Jonas Ridge Trail is a 1.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Newland, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length1.6 miElevation gain400 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashkid friendlyHikingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildlife
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Getting There

The flat Jonas Ridge Trail begins in Gingercake Acres and takes you over Gingercake Mountain and ends at the top of Sitting Bear Mountain. This section is relatively flat and easy. Unofficially, you can travel from the end of the trail down a steep slope until you reach the Hawksbill Mountain Trail. The trail has some great views on the cliffs of Sitting Bear Mountain with a campsite up trail not far from the cliffs with a great view south. You can access this trail from the parking at Gingercake Acres, Halfway Trail, Sitting Bear Mountain Trial, and Hawksbill Mountain Trail.

Small parking area at end of road, road near parking has many ruts so need vehicle with high clearance. You can also access Sitting Bear Mountain from an alternate trailhead on Table Rock Road, with a much steeper ascent.

Grandfather Ranger District District Ranger, Nicholas Larson 109 Lawing Drive Nebo, NC 28761 (828) 652-2144

From Boone: Take NC 105 south, turn left at NC 181/US-221, keep straight on NC 181 south, turn right into the second entrance of Gingercake rd., turn left at Table Rock rd., turn right on Valley dr., turn left at Grandview cir., stay right at fork, turn right at T-intersection, take first left, trailhead is at the high point of the development and the end of the road. From Morganton: Take NC 181 north to first entrance to Gingercake rd. and use the same directions as above.

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Reviews (40)
Photos (30)
Recordings (24)
Completed (90)
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Durp Murp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2021
Walking

Awesome hike. It was our first time and we brought our kids 12&5 and they did great. The view was amazing and we definitely will be coming back. We were confused with the parking and I think we parked in someone’s private parking but I’m not too sure. There weren’t any signs so that kinda threw us off. Glad we found it though. Definitely want to go back during the warmer months.

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Eric Abrams
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WalkingGreat!

Nice 30 min walk to a beautiful view. Brought our little dogs as well they had no problem

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Chris Cordes
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HikingMuddy

From Gingercake Acres trailhead, this is an easy walk through dense forest to Sitting Bear, which affords an awesome view to the east. A little beyond Sitting Bear there is a second overlook to the south. Be forewarned: if you plan to continue on Jonas Ridge to Devil's Hole or Hawksbill there is an extremely steep section beyond Sitting Bear that can be quite hazardous in wet conditions. Lots of tree roots that are very slippery on the descent but, on the other hand, provide convenient handholds for the ascent. The better way to access Devil's Hole is to enter at a trailhead marked with a sign stating "Sitting Bear" that is 1.5 miles down Table Rock Road, on the right. There are usually some cars parked here.

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Karen Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020

Easier hike than others in the area, but parts are moderate to moderate+. Important addition to the directions - basically you drive until the rutted gravel road described ends, & the trail starts there. No marking at all at the trailhead - the sign in the photo is gone. We parked below the rutted area and walked up the last 1/4 mile of the road. Much of this trail is shaded. Has two or 3 great view spots at end, but not as pretty as Hawksbill or Chimneys, which are more difficult hikes.

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Rod King
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HikingFlooded
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Bernadette Hargis
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HikingFloodedMuddyWashed out

I had trouble finding the entrance because the marker was damaged I guess. I think it would a great trail if it hadn’t been raining the last few days. At times the trail looked more like a intermittent creek lol. There was no one on the trail when I was there.

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Katherine Becker
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Hiking

Great trail, not super rigorous but interesting, good vista payoff at the end. Good short hike for kids or anytime you don’t want to be out all day. Just FYI, the directions to the trailhead here lead you via a private road- if you park there you’ll get a rather passive-aggressive note on your windshield from the neighborhood association. Apparently trail is publicly accessible from Table Rock Rd.

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Holley C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 10, 2020
Hiking

Jonas Ridge is actually several miles long and if you do the whole trail, it is actually very strenuous, as it has steep declines. You can follow it all the way down to hawksbill mountain. The trail is not blazed so it’s difficult to follow without a map app.

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Finean Williams
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Camping

Pleasant trail with great views.... But these are pig woods. Saw multiple while camping and had to yell at one. Many forks in the trail but these I believe are pig paths... Stay to the left for the actual trail, to the right for pig hunting

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Chad Barger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2019
Hiking

Directions to trail were accurate, It is a gravel road so a all wheel drive SUV or truck is needed , i was able to park my truck right by trailhead. You start out by hiking up a incline but it does flatten out after 10 minutes or so. Did this with family that has smaller children . There seems to be several forks in path but we always stayed on the left one, no idea where the others take you . Just about a mile in you will see the clearing for the first overlook the views were amazing we had perfect weather ( blue sky and sunny) So you could see miles . It definitely was breathtaking. We did go to the second overlook and then turned around back to truck.

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David Gillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2019
Hiking

This is a lush trail with varied vegetation and a soft floor of pine needles. To clarify the directions, the stretch of Valley Dr. you drive on is now named Rhododendron Dr. Otherwise the directions written here work perfectly. The very last 50-yard stretch of road has a rut, but you can park just below it. At about the 1-mile point on the trail there is a fork in the path with a small stone bench. Take the left fork. The right fork leads across a small plateau toward another overlook. 100 yards past the marked endpoint (and first overlook) of this hike there is a clearing with two paths leading out. Take the left path, and very soon you will reach the second overlook, where the path begins to descend steeply into the gorge.

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Janelle Lewey
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I loved this trail. It started thundering and we had three pups with us. The rain poured. I was still willing to finish to the end. We turned around at 1.2 miles approximately. There was a fork in the path. Did NOT know which way to go. Still do not know. I want to try again tomorrow so if anyone knows, it would be great information.

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Valarie Cassini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2018

great trail with steep section at sitting bear. Much easier drive if you start from sitting bear or hawksbill and go out to gingercake. bonus if you add hawksbill-and lunch there-on the way back

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Michelle Fortune
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Easy access and ability to connect to Celestial Point makes this the best!

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Amber Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 11, 2017

Google maps is accurate, however when you turn off of the main road into Gingercake Acres, turn left at the red fire hydrant, make your next right and stay to the right until you pass house number 6951. After you pass the house, there’s a sharp turn to the left and a big rut in the road. You’ll need 4-wheel drive to get up this section. Or you can park at the opening in the road below house number 6951 and walk up about five minutes. You’ll come to a circular area and the trailhead is to the right. It is not marked. The trail is nice and has several openings for great views. We did encounter a wild boar on the trail so be alert and careful!

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Nicole Clement
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OHV/Off-road driving

DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK FOR GOOGLE MAPS! I was visiting the area and thought we'd give this trail a try. We used the Google maps link map to get there. We kept driving up this gravel windey steep road and eventually it said we had reached the destination. It was an empty lot. Great view but no trail. After attempting up this narrow steep road in our car which doesn't have 4 wheel drive and possibly causing damage under the vehicle, we were frustrated just wanted to go back. At that point we realized what we needed to go to actually get to the trail but it would have been dusk before to long. Probably a great trail but I would not know. Find directions that do not rely on Google maps!

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Sharon Fox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 25, 2017

The Jonas Ridge Trail is actually a 2.4 mile trail. Starts at Gingercake Mountain and ends when it intersects with Hawksbill trail. You can access JRT from Hawksbill trail or from Sitting Bear trail...both trailheads are on Table Rock road. This trail isn't flat...if you continue to follow JRT south past Sitting Bear you'll encounter some very steep sections. It's a great trail and can't wait to get back out there and do some off trail exploring before spring.

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Kristen Dormsjo
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This trail was short and sweet! Our 4 year old handled the hike well. The views at the top were fantastic! The trailhead could be marked a little better but overall fairly easy to get to.

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Jeremy McWatty
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Hiking
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Jonathan Turk
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Hiking
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Tyler Marriott
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Hiking
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Brian Streett
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Hiking
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David Crooke
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Hiking
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Yanina Hecker
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Hiking
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Rod King
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Hiking
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Emily Bealmear
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Hiking
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Kevin Mewborn
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Hiking
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Dawn Dueltgen
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Hiking
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