Shut-In Trail

At A Glance

Most Difficult

16.3 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 16.3 (Most Difficult)
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Blaze Color: White
Trail Number: 345

This trail is located in the Bent Creek area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Bent Creek trails list page.

This trail also crosses into these trailhead areas:


The Shut-In Trail is a long, historic route which shares the path with the Mountains to Sea Trail. It travels from NC 191 near Bent Creek and Asheville to the Mount Pisgah parking area. George W. Vanderbilt, builder of the famous Biltmore Estate near Asheville, constructed the Shut-In Trail around the year 1890. He used it to climb the Pisgah Ridge, linking his hunting lodge at Buck Springs below the summit of Mt. Pisgah to his famous Estate. Although parts were obliterated with the construction of the Parkway, parts of this trail still follow the original route. Hikers today will find many access points where the trail touches and crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway, mainly at overlooks. This leads to many opportunities for short day hikes on the trail, which are mainly necessary since overnight stays are not allowed along the Parkway (and 16.3 miles is a bit long for most day hikers).

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Trail Segments

Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Beaver Dam Gap Overlook to Bent Creek Gap

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 1.86 mi

Shut-In Trail (Bent Creek Portion)

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 20 ft

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Chestnut Cove Overlook to Sleepy Gap

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 0.79 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Sleepy Gap to NC 197

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 5.02 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Mt. Pisgah Parking to NC 151

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 1.75 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - NC 151 to Big Ridge Overlook/Glady Fork Gap

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 2.23 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Big Ridge Overlook/Glady Fork Gap to Stony Bald Overlook

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 1.13 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Stony Bald Overlook to Beaver Dam Gap Overlook

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 0.85 mi

Mountains to Sea Trail - Shut-In - Bent Creek Gap to Chestnut Cove Overlook

  • Allowed Uses:
  • Length: 2.65 mi

Total Calculated Length: 16.29 mi

This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.

Intersecting Trails

  • Mountains to Sea Section 3
  • Sleepy Gap
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