We will leave the Ingles no later than 9:15am after meeting and greeting and arranging how we should carpool. We should arrive at the Pink Beds Parking area by 10am.
Pink Beds Loop Hike Synopsis
This hike loops you around a unique, flat, high-elevation valley. You'll see rare mountain bogs, including glimpses of some rare and endangered species of plants if you're lucky. You'll pass through a forest in transition, as beavers have dammed the South Fork Mills River to form their ponds, which are drowing out the trees. You'll also find crystal clear brooks, wildlife meadows, and scenic fern-filled woods. This forest is one of the first to ever be managed through modern forestry techniques, earning it the nickname "The Cradle of Forestry in America."
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Total Length: 4.3 mi
- Trail Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
- Climb: Few Hills
- Lowest Elevation: 3150 ft
- Highest Elevation: 3290 ft
- Total Elevation Gain: 200 ft
- Trails/Roads Used: Pink Beds Loop, optionally, Mountains to Sea Alternate
- Hike Configuration: Loop
- Starting point: Pink Beds Picnic Area
- How to Get There: From Asheville, take I-240 west to I-26 east to the exit for the Asheville Airport (exit 40). Turn right onto NC 280; follow this 4-lane highway for 16 miles toward Brevard. At the intersection with US highways 276 and 64, turn right onto US 276 west (follow signs for Pisgah National Forest). Proceed up 276 for 11.4 miles to the Pink Beds Picnic Area, just past the Forest Discovery Center. The trail starts at the sign board at the back of the lot.
This relatively flat loop takes you through several interesting areas in the Pink Beds valley. Named for the profusion of pink wildflowers that grow here in the spring (including mountain laurel and rhododendron), this relatively flat valley sits at a high-elevation (about 3200'). It also contains some very large pine trees, rare mountain bogs, streams with beaver dams, clear babbling brooks, and scenic open woods.
We are going to keep a decent pace, although we will be stopping for photo ops!!
DOGS ON LEASHES ARE WELCOME!! There is a 40% chance (power level of 9000) of rain as of now...I'll keep updating as needed!!
Description courtesy of: http://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/davidson-river/pink-beds-loop