Winter Hiking in Pisgah National Forest


Sometimes a short winter hike is all that’s needed to revive the spirit or keep us moving in the cold.

Yesterday’s Carolina Mountain Club hike in Pisgah National Forest promised 10 miles of moderate hiking in winter weather. Since we’re close to the Winter Solstisce, the day was almost the shortest of the year. 

CMCBuckhornGapconstructionWe were on the trail at about 9:30 A.M. but had to walk over a mile more since the Forest Service was doing construction on the road leading to the trailhead.


We walked on a road going over and around large construction equipment.

CMCBuckhornGaptwinfallsFinally on Buckhorn Gap Trail.

We headed to Twin Falls which were magnificent. Icicles dripped off the falling water. Both falls could be seen without the distraction of leaf cover. 

We found turkey and deer prints. See the turkey feet at the top of this post.

This trail has numerous creek crossings, most with bridges.CMCbuckhorngapwinterhiking But the log bridges were icy and precarious. We took it slowly. Some preferred to try their luck by rockhopping. Wet boots, even in this weather, is better than the thought of falling.

We missed a turn on our loop hike. By the time we realized it, we discussed whether we wanted to go back up, resulting in a 13 mile hike or just go down and finish much earlier. It was about 1:30 P.M.. The sun was already starting its downward slide and we were cold. So we opted for the shorter hike.

But we didn’t waste our extra time. Some headed back to Asheville, probably to finish their Christmas preparations. A couple went to a restaurant.

But four us went to Kiwi Gelato in Brevard. Great gelato in a fun, friendly atmosphere.


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