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Bearpen Gap Waterfall

Intermediate
 3.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quiet, secluded run to a small waterfall.


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Map Key

3.2

Miles

5.2

KM

86%

Runnable

5,551' 1,692 m

High

4,928' 1,502 m

Low

626' 191 m

Up

627' 191 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Overview

This run is in the higher elevations of the Parkway and includes part of the Mountains to Sea Trail in the Pisgah National Forest. You aren't likely to see anybody else, so you should have a map and a good sense of direction to find this 15 foot waterfall. Since the waterfall is high on the mountain, water flow can be rather low during a dry spell, so it's best to go after a period of good rain. Mid-spring will offer up a variety of wildflowers including Trout Lily and Trilliums; early fall will be good for mushrooms and cooler temps. The run is about 3 miles round-trip and is mostly moderate with a gradual elevation change and parts of the trail being overgrown.

Description

Directions: Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head towards MP427.6 and the Bearpen Gap Overlook. The trail begins at the north/east end of the parking area. A 4x4 wooden post with a blue blaze marks the start of the trail.

The first part of the trail is a connector trail to the Mountains to Sea Trail, Bearpen Gap Trail #442. Start in the northeastern corner of the parking lot. Follow a well-worn blue blaze connector trail to the MST trail. At 0.42 miles, cross a sequence of very small creeks (weeps). At 0.62 miles, join the MST.

There is a carsonite sign indicating the MST goes right and left. Turn RIGHT. At 0.75 miles, cross a stream. It's the confluence of the smaller streams (weeps) that you crossed at 0.42 miles.

The next carsonite sign is at 1.36 miles (35.317585, -82.968782). Leave the MST and follow an old forest service road that goes perpendicular to the MST. The forest service road goes south/southeast at approximately 163 degrees.

At 1.6 miles, reach the creek and waterfall. The old forest service road continues past this point, but its best to turn around after enjoying the falls.

Flora & Fauna

Mid-spring will offer up a variety of wildflowers including trout lily and trilliums, early fall will be good for mushrooms and cooler temps.

History & Background

Historical Note: Long ago, bear hunters would stack up logs and rig a trip line attached to bait. When a bear pulled at the bait the logs would fall on the bear killing it. These bear pens were built in gaps where the bears would travel.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake TheDawg with improvements by 영 이

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#4373

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#164

in North Carolina

#4,373

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1,171 Since Jun 30, 2018
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Photos

MST Connector to get to Bearpen Gap Falls
Sep 4, 2018 near Hazelwood, NC
Bear Pen Gap Falls
Sep 4, 2018 near Cullowhee, NC
Follow this old Forest Serivice Road to Bear Pen Gap Falls (35.317585,-82.968782)
Sep 4, 2018 near Hazelwood, NC
Turn right onto the MST to get to Bear Pen Gap Falls
Sep 4, 2018 near Cullowhee, NC

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