Big Laurel Creek

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Big Laurel Creek is typically a nice intro into creeking with relatively soft and forgiving runs; however, after a good rain, more holes start to appear and this creek can become a lot more technical.

Written by

Dan Morris

Destination Distance From Downtown

26.2 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

3 Hours



Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Land Website

Link to Website


Big Laurel Creek is a great intro to creeking, offering a fairly narrow run with lines that are very soft and forgiving. Big Laurel offers reasonably continuous Class II & III rapids over a 3.7-mile run; however, there are still plenty of times in-between when you can regroup or take a beverage break. 
The put-in for Big Laurel is in Hurricane, NC and the take-out is at the bridge in Hot Springs on the French Broad River (second half of Section 9). 
Big Laurel is a natural flow river and requires a fair amount of rain; it is runnable from 6" up to +2.5' however the bigger it gets the more holes start to appear and more technical it becomes. A very forgiving trail follows the entirety of the river which allows easy scouting from the shore or a trail hike for the shuttle-bunny.
If you're looking for an intermediate paddle through some beautiful Western Carolina wilderness, the Big Laurel Creek is the perfect option. And the Iron Horse Restaurant and Tavern is a great place to grab a burger & beer after a day on the water. 


Big Laurel Creek

US-25 N/US-70 W
Hot Springs, NC, 28754
35.91207, -82.756362

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