Directions to Big Bald Banding Station

**Please note:  Driving access to Big Bald Banding Station is thru the private Wolf Laurel community.  Visitors are admitted if their name is on a visitor list at the front entrance gate prior to arrival. Please contact SARR (828-736-1217) prior to visiting BBBS via phone, text or email and we will  expedite your entry into the Wolf Laurel community and access to BBBS. 

-Take Interstate 26 approximately 25 miles north of Asheville, NC, or ~30 miles south of Johnson City, TN., to Exit 3 (U.S. 23A/Wolf Laurel )

-Turn downhill at end of exit toward main highway US 23 Alt S.

-Turn right on US-23 Alt S.

-Take the 1st left onto State Rd 1503 at BIG Wolf Laurel advertisement sign. Drive only ~200 yards.

-Take the 1st left onto Puncheon Fork Rd for ~3.5 miles.

-Turn right at Wolf Laurel Rd, go uphill to gate ~0.5 miles.

-Stop at the gate and tell them your name and your intended length of stay. Please observe speed limit while driving in Wolf Laurel.

-Follow the main pavement road uphill to a ‘T’ intersection, ~1.5 mile.

(If you drive past the Wolf Laurel Country Club, you are going the wrong way!)

-Turn left at ‘T’ intersection onto Big Bald Road, and follow for ~2 miles uphill (will turn to gravel).

-Park near big metal gate that blocks the road. Please leave your vehicle pass visible on your dashboard.

-Walk up the road past the gate ~ 1/4 mile to the gap where the road makes a strong left turn and the Appalachian Trail crosses the road.

-Follow white markers on fence posts along trail to the north (to the right), hiking up the smaller bald for ~ 1/2 mile.

-Look for nets and banding table near large boulders along the trail near the summit of the smaller bald at the edge of the trees.

Click here to view a Google map of the Big Bald area

Click here to view a topo map of Big Bald