Best Hikes in Pisgah National Forest


A gigantic forest (500K acres), Pisgah sprawls across multiple management units. Traversed by the iconic Appalchian Trail, whitewater rivers, waterfalls, and hardwood forests characterize the park.

You can easily park a car and do a quick 5-mile trip, such as a hike up to John Rock.

Or get a taste of a thru-hike in a day hike, on this popular blip on the Appalachian Trail up Max Patch Mountain.

Getting Started

Hiking in national forests is easy and loosely regulated. If you are feeling lucky, pick a hike from this page, gear up, and drive to the appropriate parking spot.

If you want to research the area, then read about the three main ranger districts: Appalachian, Grandfather, and Pisgah. It's a huge forest, so you can read about the various entry points and regions and choose, then pick a hike in the region from the list. There are over 1600 miles of trails in the Forest, and you can just park and go.

Especially if you have kids, you may want to go to the ranger station and visitor center, inside the Brevard entrance to the National Forest.

When to Go

Pisgah is most popular in April/May, and October/November, as people seek the most temperate weather. It's not particularly crowded, so you can really go whenever you like n(as with most National Forests).


You don't need permits for hiking or backpacking in Pisgah.

Dog Info

Dogs are allowed in Pisgah with few restrictions (typical of National Forestland).

Seasonal Popularity