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 2 Submit your own review
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.
Reviewed by Darlene on 6/1/2010
This is an enjoyable place to hike and camp. My young adult sons went there this weekend, Parking was full and apparently the sign that says Parking for Horse trailers and campers only means horse trailers. They camped along with some other friends from Sat morning to Sunday about 5 pm, when they packed out from the campsite all the cars there had $75 dollar tickets on them. 10 cars total for $750 dollars on May 30th. What is NC thinking? Are they so broke they have to ticket our young adults who are trying to do the right things in life?
Reviewed by Brad on 5/23/2010
Notes: The Wagon Road Gap trail seemed to empty into a campsite. I continued off-trail for a few yards and hit S Mills River Trail, but I never saw where the trails actually connected. Toward the end, there is a small trail on the right labeled "Foot Bridge" that you must take to continue on S Mills River Trail back to the parking lot. Nice hike - I didn't pass a single person in over 4 hours though.
Reviewed by maria on 7/18/2009
I enjoyed the hike the one thing that the person who took me hiking forgot to tell me was to come back on the same trail. After 4 hours into the hike we ran out of trail so we back tracked a 1/2 hour back at this time it was to late to back track the whole trail back, so we took another trail that looked like cars or bikes could travel on. The rest of the group were on bikes, well to make a long story short, we got lost and it was to late to back track the after 5 hours we had to call 911 to locate us. After this experice I would still walk this trail but earlier in the day and not so late in the afternoon. P.S. Thank you to the Mill River Fire and Rescure Department they located me and the rest of my group, which were 4 minor children.
Reviewed by Justin on 7/25/2008
First time I went to Turkey Pen, even though I live in Henderson County. The hike was very enjoyable, and not very strenuous.
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.
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