Home > Trips > Asheville, NC. Squirrel Gap trail -> Turkey Pen Gap trail
Asheville, NC. Squirrel Gap trail -> Turkey Pen Gap trail
This is an advanced XC ride for experienced riders only. Riders must be confident in their abilities to: navigate, repair equipment, travel beyond outside contact range, deal with emergencies, etc. This ride has the most 'back-country' feel of all the Pisgah rides. Riders will be on four separate trails each with their own unique feel, challenges, and rewards.
Park at Turkey Pen gap. Follow the gravel past the gate down to the river. Cross the swinging bridge. Left onto South Mills River trail. Right onto Mullinax trail. Continue straight as Squirrel Gap trail intersects Mullinax. Bear left on Squirrel Gap trail at Laurel Creek trail. Bear right as Squirrel Gap trail passes Poundingmill trail. Continue on Squirrel past Cantrell Creek and Horse Cove trails. Squirrel Gap trail ends at the far end of South Mills River trail. Take a Left then a quick right to cross the swinging bridge. Continue on South Mills River trail on other side of the bridge. Bear Left at unmarked 'Y' then Left shortly thereafter onto Buckhorn Gap trail. Follow Buckhorn Gap trail to intersection with Black Mountain trail. Cross gravel road to Black Mountain trail (do not follow Black Mountain trail up the steps to the right). After the hike-a-bike and views turn left onto Turkey Pen Gap trail. Continue straight past Wagon Road trail. Follow Turkey Pen Gap trail all the way back to the parking lot.
TO TRAILHEAD: From I-26 take exit 40 towards the Asheville airport. Travel ___ miles turn right onto Turkey Pen road. Parking area is ___ miles down Turkey Pen road. Do not park in Horse trailer parking area!
Distance: 21.15 mi
Total Time: 4:55:01
Speed: 4.3 mph
Pace: 13:56 / mi
Active Time: 4:24:37
Speed: 4.8 mph
Pace: 12:36 / mi
Turkey Pen Gap parking lot. Follow the gravel road past the gate down to S. Mills River
Points of Interest
Location: 35.347056, -82.675209
Mullinax can get pretty nasty!
2nd S. Mills River Bridge
Location: 35.342575, -82.728767
Be sure to cross the bridge to continue in the correct direction on S. Mills River trail towards Buckhorn Gap trail.
Black Mountain Trail
Location: 35.337534, -82.747994
Even the most experienced riders won't clean all of Black Mountain trail....
Turkey Pen Gap trailhead
Location: 35.325770, -82.732544
After this turn you will be both headed back to the parking lot AND headed into one of the most remote sections of the forest. Have fun! Be Careful!
CROSS S. Mills River then LEFT TURN
Location: 35.343604, -82.665636
Cross the swinging bridge over S. Mills River then take a left turn onto S. Mills River trail.
RIGHT TURN onto Mullinax Trail
Location: 35.343784, -82.667538
Turn Right onto Mullinax trail from S. Mills River trail
Mullianx/Squirrel Gap trail
Location: 35.353225, -82.675901
Mullinax trail ends / runs into Squirrel Gap trail. Continue straight ahead.
Location: 35.357651, -82.682362
Bare left to continue on Squirrel Gap trail at Laurel Creek Trail
Location: 35.356909, -82.686029
Turn right to continue on Squirrel Gap trail at Poundingmill trail. Poundingmill is hiking only.
Location: 35.362238, -82.698603
This is a great place to wait for the slower riders.
Cantrell Creek trail
Location: 35.367698, -82.711992
Continue straight on Squirrel Gap trail. Cantrell Creek is your last bailout back to the parking lot before this ride gets really big.
Horse Cove trail
Location: 35.353454, -82.711589
Continue Straight on Squirrel Gap trail
Location: 35.342973, -82.729408
Turn Right and cross the swinging bridge over S. Mills River. Follow sandy doubletrack (S. Mills River trail) uphill.
Location: 35.348663, -82.739910
Continue on S. Mills River trail by staying Left at this unmarked trail
Location: 35.351171, -82.741993
Turn Left onto Buckhorn Gap trail
Cross Gravel Road
Location: 35.341936, -82.751544
Continue straight / Cross the gravel road onto Black Mountain trail. Be ready for a hike-a-bike.
View Looking Glass Rock
Location: 35.332136, -82.739191
Don't miss the best view of the day!
Location: 35.326108, -82.733409
Turn Left onto Turkey Pen Gap trail.
Location: 35.333473, -82.740784
The view of Looking Glass Rock from Clawhammer Mountain.
Location: 35.335993, -82.743702
There are big hike-a-bike sections here.
Location: 35.366796, -82.709541
The Creek crossing at Cantrell.
Cantrell Creek trail is a good bailout. Please note that your feet WILL get wet. Do not take Cantrell/S.Mills River in the winter or after heavy rains.
Location: 35.351536, -82.718296
Yes, the trail goes THAT way.
Wagon Road Gap trail
Location: 35.328501, -82.688513
Do not take wagon road gap trail. It is hiking only and is not a 'bailout'. Stay straight on Turkey Pen Gap trail to get back to the parking lot.
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