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Parkway foundation celebrates new viewing platform atop Mount Pisgah

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation will host a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., Friday, April 26, to celebrate the reconstruction of the popular Mount Pisgah viewing platform followed by a guided hike to the site.

“As the warm weather brings more hikers back to Mount Pisgah, we are thrilled to officially celebrate the completion of this platform with spectacular views,” Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward said.

The ribbon-cutting will take place in the parking area for the Mount Pisgah Trail at milepost 408 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Following the ceremony, a ranger will lead a hike to the summit. The Mount Pisgah trailhead on the Parkway and gives hikers access to neighboring Pisgah National Forest. The 3.2-mile out-and-back trail is a moderate to strenuous route with switchbacks and an elevation gain of 700 feet. The French Broad River Valley, Looking Glass Rock, Cold Mountain and Frying Pan fire tower are visible from the platform.

The wooden structure was originally built in 1979 by the United States Youth Conservation Corps. After more than three decades of use, the platform’s frequent need for repairs prompted the reconstruction. 

Through donor support for the Trails & Views Forever program, the Foundation funded materials and contractors for the project. Carolina Mountain Club provided a team of volunteers to reconstruct the platform. The project involved the use of a funicular owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group to transport materials up the 5,721-foot peak. Vegetation around the platform was trimmed to reveal unobstructed views. 

“The Carolina Mountain Club had this project on our wish list for several years,” said Tom Weaver, leader of the volunteer organization. “Our thanks to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for funding this needed renovation and to the Pisgah Ranger District for the support. We had enthusiastic participation from several of our crews to accomplish this project.”

The initiative was inspired by the memory of Lisa Hambrick Hagebak and championed by her family to recognize her love of the North Carolina mountains and Parkway.

The Foundation also recently funded the fabrication and installation of an interpretive sign at Buck Spring Gap Overlook parking area where the trailhead is located. The wayside panel features the history of Buck Spring Lodge, George W. Vanderbilt’s former Adirondack-style retreat which was located nearby.