- Distance: 5.4 Miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 1246′
- Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead Parking: Take Hwy 64 east from 1-26 in Hendersonville, NC. About 2 1/2 miles past I-26, turn left on Fruitland Rd. Next, turn left on Old Clear Creek Rd go only a few hundred yards and turn right on Bearwallow Mountain Rd. Follow Bearwallow Mountain Road and after a few miles, you will have to turn right again to stay on Bearwallow Mountain Road. Drive past Grand Highlands Development and about 1/4 mile the road turns into a gravel road at the parking spot for the Trombatore Trail.
Trombatore Trailhead is found where the pavement ends just past the Grand Highlands Development on the top of Bearwallow Mountain in Henderson County, NC. A gate crosses the Bearwallow Mountain Trail and immediately across the road is the trailhead to Trombatore Trail. The trail “kiosk” has been constructed but doesn’t contain any signs, instructions or trail information yet. The Carolina Mountain Land Conversancy has added a few temporary laminated signs that should work fine until spring when the state can add more permanent signage. So, if you don’t see any signs in the kiosk, you are in the right place.
Trombatore Trail is a woodlands trail that descends to Brush Creek and then ascends to the trail terminus at Blue Ridge Pastures. Within the first 1/2 mile of the hike, a strong spring pops up out of the ground to your right. Near the spring is one of the oldest locust trees I’ve ever seen.Seen at right, it is the knobby one in the center of the picture.
Several switchbacks take hikers down through woodland boulder fields. The big rocks remind me of our hikes in the Smokies. The boulders are big and have moss of them like they have been there a long time. As you descend the trail, an impressive cliff face can be seen to your left through the trees.
As you leave the creek, you will find the trail intersects with a very old road bed. The road bed continues to cross the trail back and forth at intervals all the way to the top of the mountain. The trail angels did a good job building this trail last year. You will ascend several locust staircases on your way to the top.
When you get to the end, you know it. A ladder has been built to get over an old barbed wire fence where the meadow begins. This was compliments of the Carolina Mountain Conservancy trail angels. They did a lot of work to help get this trail built.
When you pop out into the meadow at Blue Ridge Pastures, the world opens up. You will need to walk to the top of the hill to get the full view. From there, you can see The Black Mountains, The Craggys, Rumbling Bald, Bearwallow Mtn., and Little Pisgah Mtn. There is a fire ring and a horse corral for campers. Note: Horses are not allowed on the Trombatore Tail. The horses access the area from a different network of horse trails.
It is a great hike and you get a pretty good workout out and back again. It was exciting to us to discover this new trail so close to our house. A lot is being done to open up an extensive trail network in the Hickory Gorge area. Thanks to all or the trail angels who are helping to get this done. We feel so fortunate to live here.