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Beartrail Ridge Gap

Beartrail Ridge Gap

Beartrail Ridge Gap

Page Type: Route

Location: North Carolina, United States, North America

Object Title: Beartrail Ridge Gap

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Fall

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Strenuous/Bushwhack

Grade: I

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Cortez

Created/Edited: Jul 19, 2006 / Jul 19, 2006

Object ID: 208853

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Reinhart Knob from Beartrail Ridge Gap is an unforgiving and frustrating bushwhack through blackberry thickets and a tangled maze of rotting blow-down. The net rise from Beartrail Ridge Gap is only 242 ft. in a distance of 0.6 miles, however, don’t underestimate this mountain. The extremely dense forest will assuredly slow your progress and make for a nice route-finding bushwhack adventure.
For the most part, the only people who attempt this mountain are “peak-baggers” attempting to complete the “South Beyond 6,000” requirements. Solitude is the name of the game on this seemingly impenetrable forest. Chances are you will not see another soul on Reinhart Knob.
The summit is obvious because it is less dense than the surrounding area & consists of a series of boulders. There is no manmade summit marker. The summit boulders are the most obvious landmark on the highpoint. There are no views from the summit other than those of the balsam forest and dense undergrowth of blackberry thickets and blow-down that carpets the mountain.

Getting There

From Knoxville, TN

Take I- 40 East toward Asheville, NC
Exit N.C. hwy. 276 toward Dellwood N.C.
From Dellwood, turn onto hwy 19 toward Maggie Valley
Go through Maggie Valley, following hwy. 19 to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Turn onto the BRP going north toward Asheville, N.C.
You will pass Waterrock Knob and Richland Balsam (the highest point on the BRP-6,047 ft.) After you pass Richland Balsam start looking for Beartrail Ridge Gap (mile 430.4). Park at Beartrail Ridge Gap.

Route Description

From Beartrail Ridge Gap head into the woods past the single white concrete picnic table at the north end of the parking lot (the BRP will be on your left). There is no trail. This entire hike is a relentless bushwhack. Look for a series of ribbons tied on tree limbs (many of which have fallen on the ground), and follow these ribbons to the summit. The ribbons were tied between the mid to late 1980s. Many of them have long since rotted away or lay scattered on the forest floor so you have to do your best. The ribbons often seem to disappear but if you can manage to correctly navigate your way up the ridge the ribbons intermittently reappear along the half mile summit ridge.
The best advice for achieving success on this mountain is to use a map and compass to navigate your way to the summit. Also, try to stay left along the ridge that leads to the summit. It is important to heed this advice because it is easy to get off course while navigating through the opaque blackberry thicket and downed balsam trees. This mountain is best done with a partner. Despite its proximity to the BRP it would still be easy to get lost on Reinhart Knob. The total distance between Beartrail Ridge Gap and the summit is 0.6 miles.

Essential Gear

long sleeves & pants that will not easily rip are a must on this bushwhack.

I map & compass are of vital imporatnce.

There are no water sources on this hike so prepare accordingly

External Links

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