March 19, 2017
Located in the North Mills River area, the Big Creek Trail is partially a pleasant stroll amongst a verdant forest and calm creek and partially a ball-buster of a haul up a mountain.
Big Creek starts at the Hendersonville Reservoir, a convergence of Fletcher Creek and Big Creek which creates the North Mills River. The first 2.7 miles was a very easy terrain with lush foliage and the calming sounds of the creek. There are four (4) creek crossings. With the water level down, it was no problem to rock hop, but in wetter times, there would be no way to avoid getting your feet wet.
The last two (2) miles were completely uphill. I gained 2,000 feet, and there are relatively few switchbacks. I’ve taken the past couple of weeks off due to weather, and I felt winded for the first mile uphill. The trail ends at the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile 407.
With the wind blowing hard at 4,800 feet, I headed back down Big Creek, enjoying the sounds of the creek anew.
Total mileage is 13 miles.