs to cross SR 209. After crossing the highway, the trail follows another old road to the top of the ridge. The forest along these roads was once farmland. The forest returned after the land became part of the National Forest System in the 1930's. The trail follows the ridge and descends through a large hemlock stand, then crosses a small stream and descends steeply along an old road. The trail again crosses SR 209 and descends steeply down a boulder strewn area. It then follows the stream back to the fork and the campground. The vegetation changes from low dense coverings along the stream to cove hardwoods and pine ridgetops.

Directions: From Hot Springs, NC, Travel south on SR 209 for 3.3 miles to Rocky Bluff Campground. Park in spaces provided for the picnic area.

Elevation Gain: 600 feet

Distance: 2.6 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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