August 12, 2018
When you think of Blowing Rock, NC, at least for me, the image that is conjured up most often is that of rich, white people on vacation. It’s not a secret that this faux mountain town is a destination for northerners and second-home leaf peepers. Henceforth, it is somewhat surprising that the China Creek Trail even exists. I’m not kidding, this trail is a rugged backcountry delight.
Starting just outside the town limits, one should fully expect overgrown stinging nettle, steep inclines, tough switchbacks, creek crossings and abundant wildlife. Case-in-point, I wisely wore shorts and was stung by nettle the whole morning, heard a bear traipsing through the woods, about fell in a creek, got stuck in a thunderstorm and had to hug the ground in a copse of rhododendron to hide from the lightening and had many hornets swarming at my head. It was delightful. It was seriously a great, in-the-woods experience that you don’t often find in this area outside of Linville Gorge. While teams of people tend to congregate at the Moses Cone Trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is doubtful that you will see nary a soul out on China Creek Trail. Highly recommend this hidden gem.
Total mileage is 6.4 miles.