“The Buncombe Horse Trail is an underused trail that is perfect for running with a good mix of terrain and excellent views”
— Brandon Thrower
Features: Fall Colors — Spring — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The Buncombe Horse Trail is the most diverse trail in the Black Mountains. The trail begins down in the Toe River Valley and gradually climbs through dense hardwood forest as it slowly changes to a balsam forest as you gain elevation. It then joins the MST for a very gentle section of about 5 miles with great views of the valley bellow. Then you pop out onto Maple Camp Bald, with massive 270-degree views of the Black Mountains and the Blue Ridge as it falls into the Piedmont. It is one of the best views in the Blacks. Afterward, you'll descend on some serious switchbacks before hitting old logging roads at the end. Good loops can be made by using sections of this trail. Don't overlook it.
Trail blazes are few and far between, if not non-existent through much of the trail. Where they do exist is near the bottom and the color is white. The trail is also a horse trail, although I've never run into a horse out there. There is evidence of them along the trail, especially in the low sections.