Colbert Ridge Trail is a 7.2 mile out and back trail located near Burnsville, NC that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and camping and is accessible from April until November.
Did this as an out and back to Winter Star in late October. Enjoyable trail, well maintained, with a very nice set of overlooks about 2 miles in before the trail gets tougher. The piled loose leaves did make it a little slick, and the last 1/2 mile of CRT is a little dicey, but not bad if you take your time.
Much colder than I expected today, with light snow at the top and major winds the whole way.
I gave this 4 stars because there isn't much to look at on the way up. Used it to get to the Black Mountain Crest and this joker was tough with a loaded pack. Constant drive upwards. I was so glad when we got to Deep Gap. If I do it again, I will plan for a shorter trip or learn the ways of an ultralighter.
Great I would definitely do it again
5 stars for physical challenge. I took this trail down from Deep Gap as part of an overnight loop using Buncome, Big Tom, BMCT, and Colbert Ridge. At this time, the trail was well maintained, trees cleared, and very well blazed, perhaps even over blazed. Rain and mist made the rocks a little treacherous but I got down with just a bruise or two.... Saw a sign that this trail maintained by NC HighPeak. (August 1, 2014) Trail sign at Deep Gap says "Most Difficult" Trail sign at other end on SR1158 says "More Difficult" That might be accurate for the first couple miles starting from SR 1158 but this trail is a bruiser from either direction if taken end to end.
I took this trail to go up to the Black Mountain Crest Trail. Views-wise it doesn't offer much views but the challenge is great. After 2.5 miles into the trail the trail is took a turn for the worse. It was steep and did not offered much of a break. Grueling 1.5 miles but for the hikers that appreciate a challenge it's awesome! But the trip is worth it. The day was cloudy so it took away from great pictures but still the views were spectacular. I recommended for anybody that's up for a challenge.
The trail is OK up to the half-way point with a couple of nice rock overlooks. After that, things get pretty sketchy. The last mile is nothing but a bushwhack through rhododendron tunnels and blowdowns from the 2010 winter storms. The tread, if you can call it that, is mainly over steep,wet rockfalls that you will slip and fall over many, many times. Pretty dangerous, actually. When I got to the junction with the Black Mountain Crest Trail at Deep Gap, there was no sign, blazes, no indication whatsoever where I was. Beyond the rock overlooks, this is really just a derelict trail. Not worth a half day of hiking to get beaten up that badly.