When it comes to hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, there is no shortage of trails to choose from. Having recently moved to Franklin, NC as our home base, Caroline and I have made an effort to explore as many hikes as we can in the area. Since we are a stone’s throw away from the Appalachian Trail (we can literally see it from our house), you can imagine we have more options than we can count for weekend hikes. We recently got the chance to try out our friend’s favorite hike Silers Bald trail and loop just north of us off Wayah Rd.
I had friends coming to town over the weekend, so we were trying to decide which hike to take them on since we would only get one good day to do so.
If you know the area at all you would know that it rains quite often here since we are in a rainforest. This weekend was no different. Coming off of a few days of heavy rain, we knew that Pickens Nose hike would likely be unsafe to attempt as the drive up in wet conditions would be a recipe for risk that we’re not willing to take with our flat land friends.
Silers Bald seemed like the perfect option! And spoiler, we were right.
Getting to Silers Bald is surprisingly easy. Unlike many trails in the area, this one can be accessed right from Wayah Rd. There is another hike which we will write about later called Wayah Bald which is also accessed from the same exact spot. Depending on what time of the day you go, you will know you are in the right spot because you will see cars parked along the road to the right called National Forest Road. This is where you can drive all the way up to visit the Wayah Bald Watch Tower.
Park on the side of National Forest Road and cross Wayah Rd. You will see steps, take those!
Silers Bald Loop Hike
We did the 3.4 mile Silers Bald trail loop which is great because instead of an out and back you get new scenery the entire hike. A bonus is that half of the loop is on the Appalachian Trail which is a fun party trick for your visiting friends. It’s always fun to spend a little time on such an iconic trail even as being locals.
When heading up for your 1,100 ft climb to the top of Silers Bald, I would ensure you take the old service road which is LEFT at the fork once you go up the trail stairs. We found that this is a great path to go up, but we would not recommend it coming down as it is pretty rocky and loose.
The old service road path is nice and large and has some great forest vibes on your way up as you can see. Eventually, after a couple of breathless moments of ascending you will come to the meadow. You may think you have made it but don’t be fooled you have a couple of hundred feet left to climb.
The meadow was pretty tall when we were there and the path is tight so just be mindful of the potential for snakes. We didn’t see any, but it’s definitely something to just keep in mind before you step. I love the meadow because it adds a certain uniqueness to this hike and for some reason gives me all the Midsommer vibes.
Continue your way up, and up some more!
The view from Silers Bald in my opinion is well worth the hike. I would put this view above that of Pickens Nose just because you have to work harder to get it. Just like anything you bake — the view tastes better the more you have to work for it.
At the top, I recommend bringing a picnic and taking your time. Other hikers will likely come by, but it is the perfect place to spend an hour or so breathing in the fresh air and relaxing in the silence of being atop a mountain in North Carolina.
We danced a little, grabbed some photos, and told some punny jokes before heading back down.
On your way down you will take a LEFT at the fork after the meadow and you will be headed down the Appalachian Trail side of the loop which is marked by a white stripe on trees.
All in all, including the time we took to hang out at the top of Silers Bald – the hike took us about 2.5 – 3 hours which isn’t bad for a solid weekend hike.
And of course, don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done by supporting our local brewery favorite, Lazy Hiker Brewery.