Mount Pisgah is a notable (and popular) high point just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Asheville. It’s the most identifiable of the rounded peaks in western North Carolina primarily because of the 339-foot (103 m) tall television antenna tower sticking up from its summit. Reaching its top became the goal of our second hike during our 2022 family reunion in Asheville, North Carolina.
Having failed to enthuse any other family members with another hike so soon, The LovedOne and I formed a lonely twosome as we headed out to ascend to the lofty, metal-skewered summit of Mount Pisgah. You might think this peak’s name is of Indigenous origin but, no, it’s source is purely biblical – the place from whence Moses was allowed to see (but not enter) the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 3:27 KJV).
We started this 5.6 miles (9.0 km) round-trip hike at the Pisgah Inn parking lot so we could take the Buck Rock Spring Trail (a section of the Mountain-to-the-Sea Trail (MST)) past the site of George Vanderbilt’s hunting lodge – which was used by his family until 1958 and then demolished in 1961. Only an information plaque let us know it was once there.
Past the site of the hunting lodge, we got diverted by an old road used for the building of the Buck Spring Tunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We soon regained the MST and continued on to the Mount Pisgah Trailhead for a brief bible lesson. Then on to the summit with quite a few others who’d skipped Buck Springs and were starting right from the parking lot at the trailhead.
After taking in the views on this clear, cloudless, sunny day, we retraced our steps down to the trailhead, passing many others as we did so – including a cute 2-year old who was just about to summit, having walked up the whole way on her own two feet! With probably fewer breathing breaks than we took! Be afraid misogynists, be very afraid!
Just before reaching the Mount Pisgah parking lot, we diverted on to a trail that runs below the Blue Ridge Parkway and connects with the campground near the Pisgah Inn. Not only was this a new route for us, it was also mostly level and thus allowed us to avoid the ups and downs we’d experienced on the MST.
Our original plan was to have a post-hike lunch at the Pisgah Inn’s restaurant. This plan evaporated when we got back to find the area swarming with other tourists and the restaurant booked solid for the day. 😕 We had to settle for sandwiches, a Moon Pie, and a pop from the country store near where we’d parked.
Entertainment during our lunch was provided by watching people circle and circle and circle the parking lot looking for a parking spot. Sort of like Moses searching for the Promised Land. 🙄 When folks started circling the picnic table where we were eating lunch, we knew it was time to finish eating and head back to see how other family members had spent their day. 😁🍺