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The best route is to take the 2.3-mile White Oak Trail from the end of FR 466. The trail begins on an old logging road and climbs for about 0.5 mile where it comes to the edge of FR 466A. This road is gated and leads back to the parking area. From this point, the trail continues to climb, crosses the head of West Prong Hickey Fork and intersects with an old road. Follow this road to the intersection of Pounding Mill Trail, 0.8 mile north of Seng Gap. Take Pounding Mill Trail to Hickey Fork Trail where it descends for 2.3 miles along the creek back to FR 465. Return to your car by walking 2 miles along the lightly-traveled forest road.Directions
From Hot Springs, go east on U.S. 25/70 to NC 208. Turn left on NC 208 and go 3.5 miles to NC 212. Turn right on NC 212 and go 7 miles to NC 1310. Turn left on NC 1310 (which becomes Forest Road (FR) 465), and go 1.5 miles to the road fork. Bear left (FR 466) to the end of the road. Parking is available on the right.Highlights
This scenic trail is rated "most difficult" due to its length and steepness. Hardy hikers will be rewarded by sparkling mountain creeks, a cascading waterfall, and a variety of woodlands.