Big Ivy Area, Coleman Boundary

The Big Ivy, Coleman Boundary area is located on the Appalachian Ranger District near Barnardsville, NC. "Ivy" is the local name for the mountain laurel shrub.This area is beautiful, remote, mountain land with more than 30 miles of trails that you can hike, bike and ride horses.

At a Glance

Current Conditions:
  • 4/1/2024- Seasonal Road closures have begun reopening.
    • ‚ÄčBig Ivy, also called "Coleman Boundary" is anticipated being opened on Thursday, 4/4/2024 due to a large tree fall blocking the road.

General Information

General Notes:

Appalachian Ranger District
632 Manor Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754
(828) 689-9694 


Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Backcountry/Dispersed/Primitive Camping

If you are seeking to disperse/primitive camp other places, there are no permits nor costs required. This is also referred to as “dispersed” and “primitive”. It is “first come, first serve” basis. The rules and policies are as follows:

  • Hike ¼ mile from trailhead
  • 100 ft from the trail itself
  • 200 ft from a water source
  • ¼ mile away from any developed rec area
  • Keep campfires small, confined, and never unattended. Do not bring in outside wood. Be sure to completely and safely extinguish flames and coals before departure.

Roadside/Dispersed Camping

On the following USFS Roads, you may ONLY park in designated spots – these are denoted by a small brown wooden sign with a white triangle (representing a tent)

  • 148 Cold Springs Creek Road- Hot Springs 
  • 74 Big Ivy- Barnardsville
  • 2074 Neals Creek- Burnsville
  • 472- South Toe River Road (Southern) – Burnsville


Roadside camping is allowed along any other FS road as long as:

  • The vehicle is completely off of the road
  • You are not imposing any natural resource or archaeological area
  • You do not stay longer than 14 days
  • You are at least 200 ft from any water source


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Trail Difficulty

Easy: Route is easy to find and follow; trail has a less than 8 percent grade; length is less than 3 miles; trail is mostly flat with few rocks.

Moderate: Route may or may not be blazed; most of the trail has a less than 20 percent grade; length is usually between 2 and 8 miles; trail may be rocky and have stream crossings.

Difficult: Route may require pathfinding skills; most of the trail has a 20 percent or steeper grade; length is usually more than 8 miles; trail is rocky and uneven and may have stream crossings.

General Info:

General Notes

Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Camp away from trails and water.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife. Don't feed them.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

For more information on Leave No Trace, contact (800) 322-4100 or visit

Safety Information

Carry Essentials

  • Map & compass (know how to use them)
  • Sharp knife
  • Small flashlight
  • Whistle (outlasts your voice in an emergency)
  • Waterproof matches
  • First aid kit, include sunscreen
  • Space blanket or poncho
  • Nylon cord (for emergency shelter among other uses)
  • Extra food & clothing

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

No trace horse hints

  • Take only fit, calm, experienced animals.
  • Stay on the trail, and ride in single file.
  • Water horses at natural fords or from a bucket.
  • Keep stock tethered at least 200 feet away from streams and away from trails and campsites.
  • Avoid temporarily tying stock to trees. Use a highline with tree-saver straps to tether your animal. This prevents stock from trampling roots and chewing bark.
  • Break up and scatter manure and fill in pawed holes when breaking camp.
  • Pack some grain, since grazing is limited. Be certain that feed is weed-free to prevent noxious plants from spreading.