Bear Pen TR 176
This trail provides nice views of the Craggy Mountains to the southeast. It offers many possible loop trails and ascends steeply at times with some switchbacks. The trail also crosses several streams including Staire Branch.
Total Length: 1.5 miles
Total Elevation Change: 680 feet
Degree of Difficulty: Difficult
Beginning Point: NFSR 74
Ending Point: Laurel Gap TR 184
Average Hiking Time: 1.5 hours (one way)
Amount of Use: Moderate
Blaze Color: Orange
Area Trail Map: South Toe River, Mount Mitchell & Big Ivy Trail Map
USGS Quad Maps: Mount Mitchell and Montreat
From Burnsville, go east on US 19E for 0.5 mile and turn right onto NC 197S. Stay on NC 197 through Pensacola and Cane River Gap to Barnardsville for about 25 miles. The road is paved, changes to gravel and becomes paved again. Turn left at the intersection of NC 197 and SR 2173 (Dillingham Road) and remain on NC 2173. SR 2173 becomes NFSR 74 (a gravel road). Follow this road for 5.4 miles to the trailhead on the left.