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By:  Tom Thomas - Trail Boss, Pisgah Trailblazers

Pisgah National ForestNorth Carolina

August, 22, 2003


Here is my sixth trail information and update:  Mullinax Trail Length:  1.3 miles/ 2 km one way


PARKING TRAILERS:  Horse trailers can be parked at the Turkey Pen Parking lot at 2600 feet, 780 meters in elevation. (There is no camping at the Turkey Pen Parking Lot!)  This parking lot is at the Transylvania/Henderson County line off of state road 280.  From the Pisgah Ranger Station in Pisgah Forest on 276, proceed south toward Brevard on US 276 to the first stoplight – turn left on NC 280.  Follow NC 280 for five miles to the Henderson Transylvania county line.  Turn left on FS Rd. # 297 and follow Turkey Pen Road, (a one-lane dirt road with turnouts for passing, for a distance of approx. 1-¾ miles) where the horse trails begin.  The parking lot at the end of the gravel road has designated horse trailer parking and adequate space to turn a trailer.

START OF TRAIL:  To get to Mullinax Trail you must first get on South Mills Trail and follow it appox. 1 mile. There is a trail sign marking both S. Mills River Trail and Mullinax Trail at this point.  You will bear right as the trail leave South Mills River Trail.  This is an old roadbed from many years ago.

It follows this road to an intersection of logging roads going off to the left and basically straight ahead.  You will need to make a hard right at this point.  You will note silt bars as this section of Mullinax Trail continues up the mountain.  You will go up this section of trail cross a hollar and make several switch backs before arriving at the ridge top. Special Note: (Erosion WAS a major problem along this trail. Thanks to the silt bars put in place several years ago by the Trailblazers this section of Mullinax Trail has repaired itself from a very eroded trail to a trail that has a good tread. ) The forest service reroute of this upper portion of trail also made a major difference in the quality of trail tread. Something we can all be proud of.)  “Together We Have Made A Difference!”  From the ridge top the trail follows the ridge for short period of time, goes through newly developed tread and come to the old Mullinax home site.  This is where the Mullinax portion of trail stops but also where the trail intersects with Squirrel Gap Trail going right down through Pea Gap to Bradley Creek Trail or straight ahead to where Laurel Creek Trail intersects Squirrel Gap Trail.

TRAIL MAPS:  Be smart and don’t leave without a Pisgah Forest Trail map.  This map can be acquired at Highlands Books in Brevard, the Pisgah Forest Ranger Station on 276, Diamond Brand in Fletcher, off of interstate 26 and Black Dome in Asheville.

               TRAIL ENDS:  Mullinax Trail ends where it intersects Squirrel Gap Trail at the old Mullinax home site. (A large pile of fieldstones are still present at the home site.)

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: this trail is fairly steep as it moves away from the grade of an old road bed, which was used for logging many years ago.  A variety of hardwoods and conifers can be seen along the trail as it contours in and out from northerly to southerly exposures.  The trail is moderate to hike and ride because the switch back  sections  that have been recently put in place through the joint efforts of the Forest Service and the Pisgah Trailblazers.  There are several nice views along this trail, especially in the winter.  Mullinax Trail itself is rather short but because it ends at the intersection of Squirrel Gap Trail you have wonderful opportunities to exstend your ride.   Continuing on Squirrel Gap Trail, you can expect to pass through large stands of Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, Maple, Poplar, Locust, Magnolia, and Hemlocks on the northern exposures.  On the southern exposures there are stands of Chestnut Oaks, Black Gum, Scarlet Oaks, and Hickory trees with some dense thickets of laurel and rhododendron.  Numerous streams cross the trail and there are several good areas for campsites.  Again, there are two loop possibilities using the Squirrel Gap Trail.  Laurel Creek Trail,  and Bradley Creek Trail, both intersect with it. Bradley Creek Trail also intersects with River Side Trail, and returns to South Mills River Trail.