While continuing our month long stay in Western North Carolina, I took a long hike along the Murphy River Walk. This is a beautiful and well maintained series of trails that are intermingled along the Valley River and the Hiawassee River. The trails are a joint effort sponsored by the Heritage Partners with private and public partnerships and maintained by Cherokee County employees and the number of dedicated volunteers. The trail follows each of the two rivers and the edges of Lake Hiawassee. There are a number of easy to walk segments with wonderful views as well as longer end-to-end conjoined sections for the more adventurists. A wonderful way to spend part of a day soaking in all that nature has to offer.
The Trails of Murphy River Walk
The Murphy River Walk offers a wide variety of trails and scenery. Trails vary from paved, gravel/mulch/bridge/boardwalk surfaces, primitive as well as canoe trails. If one wants to enjoy short walks, there are a number of parking spots along the trails providing easy access to various sections along the rivers. For those who want to spend part of a day enjoying these well maintained and mostly flat trails, one can take an approximate 4 mile walk along the gravel/mulch/bridge/boardwalk trail that follows both rivers and shirts through the edge of downtown Murphy.
There are a number of resources available to expand your experience along the River Walk. Throughout the trail, we found a number of posts with QR Codes that gave information about the trail and town’s past. At various junctions along the trails, there are signs with trail information and locations to guide you along the stretches and loops.
My Hike Along The Murphy River Walk
One this late July day, I found the trails to offer a wide range of visual opportunities for photos and videos that ranged from the number of bends and open areas of the rivers, gentle strolls along the edges of flowered meadows, thick hardwood forests and a short section through a marsh. The trails provided a number of sites that were my favorites with short rocky cliffs, a covered bridge, and a most picturesque view of an old abandon railroad bridge across the river.
I didn’t take the entire trail from end-to-end and chose a section of the trail head located at Bulldog Dr. next to the Lowe’s Home Improvement store and followed the gravel/mulch/bridge/boardwalk section to the edge of town located the bottom of Tennessee St. Although we were off the wood section of the trail, we still had a number of pretty places to video including the restored railroad depot, rail line and the Valley River as it enters Lake Hiawassee.
Planning Your Hike Along Murphy River Walk
Prior to our hike, we found an online map with all of the trail types and sites to experience. If you plan to experience the Murphy River Walk, take a few minutes to lay out your route. You can download the trail map here.
My hike this day took around 3 hours to cover five and a half miles totaling around 11,000 steps. And my brisk pace didn’t prevent taking in all of the sites along the way. A great way to spend part of a day in this beautiful nature environment.
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