Hike the Iris Tail - Appalachian Tail Loop

AT Parking - Route 23 - Search Nearby - Added by John Maurizi

A very nice loop hike covering a section of the Appalachian trail east of High Point State Park. 

Start this hike from the Appalachian Trail parking area off route 23, south bound side, south of the park office. Follow the Blue Dot trail until is intersects with the Iris Trail. 

The Iris Trail (marked with red blazes) is a through hike that is about 5 miles long. It parallels the Appalachian Trail for the same distance, intersecting with it once until it meets again at a small parking area. The trail does pass by scenic Lake Rutherford with a few spots to sit and enjoy the view. While the trail is very nice and easy to follow, there are not many view points beside one at a clearing for a power line.

Turn left on the Iris Trail and follow past Lake Rutherford. At about three miles, the Iris Trail crosses over the Appalachian Trail and it will meet up again after another mile. Turn back on the Appalachian Trail at the second intersection. This section is very rocky and does have a few more views.  You will also pass a side trail for the Rutherford Lean-to, a good place to camp or have lunch. Follow for a little more than 4 miles until you meet again on the Iris Trail and Blue Dot Trail. Turn right and follow until the Iris Trail and Blue Dot Trail split. Turn left onto the Blue Dot Trail to return to your car.


9 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1000 ft Gain






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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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