A great family destination with a large picnic area and easy 5 mile loop trail through beautiful forest.
Just north of Brevard North Carolina, in the Southern Pisgah National Forest, is the great family hiking trail – Pink Beds Named for the abundant color that can be present during periods of the summer, this easy 5 mile loop and picnic area is a perfect spot to bring the family for a nice afternoon in the forest.
The parking lot to Pink Beds is located off US Highway 276. If you are approaching from the South, it is about 11 miles north of Brevard just past the Cradle of Forestry Discovery Center. If you are approaching from the North, it is about 4 miles south of where Highway 276 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway. Look for the large sign present on the road and you can’t miss it.
There is plenty of parking available at Pink Beds along with restroom facilities and a large picnic area that includes plenty of tables, covered picnic areas, and BBQ grills. Pink Beds is about 1 hour from Asheville North Carolina or 90 minutes from Greenville South Carolina.
The trailhead for the loop trail starts across the street from the sign boards on the left side of the parking lot. It is well labeled and easy to find.
While this is a 5 mile long trek, it is very easily hiked as there is little elevation change and the trail is very nicely maintained. There are well constructed bridges for all of the river crossings and the trail is marked with orange blazes.
Shortly after you start, you will come to a fork where the loop starts. It really doesn’t matter if you continue straight or go right as either path will return you back to this spot. We continued straight on our hike.
The forest on this hike is simply beautiful. The trail initially wanders in between open fields of grass and wildflowers to your typical Pisgah forest of hardwood and rhododendrons with the occasional creek crossing. It is really peaceful and relaxing so make sure you don’t rush through the forest too fast.
Keep straight when you encounter the Barnett Branch trail that cuts through the middle of the loop. This trail is marked with blue blazes and is a hike for another episode.
Shortly after the Barnett Brach trail intersection, Pink Beds turns almost fantasy like as the trail enters a large field of ferns blanketing the forest floor. It is a great spot to take a break, sit on a log, and experience an exceptionally beautiful area of the forest.
Continuing on the trail you soon encounter a small creek and the trail bears right paralleling the creek. The forest changes yet again as you enter an area of rare mountain bogs that were created for some busy beavers damming the creeks and tributaries. This area is full of life and host a number of rare and endangered plant species. Make sure you take your time and enjoy all there is to see in this not too common mountain habitat.
Not too much farther past the bogs, you will return back to the start of the loop where you can head back to the parking lot or over to the picnic area.