Swimming holes and trout fishing
6.8 miles: Moderate
If you like water as much as you like charming vacation cabin rentals in NC, this is your trail. The East Fork of the Pigeon River is a wide mountain stream with deep swimming holes and many small waterfalls. Hikers can dictate their own distance on this out-and-back path. Parties often just hike one mile to some popular bathing spots. The farther in you hike, the fewer people you will see and the more beautiful the river valley becomes.
The Big East Fork Trail travels for 3.4 miles to the Bridges Camp Gap and Greasy Cove trails. The first mile follows easy, flat terrain.
On the trail
From the trailhead, follow the gravel path for about 100 yards to a junction. Take a left for the Big East Fork Trail. Return the same way.
From Willow Winds, take a right on Sweeten Creek Road. Drive 0.5 miles and then take a left on Rock Hill Road at the traffic light. Drive one mile down and then take a left on Hendersonville Road. Just 0.2 miles down, take a right onto the entrance ramp for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a right on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Exit the parkway at mile 412, turning right at the bottom of the entrance ramp on U.S. 276. Drive north for 2.9 miles to the Big East Fork Trailhead, a gravel parking lot on the west side of the road.