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"If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." --- Yogi Berra

Shut In Trail

Elk Pasture Gap


  • 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.

  • March 28, 2016

    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 …

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  • July 20, 2015

    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. [image title=”Shut-In Trailhead” alt=”Shut-In Trailhead” caption=”Shut-In Trailhead”]http://www.sandyrumsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/elk-pasture-gap-072015_landscape1.jpg[/image] …

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  • August 5, 2014

    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. …

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Life is short, smile while you still have teeth.