Pisgah National Forest is very popular for horseback riding, mountain
biking and hiking. With its beautiful streams and hardwood forests,
there are lots of trails that follow historic logging roads and
railroad grades and many offer loop rides. Most trails connect to
the South Mills River Trail.
are many points of access to Pisgah National Forest. Close by to
Misty Oaks Farm, there are three access points including the South
Mills River (Turkey Pen), Davidson River and North Mills River.
Mills River (Turkey Pen)
South Mills River area has one of our favorite trail systems.
Directions to South Mills River,
located 1 mile South of Misty Oaks Farm:
From Misty Oaks Farm, turn left going South on Hwy 280 toward Brevard.
Go approximately one mile, and just as you enter into Transylvania
County, you will turn right at FR 297. If you enter early in the
day, it should be easy to go up the one lane gravel road to the
parking area. If you arrive after noon, the parking lot may be full
and would be extremely difficult to turn around with a trailer of
any size. There is space to park at Hwy 280 and ride your horse
up the road to the trailhead.
South Mills River Area Trails:
South Mills River Trail is 12 miles long, and has 13 tricky
river crossings with no bridges.
Horse Cove Gap Trail is 1.2 miles and is a connector trail that
joins several long loops.
Cantrell Creek Trail is 1.9 miles. It is a streamside, wooded
trail that is closed to horses between Horse Cove Gap and Squirrel
The Bradley Creek Trail is 5.1 miles with many stream crossings,
no bridges and some fields.
Mullinax Trail is 1.2 miles long and is an old logging road
that is used as a loop connector.
Mills River Area
in the Pisgah Ranger District, the North Mills River Area Trails
have gated forest roads and multiple loop riding opportunities.
Hikers and mountain bikers share these trails, and the routes are
marked with signs and different colored blazes. The area is located
Southwest of Asheville off NC 191/280.
Directions to North Mills River Area Trails,
located 8 miles North of Misty Oaks Farm:
From Misty Oaks, turn right going North on Hwy 280. Go 3 miles and
at the red light turn left onto North Mills River Road. Go
5 miles to the Mills River Campground. You may park on the right
side of the road, just before the campground where indicated by
a sign for horse trailers. Walk through the campground, and enter
the Riverside Trail on the right after you cross over the river
on the bridge.
may also turn right on Wash Creek Road, just before the campground.
Go about 1.5 miles North from North Mills River Campground. Turn
left and cross a low concrete bridge, and continue 0.5 mile to the
parking area. This is Trace Ridge Trailhead, and there is space
available for several horse trailers. There are two primitive campsites
which can accommodate horse trailers on FR 5000 (Wash Creek Road),
but there are no facilities available.
NOTE: This trailhead may be crowded on weekends.
North Mills River Area Trails:
Big Creek Trail is 4.9 miles long. This is a streamside trail
with creek crossings,
and horses are not allowed past the Bee Branch.
Fletcher Creek Trail is 2.4 miles long. This streamside trail
has easy grades
and goes through fields where there are lots of wildlife.
Middle Fork Trail is 1.8 miles long, and is an old railroad
grade that winds
through several wildlife fields.
Spencer Branch Trail is 2.3 miles long. This trail is streamside
Trace Ridge Trail is 3.1 miles long, along a Ridgetop which
Fall and Winter views.
horseback riding area at Davidson River is several miles from the
river, up highway 276. The horse area is near the Pink Beds Cradle
of Forestry area.
to Davidson River,
located approximately 8 miles South from Misty Oaks Farm:
Turn left out of Misty Oaks onto Hwy 280 heading South. Turn right
at the intersection of Hwy 280/64/276. Turn right onto Hwy 276 and
enter into Pisgah National Forest. From U.S. 276, turn onto Yellow
Gap Road (FR 1206) near Pink Beds Picnic Area. Turn right onto FR
476 and go about 0.7 mile. You may park in the roadside campsite
on the right side of the road.
State Forest has trails which are used by hikers, bikers, horseback
riders, fishermen and hunters (during season). See the Hunting
Schedule on the Dupont Website. All trails that are
open to horses are clearly marked. Tie-outs for horses are provided
near the waterfalls and other points of interest. The trails are
open from daylight to dark with no public camping facilities. Park
in spaces designated for horse trailers at the Lake Imaging parking
lot, located on DuPont/Staton Road, 1/2 mile north of the Hooker
Falls Access Area; and the Guion Farm Parking Lot, located on Sky
Valley Road. Coggins are required. .
Directions to Dupont State Forest, located approximately 12 miles
from Misty Oaks Farm:
Turn left out of Misty Oaks onto Hwy 280 heading South to US 64.
Turn left onto US 64 and go 3.7 miles to the stop light. Turn right
onto Crab Creek Rd and go 4.3 miles to DuPont Road. Turn right onto
DuPont Rd and go 4.2 miles. DuPont Rd becomes Staton Road.
Dupont State Forest Area Trails:
Waterfall Loop is approximately 2 hours long that crosses Little
and has views of four major waterfalls. The Little River crossing
which can be slick, with water up to two feet deep when the
been heavy. There are also two wooden bridges.
Imaging Access Area. There are several trails that lead off
of this trail,
but to do the loop stay on Lake Imaging Road.
See covered information signs or Park Rangers for free trail
Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC is a great place to ride. There
is limited primitive camping and a six-stall barn available for
additional fees. The Biltmore Estate features several wonderful
restaurants, not to mention a tour of the house, gardens and estate.
NOTE: To ride the trails at the Biltmore Estate, you must
pay a daily trail fee and purchase a daily Biltmore Estate ticket,
or you may purchase an annual Biltmore Equestrian Pass. Reservations
are required; call 828-225-1454.
to the Biltmore Estate,
located approximately 20 miles Southeast of Misty Oaks Farm:
Turn right out of Misty Oaks Farm going North on Hwy 280. Take I-26
West to I-40 East, and look for the Hwy 25 exit. Turn left and go
approximately 1 mile, follow the signs to Biltmore House entrance.
are over 80 miles of well-makred horse trails that include
some wide open spaces and great views of Biltmore House.
East side of the Smokys is approximately 50 minutes away. Lots of
horse trails and great wilderness areas to ride, but have caution
for spooky horses as there are many elk in this area.
Directions to Great Smoky Mountains,
located approximately 50 miles from Misty Oaks Farm:
From Misty Oaks Farm take 280 North to I-26 West. Take I-40 West
to the east side of Smokys. Exit 20 is the first area. Follow the
winding gravel road over the mountain down into Cataloochee Valley.
in the Appalachian Ranger District, the Harmon Den Area Trails features
Cool Springs Creek flowing through woods and grassy fields. You
can see traces of old farming and logging areas, railroads and old
settlements. There is easy parking and many miles of trails in a
wild area, with primitive roadside camping available along FR 148.
NOTE: There is no camping allowed at Harmon Den parking
Directions to Harmon Den,
located approximately 50 miles SE of Misty Oaks Farm:
From Misty Oaks Farm, take 280 North to I-26 West. Take I-40 West
to the Harmon Den exit, which is near the Tennessee state line.
Head Northeast on FR 148 (Cold Springs Road) about 3 miles to the
Harmon Den parking area on the left. Look for additional parking
for horse trailers at the lower junction of FRs 148 and 3526, and
the Robert Gap Trailhead at junction of FR 148 and SR 1182. Also
parking available at the Cherry Ridge Trailhead on SR 1182.
Harmon Den Area Trails:
Misty Oaks Farm
Buckeye Ridge Trail is 5.4 miles long and includes beautiful
views through grassy fields and wooded areas.
The Cherry Creek Trail is 1.6 miles long, and is steep with
and some rock obstacles.
Cherry Ridge Trail is 1.1 miles long and is also steep, but
Den and Max Patch.
Cold Springs Trail is 3.6 miles long, and is primarily a streamside,
with some Winter views.
The Robert Gap Trail is 2.5 miles long and includes old logging
areas and some Winter views.
more information, please call Steve Adams at 828-230-5840.