Ivestor Gap Trail #101

3.7 mi - Easy - This trail is one of many which leave the Black Balsam parking lot; check the nearby bulletin board for other high-elevation trails. Ivestor Gap Trail begins as a roadbed which is open to motor vehicles from mid-August until January 2; however, it is highly recommended that only high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicles attempt to negotiate it, as the trail surface is rocky and rough for the first two miles. The trail does not follow a ridgeline, but in clear weather there are some outstanding views of the Shining Rock Wilderness to the west. From Ivestor Gap, you may return to the parking area via the Art Loeb Trail, Section 3 (#146C), for a beautiful, five-mile loop which will give you spectacular views from grass balds; or continue into the Shining Rock Wilderness. The trail ends at Shining Rock Gap. In the Shining Rock Wilderness, no mountain bikes are allowed, trails are maintained to the most primitive standards, fires are prohibited, and a group size of ten is enforced, all in order to preserve solitude and prevent resource damage. Horse riders may continue into the wilderness, but cannot reach Shining Rock Gap: They must turn back at Little East Fork Trail (#107), or take that trail to the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp.

Approximate Elevation Change: 130 feet
Blaze: None

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking trail: Foot traffic (sections open for mountain bike and/or equestrian use).
Water: no
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: 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 approximately 8½ miles to FS 816 (Black Balsam Road), on your right at milepost 420.2. Turn right on FS 816 to the Black Balsam parking lot. The trail starts at the gate on the east end of the lot.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking