PISGAH PARKING LOT TO ELK PASTURE GAP (MTS)

  • Distance: 4.2 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 1300 ft.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous (very steep)

Around 1890, the Shut-In trail was created by George W. Vanderbilt to link his Biltmore home with his hunting and outdoor lodge at Buck Springs (Near the current Pisgah Inn). While many think of this trail as following the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s actually the other way around, since the parkway wasn’t built until the 1930’s. Since it does parallel the parkway, it has a certain benefits, not the least of which is you’re never very far from help. It follows the series of ridge lines from the French Broad (mile marker 393.5) at about 2,000 ft. elevation to the Pisgah Inn (mile marker 408). I’ve divided it into several smaller hikes because it’s an easy drop-off, and pick-up by car by your friends who want to remain car bound.

Some of our Elk Pasture Gap Hikes:

Elk Pasture Gap

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My! Today, I ran up on some really fresh bear scat. It was actually fairly large.  This trail is fairly heavily traveled, so bears don’t usually hang around. I never heard him so I guess he was long gone.  So, I kept on going without letting it bother me.

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Elk Pasture Gap

We caught the timing right to see the bluets! Their seeds wash into rock crevices and the sides of the trail where they are caught by brush and plants.  They are one of my very favorite wildflowers. Their blooms are no larger than a dime and look like little blue stars.

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Elk Pasture Gap

It was another beautiful day on the ridge. The sun dappled thru the trees and it got a little warm. The ferns were so large, they looked like they belonged in a Jurassic Park movie.

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Shut-In Trail: Pisgah to Elk Pasture Gap

Today Phil took another Friday off and we hiked a new section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail. This section merged with the Shut-In Trail where we began at the Pisgah Mountain Trail parking lot and headed north. The trail immediately started up, gaining 300′ feet of elevation in just a few hundred yards. … Continue reading Shut-In Trail: Pisgah to Elk Pasture Gap

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Frying Pan Mountain Tower

The hike departs from a grassy parking area just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 409.6, several miles south of Mt Pisgah. (Compared to other popular hikes on the Parkway, like Black Balsam Knob and the uber-popular Graveyard Fields waterfalls, the hike’s understated trailhead is easy to miss. Park off the Parkway and don’t block the metal gate.)

The hike trails around the metal gate blocking the gravel road, immediately beginning its ascent to the summit. (There’s a path to the right of the gravel road that leads to the Mt Pisgah campground; follow the road, not the trail.) The hike climbs steadily, wandering through swaths of tall wildflowers and thickets of wild blueberries.

Some of our Frying Pan Mtn. Hikes

Frying Pan Mountain

This is just a little walk up a wide trail / road to the tower from the Blueridge Parkway.  It’s good for little kids or adults that aren’t used to hiking.

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Frying Pan Fire Tower

Frying Pan Mtn. Fire Tower

This is a very simple hike. I parked on the parkway by the road that leads to the fire tower. There is a barricade there that keeps unauthorized vehicles on this road. For this hike, you just walk up the road to the fire tower and back down. It is a gentle rise of only … Continue reading Frying Pan Mtn. Fire Tower

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Grassy Mtn via Skidway

Grassy Mountain, MT

Grassy Mountain is located near White Sulphur Springs, Montana just off Highway 12. There are several ways to hike to the top of Grassy Mountain.

Homeowners access route from Mountainview Trail

Turn right off Shindle Rd onto Mountainview Trail. Drive approx. 2 miles to the community access point. From this entrance, you will walk through a few meadows and forested areas before you cross Grassy Mountain Road onto the forest service road to the top of Grassy. This is the longest route to hike to the top of the mountain and the walk up the road is a lot steeper than it looks.

Grassy Mountain Via Trail 119 Skidway Campground

  • Distance: 5.0 Miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1575 ft.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous (very steep)

Park at the back gate boundary of Skidway campground. Follow the forestry road from there all of the way to the top of Grassy Mountain.

Just some pics:

Some of our Grassy Mtn. Hikes:

Grassy Mtn via Trail 119

Grassy Mtn Via Skidway Campground

October 9, 2017 Distance: 5.0 Miles Elevation Gain: 1575 ft. Difficulty: Strenuous (very steep) Park at the back gate boundary of Skidway campground. Follow the forestry road from there all of the way to the top of Grassy Mountain. The road meanders through the forest for awhile and then opens up in a beautiful meadow … Continue reading Grassy Mtn Via Skidway Campground

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MTS Trail to Green Knob

Green Knob Near Wagon Road Gap

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 816 feet
  • Easy Hiking

The Mountains to the Sea Trail crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway several times. One of those spots is just south of Wagon Road Gap. We hike this little trail when we want something quick and easy to get to. It is accessible when the parkway is closed. The trail is less than 1/2 mile from the gate at Wagon Road Gap.

  • Picnic Area on left of road to road junction – elevation gain 140′ one way
  • Trail Crossing at Road Elevation 4530′
  • Green Knob – 5051′ –
 

Some of our Green Knob Hikes:

Green Knob

Distance: 3 miles Elevation Gain: 816 feet Easy Hiking The Mountains to the Sea Trail crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway several times. One of those spots is just south of Wagon Road Gap. We hike this little trail when we want something quick and easy to get to. It is accessible when the parkway is … Continue reading Green Knob

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