Last Updated on September 1, 2021
Last Updated on September 1, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Many of our favorite hikes near Asheville run through rugged tree-covered mountains. But did you know the area is home to grassy knolls, also known as balds, like Bearwallow Mountain?
This is a relatively lesser-known place to go hiking, only 30 minutes from Asheville and also, Hendersonville. It’s an easy-to-access one-mile hike and the end is a grassy meadow, where you’ll find 360-degree views of mountain peaks like Mount Mitchell.
Bearwallow Mountain is primarily an operational, protected farm that sits at 4,232 feet above sea level. Thankfully, the owners of said farm allow visitors to come and visit, which is another reason we should respect it and leave no trace.
As long as we’re all welcome to hike Bearwallow Mountain, this will remain one of the best short hikes for panoramic views, sunsets, and stargazing, and close encounters with mountain cows! Inside our guide, we’ll share a bit about the hike, but also the organization that maintains the trail, and even more!
Bearwallow Mountain Hiking Guide
If you’re searching for something specific in this guide to Bearwallow Mountain, we’ve organized it into the following sections:
- Conserving Carolina: The Mountain’s Stewards
- Hiking to Bearwallow Mountain
- Bearwallow Mountain Trails
- Tips for Hiking Bearwallow Mountain
About Conserving Carolina: The Stewards
Thanks to the volunteer group, Conserving Carolina, this one-mile trail ends with grazing cows and clear views.
Conserving Carolina was formed in 2017 when two local land trusts converged to strengthen their impact on the communities. Throughout the past 30 years, these trusts have helped to protect over 45,000 acres in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.
Part of that protection included an acquisition of 81 acres that is Bearwallow Mountain. Conserving Carolina is currently working to secure 500 more to connect this trail to another preserve and eventually Chimney Rock State Park.
Along with Chimney Rock State Park, the organization also has its hands in DuPont State Recreational Forest and the 130-mile Hickory Nut Gorge State Trail.
Hiking to Bearwallow Mountain
Once you turn onto the unpaved Bearwallow Mountain Road, you will follow it until reaching pavement. This is where the trailhead is located and you will find spots along the side of the road for parking.
NOTE: Please be mindful of driveways because this is private land that has been graciously opened up to the public to enjoy.
Bearwallow Mountain Trails
There are two ways to reach the top of Bearwallow Mountain.
We recommend taking the trail to the left of the information kiosk up and following the service road down. You’ll see a beautiful wooden archway and steps to the left that lead you to the service road behind a rust-colored gate.
The trail climbs 537 feet in elevation in one mile, so you’ll feel the strenuous part of this hike. Beyond that, there aren’t any technical challenges.
Tips for Hiking Bearwallow Mountain
There is a historic fire lookout tower at the summit that is not open for climbing. However, from the summit, you can see Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah to the northeast and Hendersonville to the west.
Despite the name, you will be hard-pressed to find bears in this area. This privately-owned land is protected by conservation efforts, therefore camping is prohibited. Pets must be kept on their leash at all times.
If you would like to extend your hike and see more mountain balds, cross the street from the Bearwallow Mountain Trailhead and join the Trombatore Trail for a seven-mile hike.
Ready to Visit and Hike Bearwallow Mountain?
Hiking to Bearwallow Mountain leads to some of the most beautiful views in Western North Carolina. Although the way up may get tough at times, the many perches at the top make this a favorite of ours and one that we’ll keep coming back for.
If you’ve been to Bearwallow Mountain, we’d love to know what you thought of it. If you haven’t been yet, what’s stopping you? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments section or by email.