Runner’s Foot Impaled by Intentionally Placed Nail on North Carolina Trail

Pinnacle Park near Asheville, North Carolina is closed after a runner’s foot was impaled by a 4-inch galvanized nail intentionally hammered into an on-trail tree root. Area race director Brian Barwatt and local law enforcement examined the area and found eight nails nearby. Upon expanding their search, the team has counted 40 nails up and down the trail since Saturday, hammered into roots and logs with up to an inch protruding.

The East Fork and West Fork trails are 3.5 miles long. They lead to the Black Rock summit and are popular hiking and running trails. The nails were placed purposely along the trail, covered by leaves and difficult to spot, making the area “booby trapped” and unsafe for all recreation. The 4-inch nails were hammered at angles to act as spikes. Another walker stepped on a nail but was not impaled, leading to the search and discovery of dozens more nails, resulting in the closure of the park and trails.

Law enforcement and local authorities are sweeping the area with metal detectors and working to remove the nails as fast as possible while actively searching for the perpetrator(s).

There is a $1,000 reward leading to information about the case. Anyone with leads or other information is asked to call the Sylva Police Department at 828-586-2916.


Lead Image Via Brian Barwatt

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 4

  • Tom : Feb 22nd

    This is so disturbing and sad. Hopefully it is isolated and the person/people who did this are caught and punished. Sickos.

  • Paul Wayne Dominy : Feb 24th

    That’s just Devilish and down right mean and evil, they meant to hurt many and had no one person in mind ,I would think this crime should be punishable by least 5 years of community service on this trail. Control by Law enforcement.

    • Gail lesage : Apr 24th

      My son just finished Appalachian trail for carry the fallen for veterans who ever did that should pay when found s.o.b

  • Leah : Mar 2nd



What Do You Think?