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Sam's Knob Pisgah National Forest, NC
miles
LENGTH 2.8 MILES
DIFFICULTY 4.9 Easy
DURATION 2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
620
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Sam's Knob

With massive views for a short hike to the top of Sam's Knob, this trail often gets overshadowed by the grandeur and allure of the more famous Art Loeb trail. This also makes for a quick and easy Southern Sixer.

This hike begins at the parking lot at the end of Black Balsam Knob road off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near mile marker 420. For the popularity of this area, the parking lot is rather small, so get there early if possible. The trail begins at the smaller gated path directly next to the restrooms. At intersections, trail posts list this trail as blue blazed, however, there are no actual blazes along the trail.

Immediately after heading out, a side trail to the left takes you to some camping spots. Follow the trail around the hillside, navigating wet muddy areas after rainfall. The trail will come out to an open view, with the imposing double hump of Sam’s Knob directly in front of you. Follow along the rocky, gravel ditch leading downhill, ignoring what looks like side trails going off into the grass. As you make your way out to the large grassy meadow, excellent views are to be had in all directions. Even if you don’t climb the mountain, this short trip is worth it.

As you reach the base of Sam’s Knob, the trail splits with the Sam’s Knob trail continuing downhill to the left toward Flat Laurel Creek and the Sam’s Knob Summit trail to the right. This intersection is well marked. From here it’s all uphill, gaining 410 feet over .65 miles which is a rate of over 600 feet per mile. A set of wooden steps marks the halfway point. Views along the way up are but a taste of the summit. Although the summit contains several side trails, the main deep cut ditch that you have been following will split, each direction to one of the two summits. Look for the large quartzite boulder on the way to the north summit. Both offer 360° views of the surrounding mountains, the grassy meadow, and the Blue Ridge Parkway weaving through the landscape.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length2.8 miles
difficulty4.9 Easy
duration2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain620 ft.
park/forestPisgah National Forest
ranger districtPisgah Ranger District
1600 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828-877-3265
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.325923, -82.882034 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°19.56, W 82°52.92 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°19'33'', N 35°19'33'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Directions Trailhead Coordinates
35.325923, -82.882034 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°19.56, W 82°52.92 most GPS units use this one
N 35°19'33'', N 35°19'33'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
The parking lot is at the end of Black Balsam Knob Road, directly off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Notes
There are a few steep drop offs, so watch smaller children.
Much of this hike is exposed above the tree line. Take extra precautions during inclement weather. Expect strong winds at the summit.
Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-3 weeks ago
Two Summits. Twice the Views.
Sweet views all around. This hike is a must. You can make it a loop or just up and back. Either way, sweeping views from the partially bald double hump mountain.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2013
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