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|Very scenic riding in a popular backcountry area for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Most trails follow historic logging roads and railroad grades alongside streams through hardwood forests.
We particularly enjoyed the rides to Twin Falls and along South Mills River, which the trail crossed several times. Most of the trails are not particularly steep but there is a fair amount of change in elevation, both up and down, so your horses should be in good physical condition. There are some rocky spots so shoes are a good idea.
It is strongly recommended that you have a National Geographic, Trails Illustrated map, which you can get from the Pisgah Ranger District office or on-line from the Forest Service or National Geographic. The map does show other trail heads. The Turkeypen Trailhead is at the end of a VERY narrow and OVERGROWN mountain road. I would avoid this trailhead (as of August 2002). The campsites at the Trace Ridge Trailhead are suitable only for tent camping. There is a group campsite, for which reservations are required, at Trace Ridge that could accomadate rigs. However, the road access is up a narrow and winding road...although not quite as bad as Turkeypen.
|Best Time to Visit
|Spring, summer, fall. Check with the Forest Service about riding in winter.
|Times to Avoid
|Hunting is allowed so check with Forest Service during normal hunting seasons.
|All of the sites are primitive with plenty of shade. There is a stream nearby with water for your horses. The sites are not marked so you just find a spot your rig will fit into and park. The horses can be picketed. Some spots are large enough for portable corrals
|Pisgah Ranger District
1001 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
|***** From Waynesville: (Note this is a curvey road with 9% grades) Take SR 276 east. The Blue Ridge Parkway is about 18 miles from Waynesville. Go about four miles past the Parkway to FS 1206. If you see the Pink Beds picnic area on your left, you just passed 1206.
***** From the east off SR 280 about 3 miles north of Brevard: (Note this is a much easier route with less grade and no switchbacks) From SR 280 go west on SR 276 about 8 miles. Look for the Cradle of Forestry headquarters and the Pink Beds picnic area. No more than a quarter of a mile past the picnic area you will find FS 1206.
***** Turn on 1206 and go 3.8 miles until you reach FS 476. Turn right onto FS 476. There are campsites immediately on your left after you turn onto 476. However, there are additional campsites about one half mile further down the road that are closer to the trail head, and that have a stream adjacent to the sites.
AT ALL COSTS, IF YOU HAVE A LARGE RIG, DO NOT GO PAST FS 476. The road becomes hilly with lots of switchbacks.
|This information was provided by jtrider on 2/3/2003 8:07:11 PM