North Carolina county #31 Pisgah National Forest - Pink Beds Trail
This week I went on a three-day tour of many of the southern mountain counties in North Carolina. It was fantastic. The area reminded me of the Catskill Mountains in New York, where I spent a lot of time during my youth – except it was more: more remote, more beautiful, more of mostly everything. The Catskills always felt like its heyday was in the past, and there was a feeling of decline. Here, you can see building going on, activity, new restaurants and tourist areas, and many nice homes. The forested areas are huge and beautiful with streams and lakes and mountain overlooks.
On the way out, I drove to Pisgah National Forest, which is about half a million acres. There are many places to pull over and you are surrounded by woods while driving through the forest. There is a fairly popular trail called Pink Beds Loop in Transylvania County that I stopped at. The trail is 4.6 miles long, which I did not have time for, so I walked about 1.5 miles and then turned back for a total of about 3 miles.
It is mostly flat and easy walking. As it turned out, of the eight counties I visited this was the best one for warblers, so maybe I should have stayed longer. I got a life bird here – Blackburnian Warbler. These are a beautiful bird that I got to see several of.
I also saw my first of the year Hooded Warbler here, along with a Black-and-white Warbler, several Black-throated Blue Warblers, a Northern Parula and a Blue-headed Vireo.
You can get a lot of birds right in the picnic area without even walking the trail. The trail is okay but not terribly exciting, and there is a good bit of walking and dog traffic on it.
This first stop got me very excited for the trip and I already felt like it was a success with the birds I got to see here.