10/27/2011 - Asheville area Adventure of the Week: Hike at Mount Pisgah
by Karen Chavez - Asheville Citizen Times
It's always an adventure in Asheville!!
What: Hike on Mount Pisgah and Fryingpan Mountain trails.
Where: Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 407 and 409, about 25 miles southwest of Asheville.
When: Whenever the Blue Ridge Parkway is open.
Distance: Mount Pisgah Trail is 2.6 miles round trip and Fryingpan is 2 miles round trip.
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous.
Details: The trail to the summit of Mount Pisgah is one of the classic Western North Carolina hikes. The Mount Pisgah Trail is a steep climb of more than 700 feet in a mile, but the payoff is an observation deck at the 5,721-foot summit with the last bits of autumn views across the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Bring drinking water and snacks for humans as well as the dogs to enjoy at the top.
The trail is well-traveled, yet has plenty of roots and rocks, so wear sturdy shoes with good ankle support. Dogs must be on a leash.
For a less steep trail with sturdier footing, but also with great views, head a couple of miles farther south on the parkway to the Fryingpan Trail. Start at Forest Service Road 450 at Milepost 409.6 for a mile-long hike along the road to the top of Fryingpan Mountain. There is a fire tower and great views of the surrounding forest on a clear day.
This is also a good weekend to take advantage of some of the parkway amenities before they close for the winter.
The Mount Pisgah picnic area at Milepost 407.8; the Pisgah Inn and its restaurant, gift shop and country store (Milepost 408.6); and the Mount Pisgah campground (Milepost 408.8) all close for the season on Monday. The Pisgah Inn restaurant is open 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through Monday.
The trails, however, are open year-round, weather and road conditions permitting.
Directions: From Asheville, take the Blue Ridge Parkway south to Milepost 407. The parking lot for the Mount Pisgah trailhead is on the left. Continue to the second parking area, where the road dead-ends. It is about 25 miles southwest of Asheville.
Information: Call the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at 298-5330 or visit www.nps.gov/blri. To check weather and road conditions on the parkway, call the automated information line at 298-0398.