Harmon Den Area


Harmon Den is on the Appalachian Ranger District in the vicinity of exit 7 off of  I-40. The area is a haven for hikers and horseback riders. It offers 54.5 miles of trails with 14.2 miles of trails designated for horseback riding and 40.3 miles for hiking.

 

 

 

This page was last updated 11/12/2021

 

 

 

NC Department of Transportation state road closure in Haywood County:
Starting as soon as Nov. 9, all traffic in both directions will be funneled into a one-lane pattern
prior to the bridge [at Harmon Den, exit 7 on I-40] and will use the ramps as a detour around the bridge.
Traffic will remain in this pattern into May while crews remove and replace the deteriorating structure.
Drivers desiring to go from Asheville to Dandridge, Tenn., may choose to take I-26 West to Kingsport
and then I-81 South to Dandridge. This route adds about 45 minutes to driving time
compared to a typical trip through the gorge.
Please see the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation News Release (with map)
at this link: News Release


This does not include USFS Road 148/Cold Springs Creek Road to Harmon Den area. This road remains open until seasonal closure in January,
but will require you to take the detour and reroute back south through the detour to access the turn into the road.
www.ncdrive.gov is a great resource for planning your trip during this time.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Opens Memorial Day

General Information

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 www.int.org


General Notes:

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


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Backcountry/Dipeursed/Primitive Camping

If you are seeking to disperse 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: 

o Hike ¼ mile from trailhead

o 100 ft from the trail itself

o 100 ft from a water source

o ¼ mile away from any developed rec area

o 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/Harmon Den Area

• 74 Big Ivy- Barnardsville

• 2074 Neals Creek- Burnsville

• 472- South Toe River Road (Southern) – Burnsville (Closed due to storm damage)

 

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 100 ft from any water source

These sites are designated to minimize damage to Cold Springs Creek. At primitive camps, you must provide your own water, bury all human waste and toilet paper, and take out your trash. Use existing fire rings, and never wash in a creek.  

River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Harmon Den in Haywood County, NC has miles of cold mountain streams and some ponds offer trout fishing. While the US Forest Service manages stream quality, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulates fishing seasons and limits. A state license is required for fishing. Every angler should get a copy of the Regulations Digest from the commission by calling (919) 662-4381 or from the website: www.wildlife.state.nc.us, select "regulations".

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Trail Difficulty

Easy: Route is easy to find and follow; trail has 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 www.int.org


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, includes sunscreen
  • Water (2-3 quarts per person per day)
  • Space blanket or poncho
  • Nylon cord (for emergency shelter among other uses)
  • Extra food & clothing

Horse Camping

Recreation areas with activity Horse Camping:

No trace horse hints:

  • Take only fit, calm, experienced animals.
  • Stay on the trail, and ride in a 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.

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 a 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.

Big Game Hunting

Recreation areas with activity Big Game Hunting:

Part of Harmon Den in Haywood County, NC and the area north of US 25/70 to the Tennessee State line are bear sanctuaries where bear hunting is not allowed. Outside the sanctuaries, hunting is popular for bears as well as for deer. While the US Forest Service manages wildlife habitat, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulates hunting seasons and limits. A state license is required for hunting. Every hunter should get a copy of the Regulations Digest from the commission by calling (919) 662-4381 or from the website: www.wildlife.state.nc.us, select "regulations".

Game Bird/Waterfowl

Recreation areas with activity Game Bird/Waterfowl:

Harmon Den in Haywood County, NC is popular for hunting wild turkey and grouse. While the US Forest Service manages wildlife habitat, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulates hunting seasons and limits. A state license is required for hunting. Every hunter should get a copy of the Regulations Digest from the commission by calling (919) 662-4381 or from the website: www.wildlife.state.nc.us, select "regulations".

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
35.737874

  Longitude : 
-83.022265