The Pink Beds Picnic Shelter is the larger of two available shelters. It is adjacent to the Cradle of Forestry in America, a 6,500 acre historic site commemorating the beginning of forest conservation in the United States. Natural Features: Named for the rhododendron, mountain laurel and azalea that bloom in spring and summer, the Pink Beds Picnic Shelter is renowned for its scenic forest setting and small stream nearby. At an elevation of 3,280 feet, it is appealing to visitors for its relatively flat valley which sustains some very large pine trees and rare mountain bogs. Recreation: As part of the Pisgah National Forest, the Pink Beds area offers excellent hiking trails. An easy, five mile loop trail begins on the left side of the parking area. The surrounding area is ideal for other types of recreation including fishing, horseback riding, and swimming. Facilities: The area has a flush toilet restroom, 21 picnic tables, grills, an old Civilian Conservation Corps gazebo, one non-reservable small shelter, and this larger shelter. Nearby Attractions: The area is next door to the Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site, and four miles from both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Sliding Rock Recreation Area.
On the back end of the loop. Theres is a perfect open spot for a few tents and it’s almost encircled by the river so you have plenty of water. And at night the brook babbles and you swear someone is hiking at midnight.
This is an awesome hiking area!
This isn't the best spot in this area to camp but it works in a pinch. It is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and near the USFS Cradle of Forestry (which you should totally visit). There is a nice large picnic shelter here and there are places you can set up camp in the surrounding area. However, be sure to check yourself for ticks as the grass can be tall and thick here!
There are several trails in and around the Pink Beds area but be advised that beavers are also frequently in the area and can cause some major trail flooding and serious mud that wreak havoc on the trails making some of them impassable at times.
Due to the high volume of day use visitors and food, bears can be and have been problematic here. If you're camping here and have a vehicle do everyone a favor and store food and other attractive bear items (scented hygiene products, trash, etc.) there. In other words, forego a bear hang if you've got a big metal box on wheels. The bears are clever and often can get into even the most textbook of bear hangs.
As the description states, this spot is close to several "attractions" in the area. I try to only camp here if I'm in a pinch and other spots are full simply because there are better spots!