Stratton Bald Trail

At A Glance

Most Difficult

7.8 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 7.8
Steepness: Climbs Steeply
Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Trail Number: 54


The Stratton Bald Trail starts at the Rattler Ford Bridge on State Road 1127 near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, and gains more than 3,000 feet in elevation over Stratton Bald to its junction with the Stratton Bald Alternate Trail (TR54A). From the trailhead, the trail travels through Designated Wilderness for approximately 2.6 miles and also passes through a portion of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, slowly gaining elevation to reach the ridge. From that point, it follows a ridge approximately 2.7 miles over boulder fields and through thickets to a junction with the Wolf Laurel Access Trail. From there, the trail ascends moderately for 1.2 miles to the junction with the Haoe Lead Trail at 5,280 foot elevation.

At that point, the Stratton Bald Trail turns westerly and follows the Stratton Bald Ridge for approximately 0.3 miles to the top of Stratton Bald, the tallest point in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness, but this point has no view. The trail continues westerly for approximately 0.8 miles to enter a clearing with great views to the south. This location is near the top of Bob Bald. The trail then enters the forest again, and descends to the junction with the Stratton Bald Alternate Trail (54A), another 0.5 miles. Between this point and the Haoe Lead Junction, the Stratton Bald Trail is also part of the Benton MacKaye Trail.

Intersecting Trails

  • Haoe Lead
  • Wolf Laurel
  • This trail is located in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness trails list page.

    This trail also crosses into these trailhead areas:

    GPS Map

    Map Information

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    Data Formats

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    About the Map


    Base Layers

    Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. Base layers may not be available at all times due to system maintenance or outages.

    WNCOutdoors Base Layer

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    Trail and Marker Overlays

    Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from government agencies, and field observations. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the Open Database License - you are free to copy and use it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary).


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    Trail Segments

    Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

    Stratton Bald - Haoe Lead Tr. to TN Line

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 1.22 mi

    Stratton Bald - Start SR 1127 to Wolf Laurel Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 5.05 mi

    Stratton Bald - Wolf Laurel Tr. to Haoe Lead Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 1.11 mi

    Total Calculated Length: 7.38 mi

    This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



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