Explore the best trails near Tuckasegee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
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).
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.
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. :-)