The Catawba Falls near Old Fort should be a nice day trip and is said to be perfect for families (and pets). NOTE: There are some creek crossing so be prepared to get your feet wet. Good idea to bring a change of shoes & socks.
It's listed as a 1 1/2 mile trail out & back (3 miles total) with a 650 elevation gain. Listed as moderate difficulty due to some creek crossing, etc.
Taking time to enjoy the scenery and take some pictures we should spend about 3 hours on the trail. That should be a very leisure pace.
After the hike we can make a short 15 minute drive to Andrews Geyser for a picnic, eating around 2:30. So pack a lunch! Estimating we will be back in Hickory around 4:30.
Coordinates to the trail head are:[masked],[masked]
Those wanting to carpool from Hickory meet at the Sears lower level parking at the Valley Hills Mall at 9:15, leaving at 9:30.
Those wanting to carpool from Morganton meet at Lowes Hardware (next to Bojangles) I-40 exit 103 at 10:00. We will all meet up and leave at 10:15.
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