NC – Wildcat region/Wildcat Rock Trail

posted in: Complex, Hike, MUST DO!, NC 0

Gerton, NC

6 or 10 miles, depending on which option you choose

In 2020, Conserving Carolina opened a new two-mile section of trail that extends the Wildcat Rock Trail all the way to the summit of Bearwallow Mountain! Highlights include a ridgeline meadow with views of the Hickory Nut Gorge and beautiful boulder fields. You can reach this new section of trail in several ways. Here are your options:

  • Option #1: 6 mile out-and-back starting at Bearwallow Mountain. Combine this hike with Bearwallow Mountain. Start at the Bearwallow Mountain trailhead. Hike 1 mile to the summit of Bearwallow, then continue downhill for 2 miles until you reach the ridgeline pasture on Little Bearwallow Mountain. Enjoy the view, then turn around.
  • Option #2: 10-mile out-and-back starting at the base of Wildcat Rock. Start at the base of the Wildcat Rock Trail. Hike up the steep trail, past the 50-foot waterfall and dramatic rock outcrop until you reach the ridgeline pasture on Little Bearwallow Mountain after about 3 miles. Then continue upward another 2 miles until you reach the summit of Bearwallow. Enjoy the view, then turn around.  
  • Option #3: 6-mile shuttle hike starting at either Bearwallow or Wildcat Rock. Do a shuttle hike combining Bearwallow Mountain Trail and all of Wildcat Rock Trail. Start at either trailhead, while leaving a vehicle at the other. If you start at Bearwallow, you’ll be hiking mostly down. If you start at the base of Wildcat Rock, you’ll be hiking mostly up.

You can learn more about hiking Wildcat Rock Trail here, including a map of the expanded Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System.

More info

https://conservingcarolina.org/wildcat-rock-trail/