Pisgah National Forest is a huge park and many of the top trails and sights are spread out. It’s a good idea to plot out where they are along the parkway so you save yourself time. In Part 3 we’ll cover the hikes along the Spur Roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway that are South West of Asheville.
Black Balsam Knob Road
At mile marker 420 off of the Blue Ridge Parkway there is a short dead end spur, a doorway to some of the most beautiful and unique hikes in the park along Appalachian balds.
+Black Balsam Knob
Hike along a particularly scenic slice of the Art Loeb Trail, which is a challenging 30-mile path through the park. The trailhead is a mile down the spur road, there will likely be plenty of other cars parked on the side of the road. The hike is one mile RT, out and back, with a 400 foot elevation gain. Head through the woods,
across the field, and up a bump of a mountain to its 6,000+ summit without much of a sweat.
A quick and painless way to get to the top of one of the highest peaks in North Carolina.
The lack of trees on a bald summit create endless, painstakingly gorgeous views.
Watch for juncos flitting about.
The effort to pay off ratio is absurd. There are few places in the world more lovely than this.
At the end of the spur road is a large parking lot with a restroom, the trail begins on a gravel road down hill right behind it.
Descend into a dreamy field. Cross it and take the fork to the right, your destination the summit lays clear ahead. The trail is 2.2 miles RT, out and back, with a 570 foot elevation gain. Switchbacks lead you up, there are some steep and rocky sections, a ladder in one area makes things easier.
I was blown away by the springtime flame azalea (the most I’d seen on any trail), rhododendron, and mountain laurel.
Some blossoms had an obscure looking green tomato like fungus growing on them.
Before too long you’ll swoon at the views, the summit is not far.
The bald summit provides a phenomenal panoramic.
An unforgettable destination perfect for a quick hike, or to spend all afternoon atop the summit.