Catch a Sunset On Green Knob

North Carolina Mountain to Sea Trail Parking Lot

Added by Steve Yocom

  • Distance: 7 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1,000 ft.
  • Views of Mt. Hardy and surrounding Middle Prong Wilderness
  • Complete a section of the famed Mountain to Sea Trail
  • Incredible scenery for photography

Although not as popular as neighboring Shining Rock Wilderness, the Middle Prong Wilderness is equally as beautiful and typically half as crowded. This hike, mostly along the Mountain to Sea trail, leads through forests of oak, birch, spruce and fir trees, along a babbling brook, past waterfalls, and onto an expansive summit meadow. For those in Asheville looking to escape to some solitude, the hike to Green Knob may be just what you need.

Begin your hike at the Mountain to Sea Trailhead near the intersection of Hwy 215 (AKA Lake Logan Rd.) and the Blue Ridge Parkway. You'll follow this trail almost all the way to Green Knob. It will take you on a gradual but consistent climb, winding through the forest with occasional vistas of the surrounding mountains. As you near the summit (about 3 miles into the hike), pay close attention to find the Green Knob Trail on the right hand side. If you start to notice the trail heading back down, you've gone to far. Follow the Green Knob Trail a short distance and the forest will open up into a beautiful meadow where you can rest before the return trip or set up camp for the night.

To get to the trailhead from Asheville, head out of town on I-40 West until you reach NC-110 South. Follow the 110 about 5 miles and it turns into NC 215 S, which you'll take another 17 miles to the parking lot on the right hand side of the road where you'll find the trailhead. There is a trailhead leading into the woods right in the parking lot but this leads only to some campsites nearby. To find the right trailhead, walk north along the road for a short distance past the end of the parking lot and look for a trailhead.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camping equipment - if staying overnight
  • Photography gear
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

8 days ago

Not Green Knob peak, but Green Knob trail near MTS intersection.

You might want to clarify that while the pictures are close to the beginning of Green Knob trail, the actual Green Knob peak is about 2 miles further down the Green Knob trail. The top of Green Knob peak is nice, but not as open as this area at the beginning of the trail, close to the MTS intersection. Fantastic destination either way!

8 days ago

7 months ago


Absolutely amazing hike. Very remote feel as you make your way up to Green Knob. The sunset and backdrop are amazing, well worth the hike.

7 months ago

Added by Steve Yocom

25 years young. Burst at the seems, be what you dream. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Adventuring whenever I can!

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Hanging Rock

North Carolina / Hanging Rock Visitor Center

Park in the main parking lot for Hanging Rock State Park, and the trailhead can easily be found in the upper parking lot (furthest away from the main building), and is clearly marked.

Kenton Steryous
17 Saves

Camp at Jordan Lake State Park

North Carolina / Jordan Lake State Park, Crosswinds Campground

We passed by Jordan Lake on the way home from a soccer match, and the kids asked if we could camp there before summer's end.

Joshua West
7 Saves

Backpack to Overmountain Shelter in the Roan Highlands

North Carolina / Carvers Gap

Starting from the Carver Gap Parking area (do not leave belongings visible in your vehicle) head North on the Appalachian Trail (cross the road and head up the hill past the kiosk).

Jess Fischer
16 Saves