Sam Knob Summit

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Located near milepost 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway lies the spectacular Sam Knob Trail. With the summit reaching just over 6,000 feet, expect incredible panoramic views in every direction.

To get here, take the Black Balsam Road exit and head all the way up to the parking lot, where you will find the Sam Knob trailhead directly to the right of the restrooms. The location is important to note as there are several trailheads in the area. This exit is also home to the Art Loeb Trail and others, so weekends are likely going to be challenging when it comes to parking. There’s a good reason for this though, so inch your way into a spot and get ready for a fantastic adventure.

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Sam Knob Trail to summit and back is 2.5 miles of stunning scenery. The hike begins along a gravel path, and soon you are wandering through a grassy meadow with majestic mountain views everywhere you look. Each season presents a unique, beautiful landscape, with muted tans and browns, crisp white snow, or colorful wildflowers.

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Eventually, you are led out of the meadow and into a dense mountain laurel tunnel. This spot is where you will come across a fork in the path - go right to reach the summit. The trail twists and turns up the mountain until finally reaching the top, where breathtaking views surround you. At this high of an elevation, everywhere you turn is awe-inspiring.

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The summit features exceptional views of the Pisgah Ranger District, including Black Balsam and Devil's Courthouse, along with many other peaks. Pack a picnic, sit back, and relax as you take in the soul-soothing gift of nature.

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During your hike, be sure keep an eye out below. You may catch backpackers hiking in and setting up camp along Flat Laurel Creek. If you plan on camping yourself, be sure to pack your bear canisters, as they are required here. Be bear aware! Otherwise, get ready to catch incredible sunrises and sunsets amidst beautiful scenery. There’s nothing quite like it.

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The Blue Ridge Parkway. 469 miles of stunning views and incredible hikes. Near Sam Knob Summit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another must-see - Graveyard Fields. Be sure to check it out - it’s a whole different experience not to be missed. What’s your favorite hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway? Let me know!

Happy Trails!

Jen Charles