Loop Trail with Breathtaking Views
May 14, 2021
No trip to Asheville is complete without exploring the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With more than 25 hikes and waterfalls within one hour’s drive, Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast is an ideal location. While in Western North Carolina, see 360-degree views from Bearwallow Mountain!
A favorite hike is the 2.1-mile loop trail at Bearwallow Mountain. By mountain standards, this trail is easy to moderate although there are 600 feet of elevation change. While not mandatory, a good pair of hiking boots make the trail easier to climb over rocks and roots (we recommend the outdoor department of Tops for Shoes in downtown Asheville!)
GPS will guide you to the trailhead via US-74 ALT East. Although this route is shorter, it includes gravel roads. Alternatively, arrive from the west via US-25A South. Enjoy the drive on the winding mountain roads to the trailhead at Bearwallow Gap. Paved parking is on both sides of the road.
Once parked, the trailhead is marked by the gate, sign, and kiosk. First, squeeze by the gate then head up the log steps. The trail climbs vertically through the forest. Occasionally white blazes mark your path. Continuing climbing for approximately one mile. You will be rewarded at the summit with a grassy ridgetop meadow, replete with wildflowers in the spring. Quite possibly, cows will graze as this is a protected working farm.
The elevation of Bearwallow Mountain is 4,232 feet. On a clear day, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell, is visible to the north. To the east, view Mount Pisgah. The grassy meadow is an idyllic picnic spot. In addition, there is a historic fire tower that marks the highest point.
Unfortunately, the price of technology is towers and antennas scattered at the summit. However, put them to your back and do not let them ruin the experience.
After you’ve explored the area, return to the parking area via the gravel forest road to complete the loop trail.
This land trust organization works tirelessly to preserve the natural world. To date, Conserving Carolina has protected 45,000 acres of land. Also, they are instrumental in developing the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System. If interested in a longer hike, Trambatore Trail is at the same parking as Bearwallow Trail. Moreover, take Wildcat Rock Trail from the summit though both are out and back trails.
We invite you to stay at Pinecrest, a historic bed & breakfast in an ideal location. Then walk one mile to downtown Asheville on quiet tree-lined streets to our favorite shops. Alternatively, take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or opt for this hike at Bearwallow Mountain.
Regardless of what you do, let the innkeepers help make your visit extra special. First, there is a hot fresh breakfast daily at 9 am and fresh-baked cookies in the afternoon. Additionally, upgrade your stay with our picnic backpack. Come see us!