The Round Bald Trail In North Carolina Is Under 2 Miles And Is Filled With Pretty Scenery
When it comes to hiking, you’re either up for a workout, or your not. Fortunately, there are many trails in North Carolina that pair perfectly for the latter sentiment. But not all ‘easy’ trails are created equal, either. Some, like many in the low-lying areas of the state travel along mostly flat terrain on boardwalks and such making some hikes more of a stroll. However in the mountains, the word ‘easy’ takes on a different sort of meaning.
And while this hike does involve a bit of an uphill climb (ok, it's mostly all uphill in one direction and downhill on the return), it's not a steep incline and the views are so beautiful along the way that you'll likely forget you're getting a small workout.
Welcome to Roan Mountain, and a 1.8 mile out-and-back trek where no technical hiking skills are required. Just bring some endurance and plenty of water.
The hike begins at Carvers Gap at Roan Mountain.
Seen here, the gap is where you'll find the great big "Welcome to North Carolina" sign. That's because the state line runs right over the ridge at Roan Mountain at Carvers Gap.
The other thing that passes over the mountain here? The Appalachian Trail.
If you've ever dreamed of hiking the App Trail, then here's your chance. The Round Bald Trail at Roan Mountain travels along part of this more than two-thousand-mile hike through the Appalachian Mountain chain. (Fortunately, it's only 1.8 miles of the trail... )
From the parking area at Carvers Gap, make your way across the street and begin a steady uphill adventure.
From the base of the trail, it looks steep but along the way you'll trek through a series of switchbacks that travel through a picturesque evergreen forest before emerging near the top where this photo was taken.
Expect to have a few peeps at the forever views that Roan Mountain is so famous for.
By the way, even though Roan Mountain has a name suggesting it's one mountain, it's actually a small chain of balds, each containing some notoriety, including trails to lead to the summit of each "bald" patch.
Reaching Round Bald is as easy as climbing steadily for about 20-30 minutes — and reaching the summit feels like you're on top of the world.
If you're not an every day hiker, it's always a good idea to bring some hiking poles. They sure make it easier to get back down once you're climbed even the smallest of hills.
The view from the top of Round Bald is a 360-degree panoramic wonder that'll have you wishing you'd made the trip at sunset.
Better still, why not bring a backpack and spend the night for sunrise?!
No matter the season, the views from Round Bald are astounding. In the spring the hike is filled with wildflowers and during the fall you'll witness progressively changing colors as they sweep up and down the hills in this long range view. For more on this 1.8 mile 'easy' mountain hike in North Carolina, consult
this link from our friends at alltrails.com.
Getting to Carvers Gap at Roan Mountain can be accomplished from two starting points: You can travel through the tiny town of Bakersville and follow NC-261 right through town and then all the way to Carvers Gap. Or, you can head just over the Tennessee state line on 19E from Elk Park, North Carolina and drive through Roan Mountain State Park all the way to the top of Roan at Carvers Gap.
Address: Carvers Gap, Roan Mountain
After exploring this scenic trail, head down the mountain to Bakersville for lunch at
this local’s favorite drive-in.
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