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Ascent of Little Pisgah Mountain on 2013-11-15

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Friday, November 15, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Little Pisgah Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:4412 ft / 1344 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finding the gates open on Little Pisgah Road, I drove to the summit, which was quite the adventure for my faithful old Honda Accord. If you have a chance to drive up, I would suggest parking at the fifth gate, 3.6 miles from US74A. The road is OK to that point, but the last eight-tenths of a mile is eroded and narrow--don't try it without high clearance.

Little Pisgah Road is private, though part of it passes through the Florence Nature Preserve, which is owned by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. The gate at US74A is usually open, but the second and third gates are often closed. A one-way hike to the top would be 4.4 miles each way from the highway gate, 4.0 from the second gate, 1.8 from the third, 1.4 from the fourth, and 0.8 from the last gate. The last two gates also have livestock grates, and there were cattle as well as donkeys in the pasture when I drove through.

In spite of all the gates, I saw no contrary signage the entire way. Unfortunately, I didn't see the view either, because of low clouds. There are towers on the summit, but otherwise it is supposed to be a spectacular 70-mile panorama, especially looking down the Hickory Nut Gorge to Chimney Rock. On a clear day, the Charlotte skyline should be visible.

Little Pisgah Mountain can also be accessed via trails in the Florence Nature Preserve a short distance east on US74A. The summit hike is about 10 miles roundtrip. Take the Yellow Trail 1 mile from the parking area and then turn right on the Blue Trail for another mile to reach Little Pisgah Road between the second and third gate. The Carolina Mountain Club leads a group hike to Little Pisgah in most years.
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