Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Trail type
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Pink Beds Loop trail is not actually true to its name. You will see more green than pink on this hike. The name is said to be historical. This route will take you on a diverse nature walk through a rare high-elevation blog as you hike deep into the woods. The trail itself is described as "mostly flat," but you will traverse some small hills.

The trailhead is next to a picnic area associated with the trail. You will see a "road closed" sign on an old gate, and the hike starts behind this. The traihead sign at the begining indicates the yellow blazed route is 5 miles, although you will not encounter any yellow blazes. Rather, the trail is marked with orange blazes and is closer to 7 miles. The loop can be started going either way, though if you start by heading to the right you will encounter a bird watching area. This area is about as diverse as it gets in the North Carolina mountains. This hike boasts an array of rare plants such as swamp pink (Helonias bullata) and a varietys of insects. Mountain laurels and huge pine trees cover the trail most of the way. The trail is well maintained and even recieved new walkways in 2012 after the area was flooded by beaver dams. The tundra on this hike switches from your traditional mountain dirt and roots into something you would expect to see closer to the coast. There are points on the trail where an intersecting trail passes through the Pink Beds Loop Trail. You will encounter at least one clear spot to camp about the midway point.

Overall this is a great hike to add to your list. While there are no stunning vistas or overlooks, the forest is alive and the creek bubbles all around you. You will understand why they call this area "The Cradle of Forestry."

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Diverse tundra. Old-growth forest. Well maintained.



Trailhead Elevation

3,200.00 ft (975.36 m)


Backcountry camping
Bird watching
Old-growth forest
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.