I’ll admit to keeping the miles low on our Prestige Subaru Play-Mobile, because I’ve been hibernating behind my computer much of the winter, cultivating a beard and bit of a beer gut (I’ll attribute the latter to “research”). Now that the828 has thawed out, it’s time to transform this dad bod into a rad bod, in a way that doesn’t cause me to have heart failure. For those of you like me who are up for a moderate hike, but not quite ready to scale K2, come along with me to Bearwallow Mountain.
A couple of the most seasoned outdoorsy folks – you know, the kind who show up at work Monday smelling like a campfire with leaves and grass stuck in their hair – had never heard of Bearwallow Mountain, so here’s a quick primer. It’s privately owned property in northwest Henderson County. Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy got its first conservation easement there eight years ago, protecting it from mountaintop development. I’m getting ahead of myself, though – because before we play at the top, we’ve got to get there.
Based on multiple visits, I’d say even from Asheville the easiest way to to head to Fletcher and approach using Mills Gap, Hoopers Creek, and Terry’s Gap roads. Nothing easy is worthwhile though, right? Plus, I’m in a Prestige Subaru Play-Mobile (*note: not the official model name – it’s a Forester that just happens to go a lot of fun places). The more adventurous drive is taking US 74-A through Reynolds and Fairview where the road narrows to two lanes, and offers some thrills on the switchbacks to the community of Gerton. Hang on a right on Bearwallow Mountain Road. The road becomes gravel, but if you’re in a Subie as well, you’ll have no probleM.
The trail is well maintained, but beware of some slippery spring ice in the forest shadows, even when it’s above freezing at the base. The one mile trail leads you to an elevation of 4232 feet, and opens up into a mountaintop meadow that rivals the opening sequence to The Sound of Music. Instead of singing nuns, you might find some cud chewing cows who sometimes graze there, along with spectacular views of the Hickory Nut Gorge. You can Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah too. It’s a hike I can decide to do on a whim and drag my tush off the couch, and even if I haven’t been in the woods in weeks, is a doable accomplishment. It’s about 45 minutes at my moderate pace (which I get is all relative – but I’m pretty sure you’d beat me in a race). The trail is well maintained, with some log and rock steps as you wind your way up about a mile of switchbacks, climbing about 1400 feet to an elevation of 4232. Bring your blanket, snacks, and remember that camera. We’re talking frame-worthy photo material.
Prestige Subaru wants to help you play in the828, and is giving you a chance to win gift cards and gift packs from Diamond Brand Outdoors on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. You could win all season long, and get geared up for your adventure on Bearwallow Mountain, and anywhere else in Western North Carolina. Be sure to watch the video to get “the phrase that pays” – and good luck from the828.com and Prestige Subaru.
Starting 4/17/17 through 7/1/17, Rewind 100.3 will conduct the Diamond Brand Giveaway Contest and will allow listeners to register 1 time per day contest to win a prize pack from Diamond Brand Outdoors valued at $50. Winners will be contacted 5/1, 6/1 and 7/1.
These rules, plus those bulleted below, comprise the rules for this Contest:
Former TV weatherguy who never got it right, til the day I predicted mostly cloudy skies with a 100% chance of unemployment. I've survived stints as a morning radio host, stay-at-home dad, and lab assistant. All left me with with varying degrees of side-effects, which somehow combined to make me a good fit to be the editor/video producer of the828.com.