Hiking Trail Review
for
Poplar Trail
in
DuPont State Forest


A great moderate difficulty trail with a small creek and some winter views of rock faces.



To be honest, the first thing I thought of when I saw this was the movie Labyrinth with all its weirdness.

The second thing I thought of was the opening of William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis"--

To him who in the love of Nature holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks...


photo by A. Scott Lavender


This trail is not directly accessible.  It connects Rifle Trail and White Pine Loop.  I am considering Rifle Trail as the access as it is accessible from Sky Valley Road.  White Pine Loop is not directly accessible. 

Regarding Rifle Trail, there is no parking for this trail, so the nearby Shoal Creek Trail parking area is used.  This is a moderate-difficulty trail that is nearly all slope.  Poplar Trail is also moderate difficulty.  It features a nice creek crossing and some winter views of nearby rock faces. 

Directions:

From DuPont Road (a.k.a. Staton Road):  Turn onto Sky Valley Road off DuPont Road.  This junction is 3.2 miles north of the DuPont Visitors Centre.  Travel 1 mile to the Shoal Creek trailhead.  Note the road turns to gravel at .7 miles.  There is a 2-3 car parking area present on the right.  Walk back 140’ to the Rifle Trail, which is on the same side of the road as the parking area.

Blaze Markings:  unblazed

Length:  approximately .16 mile or exactly 844 feet of Rifle Trail must be hiked.  Poplar Trail is approximately .32 mile or exactly 1714 feet (this matches the .3 mile on the Western North Carolina Trail Map:  DuPont State Recreational Forest map by Pisgah Map Company [2014]).  Also, as the trail does not loop, the there and back distance is approximately .48 mile or exactly 2558 feet.  The hike can be made a loop in various ways as several trails interconnect or are nearby; please see the map or this website to piece this together.     

Difficulty:  moderate; due to effective length and some slope; this is the official designation, and I agree, even with the additional there and back distance

 

As is the case with most of DuPont, the trail is an old road.  I hiked this trail in late January with my friend A. Scott Lavender.  It was chilly, but I enjoyed the hike. 




The trail is moderately sloped almost its entire length

photo by A. Scott Lavender


The Rifle Trail Portion:

I began measuring distance at the edge of Sky Valley Road before the trail sign. 

 

At 787’, a nice patch of turkey brush carpets the forest floor to the right.

At 844’, there is a junction with Poplar Trail to the left.

 

 

Poplar Trail:

I began measuring at the edge of Rifle Trail

 

At 829’, the trail crosses a creek.

At 1456’, an old roadbed heads off to the left.  Stay straight.

At 1714’, the trail ends at a junction with White Pine Loop.




The old roadbed near the end of the trail

photo by A. Scott Lavender


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
› Poplar Trail

Recent Articles

  1. Bridal Veil OvelookTrail DuPont State Forest

    Jun 27, 17 02:20 PM

    Bridal Veil Overlook Trail

    Read More

  2. Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail Review

    Jun 27, 17 11:42 AM

    A detailed review of Bridal Veil Falls Road Trail in DuPont State Forest

    Read More

  3. Hiking Trail Review for Exercise Trail in the Pisgah Ranger District

    May 23, 15 10:59 AM

    Exercise Trail is a popular trail along the Davidson River

    Read More

Want Trail Updates? E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Blue Ridge Hiker Trail Updates.