The trail to the ghost town of Runion or The flattest hike In North Carolina.
Many times I have driven to Hotsprings and wondered what all the hikers were going to see that was parked on the left, right before you cross the Laurel River.
A friend of mine Bia was looking for an easy hike. I quick online search revealed, that a 3.5-mile hike along the Laurel river would take you to the ghost town of Runion. An old sawmill town that at one time was home to more than a thousand people. It also claimed to be the flattest trail in Western North Carolina.

So Friday morning Bia and I embarked on a spectacular adventure. The website was correct, it was one of the flattest hikes I have had. I was not prepared for the awe and splendor this hike had in store for us. From a gently rolling river to roaring slot canyons this river had many moods.
I thought this year’s wildflower season had run its course but we were proven wrong. We found trilliums, showy orchids, crested Iris, and many more.


The ruins were non-climatic but interesting nonetheless. A fun project may be to go back and map out the area and label what the ruins are. I did find a few pictures of the community online.
I had packed my picnic kit with the nice dinnerware so after the ruins, we found a spot by the river took off my shoes, and cooled them in the water. Before cooking bourbon marinated salmon steaks the plan was to have a delicious root blend with beets, apples, sweet potatoes as a side but I ran out of fuel before this got finished. Dang, it! (I had set a spare fuel canister out but it did not get packed) The salmon was beyond great! Paired with some naan bread it was more than enough.
We had a great hike out but at the end of the day, 7 miles is 7 miles. We were both worn out. I keep cold drinks in a cooler in the car for after the hike they were very welcome! But it was such a wonderful adventure exploring new territory!
Have I ever told how much I love exploring life!

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