Wine Spring Bald is a popular destination for travelers in North Carolina. With its summit conveniently located near the overlaps of the heavily used Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail from nearby Wayah Bald, Wine Spring Bald is popular to visitors as a side-trip. Travelers can either drive to the summit area or hike along the Appalachian Trail/Bartram Trail until a spur trail joins Wine Spring Road (leading to the summit) on the east side of the mountain. The summit area is fairly flat terrain, and there is a 40-Foot Closed-Contour making elevation estimates range between 5440' and 5480' elevation.
Wine Spring Bald has a higher elevation than its more famous and more visited neighboring peak, Wayah Bald. However, the Wine Spring Bald summit is a location for communications towers and is surrounded by thick forests with no outward views. But by being located only 1.6 miles by road from its summit to the popular Wayah Bald parking area, Wine Spring Bald makes for a short side-trip with its own interesting mountaintop structure open to the public. This might mainly be a destination for true peakbaggers, but also connoisseurs of communications structures. In addition, many travelers will also make a side-trip to the historically significant but no longer used Wilson Lick Ranger Station that resides along FR-69 southwest of the Wine Spring Bald summit.
Meadow Near Summit
Bird are abundant throughout the mountain slopes. Such birds include wild turkey, ruffed grouse, rufous-sided towhee, bald eagle, yellow-bellied sapsucker, ovenbird, solitary vireo, scarlet tanager, white-breasted nuthatch, veery, golden-crowned kinglet, and multiple species of warbler. Mammals include deer, black bear, and marmot.
Although Wine Spring Bald is not near as popular or have near as good of viewpoints as its neighbor peak, Wayah Bald, it does have one major peakbagging aspect that is better. Wine Spring Bald is a peak with a lot of prominence, 1722' of prominence to be exact. Conversely, nearby Wayah Bald only has 162' of prominence, so low of prominence that many intense peakbaggers would not even consider it as a true "mountain".
From Franklin, NC:
1) Drive west along US-64 for 4.0 miles from the HWY 23/441 intersection.
2) Turn right on Old Murphy Road. Follow for 0.2 miles.
3) Turn left on Wayah Road. Follow for 9.0 miles.
4) Turn right on FR-69. Follow for 3.5 miles to a road intersection on the left side of FR-69.
5) Follow the road for 0.7 miles to the summit area of Wine Spring Bald.
NOTE: It is illegal to drive onto the summit of Wine Spring Bald. There is an opening at the entrance to the summit area. Park before the entrance, and walk onto the summit area. Do not enter any buildings or fenced areas.
No special permits are required for visiting Wine Spring Bald.
No entrance/ admission fees.
Camping areas are found along the Appalachian Trail within one mile of the Wine Spring Bald summit.