Hike to Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail

North Carolina Black Balsam Knob Road

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Pretty easy hike on the treeless balds gives beautiful views of surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains

The parking area for Black Balsam Knob is at mile marker 420.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's free to hike here.

Take the Art Loeb Trail a half mile until you reach the knob. Along the way you will be walking almost entirely on the bald which is a very pleasant experience. You feel like you're dancing through meadows and you can see the mountains all around you. There are a couple of large rock steps that I clumsily fell on and scraped my knees but the trail is pretty easy.

Make sure to bring sunscreen since you're not covered by trees most of the time. There's plenty of good flat areas to have a picnic near the top.

I've marked this as spring/summer/fall, but it could probably be done in winter as long as you check weather conditions.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

400 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Breathtaking!!

This has got to be one of my favorite hikes I've ever done! The view was utterly astounding! Our GPS didn't take us to the right place so just keep driving on the parkway until you hit 420 and you'll see a sign. The trial is narrow and uphill, but once you're at the top it's unbelievable. HIGHLY recommend if you're in the area

about 1 month ago

2 months ago

Amazing Views

Loved this quick and easy trek right off of the Parkway. Do make sure the road is open and best to arrive early. Temp were 20 degrees and the parking areas were still packed. A must do if in the area!

2 months ago

4 months ago

Beautiful!!

We went in December right before New Years and it was absolutely freezing. The temperature outside was already cold but the wind on top of those mountains was so strong and made it much colder but it was still so awesome! There were a lot of people out braving the cold with us too. An easy hike and is definitely do-able in the winter as long as you bundle up! And make sure the parkway is open. I've tried to get out there before when the roads were iced and you couldn't access these trails.

4 months ago

11 months ago

Beautiful 360 Degree View

Short hard hike to the top of the mountain from the parking lot. Clear 360 degree view of the blue ridge mountains with hardly any light pollution. Great for camping and watching stars

11 months ago

Added by Alyssa Ramirez

I'm a 27-year-old raised in New Jersey, schooled in North Carolina (go Tar Heels!), and now living in Washington, DC. I love to travel, hike, take pictures, eat ice cream, and play with dogs.

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