Pisgah National Forest
There are hundreds of miles of stunningly beautiful trails spreading out through the Pisgah National Forest, also known as “The Land of Waterfalls”. Consisting of many gorgeous trails for day hikers and campers alike, trails in this forest also connects to several other long-distance trails, opening up for many possibilities for keen, adventurous hikers.
Day hiking in Pisgah National Forest
Visitors finding themselves in Pisgah are free to explore portions of the interesting long-distance trails, or choosing one of the many other gorgeous trails that spreads through the forest.
The 6.5-mile roundtrip to the Looking Glass Rock is one of the more popular hiking trails. The mountain may look impossible to hike, but the trail going up from the backside, climbs about 1.700 feet in just over three miles. When arriving at the Upper Looking Glass Cliffs you are in for a treat. The views are spectacular, so be sure to bring food and enjoy a picnic in these stunning surroundings.
Another famous trail is the Spring Creek Nature Trail, in the Rocky Bluff Recreational Area. Here hikers are may enjoy a serene walk by wildflowers and oak trees, in the area near Hot Springs.
For a trail that can be both easy and challenging, though definitely rewarding, be sure to follow the three-mile trail to Catawba Falls. The picturesque waterfall has as 100-foot cascade in lush, green surroundings. More experienced hikers can continue on to the Upper Catawba Falls, for even more stunning scenery.
Long Distance Trails in Pisgah National Forest
There are three long-distance recreational trails travelling through the district; the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the Shut-In Trail, and the Art Loeb Trail. The Shut-In trail was constructed by the famous Gorge W. Vander in 1890, and the historic trails runs from Bent Creek and Asheville to Mount Pisgah parking. The trail can be used both as a long-distance route or shorter day walks.
The Art Loeb Trail is a popular, though more difficult, trail that offer many spectacular views and beautiful scenery on its way. The trail was created as a memorial to Art Loeb, an activist who loved and cared for the mountains in the area. There are plenty of campsites on the trail, allowing for several days of hiking, passing by some of the most stunning sceneries in the area.
Mountains-to Sea Trail is another famous trail that attempts to connect as many trail systems and including as much beautiful scenery as possible. The trail runs from North Carolina to the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, connecting to the Appalachian Trail.
When to go
One of the best things about the trails in Pisgah National Forest, is the all-season appeal. Each season are filled with different highlights and natural wonders, making the trails just as gorgeous during winter as in the summer.
Many of the paths connect, and by preparing with a map and reading up on some information of the paths, hikers may enjoy days of hiking in the area. Camping is allowed is Pisgah National Forest, allowing for several days of adventurous hiking through beautiful scenery filled with natural wonders and awe-inspiring waterfalls.