This wasn’t our first hike of the year, but it was our first interesting hike – outside of the Asheville commuter section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Big East Fork trailhead is on 276 just north of the parkway.
There are a couple trails that leave from the area but we followed the Big East Fork trail which follows the Pigeon River all the way up to the headwaters of one particular branch. Just above that the trail meets the Mountains-to-Sea trail near the parkway.
Along the way are some great swimming holes. Since there was still snow in shaded valleys, we didn’t actually test this. Trout did though and he seemed to like it.