Transylvania County High Point Trip Report

Chestnut Bald (6000+ ft)

Date: late July, 1998
Author: John Mitchler

Blue Ridge Pkwy. (BRP) southeast of Great Smoky Mtns. NP. Rough bushwhack. Double thanks to Fred Lobdell for leading me up this wild summit. Although we didn't hike the required 5 miles and 500' gain for official recognition, I still can count this 6-er off my list. Park in the lot on south side of BRP just before the tunnel.

Take the paved path up the steep side of Devil's Courthouse, southwest of Chestnut Bald, and follow the gravel trail to this rock outcrop which juts out to the south away from Pisgah Ridge. Rock climbing is popular here.

Return back north along the trail and continue on over the BRP tunnel and use Fred's notes (or better yet bring Fred!) to select the proper trail around the west side and then the north side of Chestnut Bald. We hiked the trail all the way around the bald to the east side where we could see the steep slope down to the BRP.

We bushwhacked through laurel and berries to the summit, noted by an aluminum cup on a branch. After enjoying the non-view, we choose to descend off the north side of this peak, through laurel, pine, and berry and connected with the trail. We returned around the west side of this peak to cross over the BRP tunnel and descend back to the parking lot. Wear long pants. Wear a long shirt. Take a compass. Good luck.