Categories: Horseback Riding
The Thomas Branch Loop (#375) is one of the shorter Loops in the Standing Indian Area. Although it is short, it offers 3 different trail conditions and challenges. As the Loop starts you will be on a steep incline up a grassy road bed that takes you to Thomas Ridge. From here the trail takes you approx. 0.5 mile of wooded trail throyght the forest and along the ridgeline. Next is the steep descent onto an old logging trail that has a rocky condition and is 0.25 mile in length coming out on a grassy road bed. For the home stretch of the Loop you'll have the option of using a wooded trail or the gravel road that parallels it. This Loop should take you approx. 1.5 hours. We recommend staying at the nearby Hurricane Creek Horse Camp. It's locaton is prime for the trails in this area and the camp offers a nice space for your campsite as well as stalls for your horses. The nearby Standing Indian Campground has a small supply store for any emergency needs as well as a pay phone for your convenience. The store is only open during camping season.
From intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 W and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy-64 W towards Murphy, NC for 12 miles. At just before the 12th mile you should see a Brown sign for "Wallace Gap", "Appalachian Trail" & "Standing Indian Campground" with arrows pointing you towards West Old Murphy Road(SR 1448) on your left. Stay on W.Old Murphy Rd. for 2 miles. You'll pass a Nantahala National Forest Sign for the campground saying "500 Ft Ahead", and at 2 miles you'll be at FR (Forest Road) #67 to your Right (indicated by a small, skinny Brown sign at the beginning of the road). Continue 1.8 miles on FR 67 until you come to a fork in the road. To your Right will be the entrance to "Standing Indian Campground", avoid the Right and continue on FR 67 to the left. In about 0.3 miles the road will turn to gravel at the Backcountry Info Kiosk. Follow FR 67 to Hurricane Creek Campground for "Basecamp." Thomas Branch is approx. 0.3 mile past Hurricane Creek Campground.