Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Tuckasegee, NC that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Short loop trail to the top of Richland Balsam. No views from the top, but there is a large rock with the USGS survey marker.
A nice climb through the forest to the summit of Richland Balsam Mountain (elevation 6410 feet). Only a couple pretty views on the return part of the loop (the Parkway side of the trail). On the way back, you pass above the Richland Balsam Overlook...the highest point on the BRP. It is unseen but not unheard. Given the cover on the trail, it can get a little slick in some of the rocky and steeper spots. There are beautiful views and a nice picnic area by the trailhead at the Haywood Jackson Overlook (mile 431.0).
Walk in a dense forest. The info sheet was missing, which is not good for a nature trail. Views are limited. The Haywood Jackson Overlook where this trail start have great views however.
The only views were on the return side of the loop. It was really foggy and wet but still easy to navigate. Not a bad hike but was wanting more
Close to Waynesville and a pretty drive along the Parkway. Our 4 & 5 year olds had no problem navigating the entire trail. Pretty trail and nice views on the return loop. Will definitely do it again.
A little overgrown in parts, and the summit view isnt exactly the best, but the back half of the trail makes it so worthwhile! not to mention the whole trail smells like christmas trees!! great trail for beginners who need a little extra challenge.
The paved section quickly becomes gravel which only lasts a few hundred yards. From there it becomes single file to the summit. Posts along the way point out features described in a trail guide, but none were available.
If you're looking for spectacular views, this is not the trail. However, it is a great little loop trail through the wooded area at the top of Richland Balsam, the highest peak/point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a few minutes to pause at the top and sit on the large rock at the USGS survey marker for the mountain. (Great place to eat lunch. :-)