Appalachian Trail: Sam's Gap to Hog Back Ridge Shelter

MODERATE 26 reviews
#49 of 150 trails in

Appalachian Trail: Sam's Gap to Hog Back Ridge Shelter is a 6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mars Hill, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.0 miles
1,512 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


This is a nice out and back hike from Sam's Gap to Hog Back Ridge Shelter. Trail is easy to follow. Shelter is a nice spot for a picnic.

13 days ago

As others have said, you have to cross under hwy 26 and follow the markers up the hill toward the cemetery, the trail is on the left hand side of the road as you walk up. About 3/4 of the way into the trail there is a sign that says “high rock” - this is the only look out/view available on this hike.

1 month ago

Heads up: the map here actually shows the trail that goes from Sam’s knob to big bald. To hike to hogback Ridge shelter you actually go under I 26 and then up a big hill to the left following the white marked signs. I did not do it correctly and took the uphill portion toward big bald. I was not disappointed however as you come out along a long ridge with awesome views. The hike to get there was completely shaded on a well-maintained trail. Beautiful day!

1 month ago

This is a lovely trail - minimal roots/rocks and mostly shaded so a good hike for hot days. We just finished! That said, the hike shown on this map actually goes away from the Hogback Shelter towards . To reach the shelter you would cross back under Hwy 26 (watch for the white trail markers) and continue up and to the left. I felt I was going the wrong way and yet I was following the trail outlined on my map as shown. It was actually going towards Big Bald. That said, a day on the trail is always worthwhile - even when it's not exactly what you had planned!

trail running
8 months ago

Ran Sams Gap to Big Bald and back. Super sweet trail. Gorgeous views. No complaints.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

if you walk across the road from the parking area there is a gate go through it and follow it to the Appalachian trail, we followed the trail head and hiked a total of 7 miles. If you hike in about 3 miles you will be going up a steep decent (wooden stairs) but you will reach a beautiful field with a view of the mountains! very well worth the tough hike!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Only walked 2 miles south from the Parking Area under overpass and then back. It was a nice walk, nothing terribly strenuous, no good views with summer growth present, but a very nice walk through the woods.

27 days ago

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

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Sunday, May 03, 2015