Bad Fork Trail #323

2.0 mi - Difficult - This trail requires a car switch if you want to avoid backtracking. Most begin from the upper end and hike downhill. The trail begins on the gravel access road mentioned above. From Bent Creek Gap, it follows the ridgeline east for ½ mile before making a very steep descent to Bad Fork. The views from this high section are nice in the winter when the leaves are off the trees as you look down the Wash Creek Valley and across to Trace Ridge. After reaching Bad Fork, the trail becomes an easy and pleasant walk for the final mile. This is a favorite spot for a picnic lunch or a relaxing rest break. As is the case of most creekside trails, many wildflowers bloom throughout the growing season and add beauty and interest for those who take time to enjoy them. Another attraction of this trail is that it is virtually unknown, and can thus provide solitude.

Approximate Elevation Change:  800 feet
Blaze: Orange

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: Leaving the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) onto US 276. After 14 miles, enter the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn right (north). Proceed approximately 11½ miles to Milepost 400.3, and turn right on the short, unsigned, gravel access road for FS Roads 479/5000, which pass underneath the Parkway at Bent Creek Gap. (This access road is on the right side only, and being unsigned, is easily missed.)


Day Hiking

Hiking Only
Difficulty Level: Difficult