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Mount Pisgah

Pisgah National Forest


Moderate
A short but steep hiking trail to the top of the iconic peak just outside Asheville North Carolina that offers up beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
(Video: 5 minutes 13 seconds)
+more (video transcript)
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, West of Asheville, is the short hike to the iconic peak - Mount Pisgah. Easily noticeable with its distinct shape and towering broadcast tower, this peak has a lot of history and recognition as it was the site of Buck's Spring Lodge which was a hunting outpost of the Biltmore Estate. With the hike up the mountain only 1.5 miles, the hike isn't too long but it is anything but easy as you gain over 700 feet in elevation. You are, however, greatly rewarded for your efforts with beautiful views in all directions including the very recognizable Fryingpan Mountain Lookout tower to the South.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile national parkway that mostly traverses the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. It is a treasure trove of scenic views, countless activities, hiking trails, heritage sites, and numerous other points of interest. The North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway was designated an All American Road in September of 1996.

The trailhead to Mount Pisgah is located at milepost 407.6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway about 20 miles south of Asheville. It is a large and well indicated turnoff from the Parkway that also has the Buck Spring Gap overlook. For the Mount Pisgah trailhead you will need to continue on the road all the way to the back at the parking area where it ends. The parking area is quite large and should be more than adequate for most days. The trailhead for Mount Pisgah is only about 30-40 minutes from Asheville North Carolina. There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

The trail starts at the end of the parking area right next to the large signboard that provides a brief summary of the hike and mountain. Initially the trail is wide, mostly level, and extremely pleasant. It is actually a very beautiful walk through the forest and may contain a number of wildflowers if you are visiting at the right time. Fairly quickly you encounter a trail heading off to Fryingpan Tower but keep straight on the wide trail.

At about 1/2 a mile, the trail will change becoming more narrow, rocky, and here you will start the incline. You have about a mile left and it will be all uphill from here.

The trail will switch back up the mountain several times and intensify the incline as you near the summit. The thick vegetation will keep things outside the trail hidden making it difficult to gauge your progress. However, as you near the summit it will open up and provide a welcomed view of the not so far away television tower sitting atop the mountain. After a short push to make it up the final leg, you finally reach the summit of Mount Pisgah at 5,721 feet.

When you arrive at the summit two things are very obvious. The very nicely constructed wooden observation deck and the huge broadcast tower which is used by an Asheville based TV station. The broadcast tower sits there and really doesn't interfere too much with the view while the observation deck is spacious and elevated just enough to provide excellent views. On a clear day you can see for miles. The views are spectacular!

This is an out and back hike so when you have finished enjoying the summit of Mount Pisgah, hike safely back down the mountain to the parking area.
Address & GPS
Blue Ridge Parkway
East Fork, NC 28716
35.425559N, -82.756768W
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Nearby Attractions
Fryingpan Lookout Tower (2.4 mi.)
Pink Beds (5.2 mi.)
Discovery Falls (7.4 mi.)
Log Hollow Falls (7.6 mi.)
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