Haywood Gap Trail #142

6.0 mi - Difficult - For its entire length, this trail parallels and crosses Haywood Gap Stream, and then the Middle Prong of the West Fork of the Pigeon River and its tributaries. The views are consequently not panoramic, but do provide the hiker with a “looking up from the bottom” perspective. Unlike many ridgeline trails, this trail has ample water supply (be sure to purify water before drinking) and sufficient level ground for primitive camping. After leaving the wilderness area, the trail ends at FS 97 (Lickstone Ridge Road); a right turn and a hike of approximately 1¾ additional miles will take you to a gate at the Sunburst Recreation Area. (The gate and road may be open to vehicles between mid-November and January 1 for hunter access; contact the Pisgah Ranger Station Visitor Center to confirm: 828-877-3265)

Approximate Elevation Change: 1,800 feet
Blaze: None

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking Trail: foot traffic only.
Water: yes
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: The majority of this trail is in the Middle Prong Wilderness Area, and can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Sunburst Recreation Area. To reach the Parkway trailhead from the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) on US 276. Proceed 14 miles north; turn right onto access ramp for the Blue Ridge Parkway, then left (south) on Parkway. Proceed south to an unpaved pulloff in Haywood Gap (milepost 426.5), where the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (#440) crosses the Parkway. Take the M-T-S trail to the east a short distance; the trailhead for this trail is on the left.


Day Hiking