Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail

About the trail

Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail is our newest state trail and provides an opportunity to learn about the process of creating a state trail from the very beginning. Each state trail is a unit of the state parks system and must be authorized by the General Assembly. Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail was authorized as part of the 2017 budget. Other state trails have been authorized by a bill written just for their authorization.

When any new state trail is added to the system, the Division of Parks and Recreation engages in a planning process to produce a feasibility study of the new trail. Effective planning is essential to determine a corridor for the trail and identify potential partners. Planning includes extensive data collection, outreach to potential partners, public input and mapping of the trail corridor.

Constructed trail within the identified corridor is not part of the state trail until it is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. All designation applications will be evaluated by the North Carolina Trails Committee.

While planning for Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail is still in the future, some preliminary work indicates that the trail will connect to Chimney Rock State Park, Lake Lure, Weed Patch Mountain, Bat Cave, Florence Nature Preserve and Bearwallow Mountain. Eventually, the trail could extend to South Mountains State Park. 

At a glance

0miles of designated trail to date
2017year established

Planned use:  HIKING + BIKING

Map of proposed trail

Map of Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail