Summary: Beginning the hike you start to climb. The first mile and a half is a descent incline (at one point you will climb 600 feet in less than a quarter of a mile. Take lots of water because the first 2 miles are dry. This hike is beautifl during the fall because you can see a greater distance. There are great views on the way up. If you can survive the first hour and a half, it is literally all down hill from there. You will descent from Sharpy Mountain for about a half of mile and then you will climb again for 200 or 300 feet. At that time, (this should be about 2 hours into your hike), you will see a trail that goes to the right- Wagon Road Gap. Follow this trail down. After a short distance, you will feel like you found the Garden of Eden. Once you get to a large opening, you will hear the river. Turn right onto South Mills River Trail. It will lead right to the river. You will find a trail back 100 feet that goes to the right and to a swinging bridge.
Trailhead: Take I26 East from Asheville, NC Turn Right onto Airport Rd (280 West). You will come to an intersection which divides 191 & 280 (Mills River), stay on 280 for approximately 7 miles. At the Henderson/Transylvania County line, just past Boyleston Creek Baptist Church, Turn right onto Turkey Pen Rd. This is a really rough road. Go approximately 2.3 miles to the end. You will see the parking for Turkey Pen trailhead. Begin on the Turkey Pen Trail (Lat:35.34305 Lon:-82.65933)
Trail Guides for Turkey Pen Gap Trail:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Pisgah Ranger District, (828) 877-3265
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Reginald Vickers, who has posted 2 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Sam on 5/4/2015
Great hike and not too strenuous. I enjoyed the first 1.5 miles to get your HR up. Plenty of camping options near the river as well. I tracked it using a hiking app on my phone and my Suunto watch. This loop is more like 6.7 miles, not 5.7. I also suggest having a map with you because there are plenty of other trails in here and you could get lost without it.
Reviewed by RAC on 1/18/2015
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Reviewed by Amazed at ignor on 11/8/2014
I just can't believe the inconvenience of horses being in your way...horse are far more connected to nature than self centered humans. Of course global warming, contaminated streams, coal ash...sounds like you have developed your habitats. I hope you step in horse shit.
Reviewed by nick on 12/27/2013
caleb should quit his bitchin' - - horses shouldn't be allowed on trails. The horsey club wants to ride, let'em develop their own trail system and pay for the parking spaces when said trails become available. Bugger off, Caleb
Reviewed by JOG on 8/3/2013
Turkey Pen gap is part of pisgah national forest, which belongs to the american people. Some private entity has put parking outside the area and have made it inaccessible unless you want to pay a parking ticket fee. We really need to get a state maintained parking area for this area because it is beautiful.
Reviewed by Caleb on 4/8/2012
FYI-the local riding club paid for and developed the spaces specifically for horse trailers. So quit yer bitchin' and don't park there. If you want a space just for you, spend your own time and money and then YOU can charge/fine people for parking there.
Reviewed by Colin on 11/18/2010
Agreat weekender to get psyced for more ! Great people on the trail. Just don't like leaving my car at the trailhead d/t thiefs !
Reviewed by JR Scouts on 11/14/2010
Lots of areas reserved for horses and big trailers not used but they don't mind charging $75 to anybody that parks even near the area...very unfair and stupid of NC Parks people. If they want the parking and trails reserved for horses only they should warn people there's a $75 charge for hikers.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: North Carolina Hiking, North Carolina Trails, North Carolina Hikes, Henderson County Hiking, Henderson County Trails, Henderson County Hikes