October 4, 2017
I’m not sure why I’ve never hiked Turkey Pen Gap Trail. Located at the parking area for Turkey Pen, the trail runs 5.5 miles to the base of Black Mountain.
The plan was not to do an out and back, but to hike it and then coast downhill on the Black Mountain Trail to the Pisgah Ranger Station where Emily and the girls would pick me up.
I’ll say this: the first two miles of this trail are no joke. They skyrocket up Sharpy Mountain, gaining 2,000 feet in stark fashion. There aren’t any nice switchbacks, as the path climbs straight up the gut.
I didn’t have any views from Sharpy, but the trail then descends roughly the same distance down to Sandy Gap. From there it undulates up an unnamed mountain, descends to Wagon Road Gap, ascends McCall Mountain descends again to Deep Gap.
The only water on the trail is two springs at the end, just before Black Mountain.
After the end is a nice jaunt to the ranger station.
Total mileage is 10.3 miles.