Gerton, the littlest sister village of the four Hickory Nut Gorge communities, tops the Gorge at the Continental Divide, about level with the height of Chimney Rock at 2,800 feet above sea level.
The oldest of the five Gorge communities, Gerton was established around 1790. Geographically, it is situated between even higher big brother mountains Bearwallow (4,332 ft.) and Little Pisgah, which face each other across the Divide. Hiking to these mountain summits is encouraged via marked trails, thanks to gifts of land to Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, from the Dr. Tom Florence family, and joined by easements from other landowners. Extravagant area views to the north and south are worth the climbing.
Year-round families, some with roots tracing back 200 years, and summer residents bring Gerton’s total population to around 250. A thriving active Community Center draws together residents and guests for monthly potluck dinners, a summer play, a Fourth of July picnic, and twice-a-year fundraisers. The Community Club provides the 14 American flags saluting highway drivers and bikers during summer months. The Gerton Fire Department hangs the flags up before Memorial Day, and takes them down after Labor Day. The Community Club also makes sure Gerton road signs greet passersby with Christmas greenery and red bows during the holidays. The Center is available for events.