I’ve been wanting to complete the Pink Beds Loop Trail for several years now. We finally headed over that way today. The weather was just cloudy until we were almost at our destination. Of course, the way our luck goes sometimes, it started raining right over our heads when we arrived. We ended up having our picnic lunch in the car instead of enjoying the picnic area. Thankfully the rain didn’t last long. Just to be safe, packed up our rain gear and hit the trail. Due to the rain that had just occurred, even though it was only in the mid 60’s, it made for a very humid walk. As I talk about our walk, we will be taking the loop in a counter clockwise direction.
Pink Beds Loop trailhead is located at the Pink Beds Picnic Area. It is an easy to moderate 5.1 mile loop. The first half of the loop, it follows the South Fork Mills River. This section of the river seems more like a creek. They’ve done a great job with this trail. There are a couple of other trails that pass through this area, but the trails are very well marked. There are marshy areas that have some very nice boardwalks. A couple of the boardwalk areas still have the old / small bridges laying off to the side of the boardwalks. You’ll also cross some small plank bridges, and even one log bridge. You go through this one swampy area where you can tell the beavers have been at work building their little dams. You also go through a section of the forest that is just carpeted by ferns. I was ahead of Steve on the trail at one point, and came to a creek crossing. I was trying to figure out how in the world Steve was going to get across. I was walking down the creek to find a place to cross when I noticed a little wooden bridge. I was relieved. But, of course for a few seconds when he came up behind me I was making him think that he was going to have to cross it. When I finally showed him the bridge, I won’t tell you what he called me.
Most of this trail is spent walking through the forest, but you’ll eventually come to a portion of the trail where you come to meadow after meadow. Once you start hitting the meadows, you’re not all that far from the end. These meadows are man made. This is where you will probably run across deer and wild turkey, especially if you are hiking at dawn / dusk.
If we went back here again and took the rest of the family, we probably wouldn’t do the entire loop. The back end of the trail isn’t as interesting at the front ends. As you are walking the trail, you come to where Barnett Branch Trail comes from your left. We would probably take Barnett Branch across and turn left and then just complete the meadows part of the trail on the other side.
Here are a few photos from today. Run your cursor over each for a brief description.
Directions: If you came from Asheville NC, as you are coming into Brevard NC, when you arrive at the intersection of Hwy 276 / 64, take a right onto 276. Proceed approximately 11 1/2 miles to the Pink Beds Picnic Area. The trailhead is just past a gazebo looking structure on the right.