Pink Beds Loop Trail, Pink Beds Connector Trail

May 8, 2016

The first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot described Pink Beds as a “great bowl with mountains for the rim.”[1] Indeed it is nestled in the basin between Rich Mountain, Black Mountain to the south and east and the Blue Ridge Parkway and Frying Pan Mountain to the north and west.

Pinchot claimed the name Pink Beds derived from “the white and rosy blossoms in impenetrable thickets of the Laurel and Rhododendron.” Others maintain the name is from the “rosy-pink phlox and other wild flowers.”[2]

The family celebrated Mother’s Day by hiking what can only be described as an excellent trail: beautiful trees, varied foliage, gorgeous flowers. For me, the highlight was the Pink Bed Connector Trail. Less traveled, it follows a level grade beside the Mills River. Ferns waiting to unfurl, violently bright beige stones in the gentle river, trout darting to and fro, the white church-like bells of mountain dog hobble, the ancient gauging station with its rusted door.

Total mileage is 6.2 miles.

[1] Marci Spencer, Pisgah National Forest – A History (Charleston: History Press), 177.
[2] Spencer, Pisgah National Forest – A History, 177.


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