Ascent of Little Pisgah Mountain on 2016-01-30

Climber: Zachary Robbins

Date:Saturday, January 30, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Pisgah Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4412 ft / 1344 m

Ascent Trip Report

What an awesome view! The hike is long, but this peak is worth it. You can drive up the road if you're lucky, or take a long road walk, yada yada. The more enjoyable route would be to park at the Florence Nature Preserve on US 74A and hike the well-manicured trails through the tiny preserve for half the hike. There's plenty of info on the Preserve itself, but honestly it is just a vessel for this hike. The "features" in the Preserve are almost laughable. On maps you'll see the Orange Trails go to overlooks. Skip the northeast one to Little Pisgah Point, which is a joke. It was a jumble of rocks surrounded by trees, not even a view in the winter.

When the Blue Trail ends at the forest road turn right and begin the long gentle climb to Little Pisgah Mountain. About halfway you'll start passing by private roads on each side, continue on main road when enters a beautiful, grassy saddle between Little Pisgah and Blue Rock Knob. The main road swings left here and you'll see the grass summit of Little Pisgah above adorned with antenna tower. You may be tempted to cross country directly up the peak in between vacation cabins, but I decided to follow the road. It takes the long, long way around the mountain but is flat. It is easier to cross country down the summit, which I did later.

The summit has one of the finest views in the area, and is most certainly the best view of the Hickory Nut region. It is much better than Bearwallow Mt which is easily spotted across the valley. Little Pisgah Mt has basically the opposite view of Bearwallow, open views north-east-south with the west blocked by trees. Bearwallow has open views south-west-north with east blocked. I could even spot Chimney Rock as I splayed my body on the dead grass for lunch.

I hiked cross country directly down the east slope which is wide open, aiming for a house close to the saddle. Everything is in plain sight, but this could be less fun in summer because it seemed weedy. Near the house is a barbed wire fence, but it is actually protecting the summit from cows and not blocking the house property, it even has a sign saying protected conservation area on the inside of the fence. I passed through the fence sticking to the left of the property and picked up a road.

On the way back I took the Red Trail through the west side of the Preserve to Rattlesnake Knob. This is also an extremely disappointing overlook with only a clear view of Hickory Nut Gap and nothing else. On the return to the exit Yellow Trail I spotted a user path before the 2nd bridge-tributary (I think) down to the right along one of 2 tributaries-3 bridges you'll cross on the Red Trail. (The Red Trail after Rattlesnake Knob swings east paralleling US 74A before traversing 3 drainages. This short path leads to a waterfall, mostly an extremely narrow slot cascade surrounded by green moss. The initial drop is ~8 ft and the slot is probably 10 ft tall but 20 ft long. The slot is less than 2 feet wide and is really cool, be sure to look out for it. It is where the 2 waypoints on my GPS are very close together along the only stream.

Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Zachary Robbins
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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