Mount Sterling Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Haywood County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 2.7 miles long and begins at 2,946 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,464 feet. The Ivy Gap saddle can be seen along the trail.
Mount Sterling Road Professional Reviews and Guides
"This steep trail starts high and get higher, as it enters spruce, fir forest, culminating atop 5,842-foot Mount Sterling. A fire tower stands atop the mountain, where those who climb its heights are rewarded with an eye-popping 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains and beyond.
Anytime the skies are clear is a good time to go to Mount Sterling, with its fire tower affording a 360-degree view. Winter can be windy and snowy. Also, Old NC 284 can be closed during inclement weather. Spring has clear periods. Summer can be hazy and stormy. Autumn is a great time, with clear skies and fall colors."
--Johnny Molloy, Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press).
"This Great Smoky Mountains National Park hike begins at high and historic Mount Sterling Gap, then climbs higher to enter the rare spruce fir forest that cloaks only the highest mantles of the Southern Appalachians. The ascent tops out at 5,842-foot Mount Sterling, where a preserved metal fire tower delivers unparalleled 360-degree views of the Smokies in the near and range after range in North Carolina and Tennessee."
--Johnny Molloy , Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides).
"At 5,842 feet, the top of Mount Sterling is adorned with one of only two original fire towers that hikers can climb to capture panoramas above the treetops. And the views from the spruce–fir high country of Sterling are limited only by the weather. The hike begins at Mount Sterling Gap and follows a short but sloping old jeep road to Mount Sterling Ridge and the high country. From the ridgetop, a short climb takes you to the tower."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Start this trip at Big Creek Ranger Station (an out-of-the-way yet easily accessible departure point) for a trip along Big Creek and into the high country. Follow an old road on a gentle grade to Walnut Bottoms. Camp where several streams come together to provide ample fishing opportunities for those inclined to drop a line. Then climb the rigorous Swallow Fork Trail to the high country on Mount Sterling Ridge. Some pleasant ridge walking leads to Mount Sterling and your second night’s destination, at the highest unsheltered backcountry campsite in the park. Pass through old-growth forest on your descent along Baxter Creek Trail and back to Big Creek, where the loop ends."
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