Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam

MODERATE 37 reviews
#3 of 60 trails in

Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canton, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

0.9 miles 280 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam are two short moderate to strenuous out and back trails off North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway featuring spectacular sweeping views, wild flowers and peregrine falcons. Devil's Courthouse - A moderate to strenuous 1 mile RT climb to a walled lookout above the Blue Ridge. Within the jagged mountain is a cave where the devil holds court, according to folklore. The steep cliffs provide spectacular panoramic vistas and ideal hunting grounds for peregrine falcons. The mostly paved trail starts from the overlook parking area beside the mountain. According to the sign at the overlook, the bare rock profile named Devil's Courthouse is sinister in appearance and legend. In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla. Devil's Courthouse is also home to rare and delicate high-altitude plants. Black Balsam Knob - The Black Balsam area of the Blue Ridge Parkway includes several trails, including a spectacular mountain bald Black Balsam Knob. This treeless mountaintop offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge. The summit at 6214' is accessed via the Art Loeb trail while gaining about 400' in elevation. Walk about 1/2 mile through the forest to reach the open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows. Cross Sam's Knob and continue to Black Balsam (about a mile). The first quarter mile passes through a thick Balsam Grove and next abruptly breaks out onto the wide grassy ridge. It passes through open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows. These two hikes are highly recommended!

24 days ago

amazing views. definitely worth the incline!

27 days ago

Easy hike! Beautiful views!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains,

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked up to the Devil's Courthouse this morning. Unusual trail because it is paved almost the entire distance. It is quite a pull but it's only for about 1/2 mile to the top so it is bearable. Great views from the top in every direction!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice views, steep but easy

hiking
2 months ago

A must when traveling on this section of the Parkway. Just 0.9 miles round trip and partially paved, but a nice little climb to a wonderful lookout point. And if you are lucky, maybe you will get to see some of the nesting peregrine falcons flying nearby.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

This is not much of a trail at all. It's more like a very steep driveway. We decided to go just because we pass it so many times on the BRP, we figured we would see what all the hype was about. This would be good for tourist,but that's about it in my opinion. You can see much better views from the Cowee Overloook on the BRP and you wouldn't have to walk up a steep incline and end up in the middle of a group of people on a small enclosed overlook. But,it did have nice views for those who do not get to see them very often.

hiking
2 months ago

Not much of a hike but good views from the top. Recommend for families and tourist.

3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

The hike was well paved pretty much all the way to the top. The first half is steep but once you get over that leg it's smooth sailing. The hike is pretty short but the view is well worth it. One of my favorite little hikes on the blue ridge parkway.

hiking
4 months ago

A nice mostly paved trail to the top of Devil's Courthouse. The trail is short and steep, so be ready to feel out of breath. The view is worth the struggle and there are site points at the top showing you the different mountain names around you.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome!! Short but great hike to the top. View of four states. NC, SC, TN, GA.

4 months ago

5 months ago

Moderate because of steepness. Easy if you are in good shape. Paved half way up then rocky. Beautiful views!

hiking
6 months ago

Super easy trail. A lot of traffic because of tourist but beautiful view.

9 months ago

Beautiful! Walk until you get tired basically. Hike from bald to bald, can get pretty windy and quite steep at times.

10 months ago

11 months ago