Big East Fork Trail

1 review #5 hike out of 231 in
3.3 mi
1 hrs 40 min
647 ft
Elev Gain


This is an enjoyable trail running along the beautiful cascades of the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River. The trail is moderate, with gradual ascent and a few slick and rocky/rooty sections. Near the trailhead there are a number of false trails, mostly used by fisherman and casual visitors, so be careful to stick to the real trail.

A convenient turnaround point is at the confluence of the Big East Fork (coming from the left), and Greasy Cove Prong (coming from the right). After investigating the river, you can choose to cross the Big East Fork onto the Greasy Cove Trail, which takes you deep into the heart of Shining Rock Wilderness. You can also follow the Big East Fork uphill by taking Bridges Camp Gap Trail, which leads to the MST and the Blue Ridge Parkway, near the Looking Glass Rock Overlook.

You can also turn back, for a pleasant and gradual descent back to the trailhead.

Getting Started

The trailhead is located on Highway 276 in Pisgah Ranger District, North of the Blue Ridge Parkway (map link here: ). Note that this is the first of two trailheads that you will encounter, if driving North on 276. These trailheads are located only a couple hundred yards apart, and the larger, Northern one leads to the Shining Creek Path (also connecting to Old Butt Trail).

Taking Children

This is a great family hike, with great places to play in the river with children. The river is powerful in spots, so care is cautioned.

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    1 year ago

Public Tracks

CheapCigarMan 3 years, 8 months ago
Big East Fork
trail_hike_comments: Follows the Big East Fork Pigeon River. Pristine river scenes. Trail is wide and heavily used near beginning; diminishes somewhat the further you travel. Ends at the junction with Greasy Cove Prong and Bridges Camp Gap trails, providing long loop options in the Shining Rock Wilderness., trail_bike_comments: None
nancy_east 4 years, 6 months ago
357 Big East Fork
nancy_east 4 years, 7 months ago
357 Big East Fork
achrise 1 year, 3 months ago
ron 1 year, 4 months ago
Ron 1 year, 4 months ago
rec123abc 1 year, 5 months ago
user_profile stars
Allison Richmond 2 years, 4 months ago
dwhike 2 years, 9 months ago
Rob 5 years, 2 months ago