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My happy place!

great trail to challenge your leg strengths. I am a beginner hiker and it was a bit hard. it was worth to see the view on top!

8 days ago

Easy day hike with cool views and nice waterfall. The airstrip offers some nice views if you hike out to the end. The trails are forest roads so doesn't offer much fun or challenge in terms of 'hiking'. You can also add in the Reasonover Creek Trail to make a longer loop.

Do the hike several times a month.
Great hike,magnificent view from the rock face.
One of my favorite hikes.

I love coming here in the winter and walking through the morning mist. No wildflowers, but I feel like I’m in LOTR. And not many people make it up here in early winter. If the visitors’ center is closed off, you can park at the picnic area.

Great hike! Good trail running parts of it as well, especially on the descent. The view was beautiful, but wish there was a bit more to it. Recommend, though!

Wouldn't rate this as "hard" but decent hike up with a nice view at the end.

It was amazzzzing! it was fairly long, taking us about 4 hours, including stopping along the way and at the top. lots of zigzags, and an upwards hike at almost every location on the trail, but the view is totally worth it! you're so high, and youre standing on a stone face overlooking miles and miles of mountains and trees, and it is really just breathtaking. really makes you feel in tune with nature!

20 days ago

Solid hike with a nice reward at the top. The view off the rock face was great. Pretty steady incline the whole way that is not hard. I hoofed it pretty quickly so I actually did feel it a bit the next day.

Overall a nice trip if you are looking for something in between leisurely and challenging that has a unique lookout at the top you will remember. Seemed like a great date hike or family hike.

I went on a beautiful fall day so there was a steady stream of people. Quite a few dogs (maybe 15 or so) making the hike up since the incline is reasonable and no real climbing needed. Almost all were on a leash although two were not - plus there was a sign for a lost dog. :( Sounds like a lot of dogs but over the course of 6 miles it wasnt really much.

Great workout on the way up, and the view is worth it!

Good work out on this one.
As many have stated up hill both ways - in a way this was good, it provided a good work out thru out.
The big prize are fabulous views on top. We stoped for lunch and threw the ball around for our dog.
The abundance of leaves made it a bit slippery in spots.
Well marked, light traffic.

I like taking out of town company here, especially if they aren’t seasoned hikers. It’s got a nice mix of a leisurely, level hike along a stream in a beautiful forest, with some moderately steep hills with a nice payoff of a beautiful view of Looking Glass Rock. It can be an out and back or turned into a loop, see All Trails Map. Before or after the hike it’s nice to walk through the fish hatchery, visit Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock.
If heading back to Asheville taking 276 to the parkway is the way to go. You can take the parkway all the way to Asheville (Check for closures in the colder months), but I like to take 276 to Rt 40 and enjoy it’s windy curves with a canopy above.

Went on a chilly Sunday. Trail is pretty flat and uncrowned. The Falls were a pleasant surprise. Very large and a very peaceful stop for lunch. One of our favorites in DuPont.

This trail delivered just what I was looking for as far as being a bit challenging but nothing crazy and the payoff at the top was amazing ! I went on a Sunday morning , on the way up it was only minimally busy, the rock itself was pretty crowded and on the way back down around 1pm was very heavily trafficked and SO MANY off leash dogs, which would have been fine as long as you don't have a dog reactive dog with you, as my friend did . I would not suggest bringing a dog unless it is extremely well trained and non dog reactive because it appears that off leash dogs on this trail is a big thing .

I would totally do this hike again but probably on a weekday or a colder day to avoid the crowd.

not horribly difficult. it's is almost completely uphill on the outward leg. lots of springs so the trail gets pretty wet. We did it in tennis shoes and had no issues. amazing view at the end.

nice well marked trails

We hiked this clockwise, starting out on Flat Laurel Creek Trail first. Trail was very wet and muddy, due to rains during the week. It was cold overnight, so we saw traces of snow and black ice on some of the rocks. Many parts of Flat Laurel Creek Trail side were trickling water with a lot of rock-hopping. Adding this stretch and making it a loop is a great option instead of just doing the up-and-back of the regular Sam Knob Trail. I actually got 4.7+ miles on my watch, and we did the hike exactly as it shows here. The top of Sam Know affords some of the very best 360 degree panoramic views of the Shining Rock Wilderness anywhere. Black Balsam is very similar, but I have always loved the view on top of Sam Knob.

Decent hike! Far away view from the falls, but nice overlook spot to picnic

This trail is easy to moderate depending on your fitness level and weather conditions. We went the day after raining and there were still plenty of puddles and mud. It was also cloudy so the views weren’t all there. Every once in a while the clouds would separate and we would see some goodness, but limited. Made for a great morning. Took my wife and I 3 hours starting with Black Balsalm, then to Tennent, ending with the long leg back to the car. We stopped for many pictures and rested for about 20 min at Tennent to eat lunch.
It is still worth the hike and definitely the drive along Blue Ridge Pkwy!

Exceptional views. Try to go while it is dry or be prepared for some muddy, wet areas for a long stretches on the bottom Ivestor Gap portion.

One of the most beautiful views in this area!

This is a really nice 1/2 day hike. The payoff at the end with the view is really beautiful, especially in the fall. Definitely would suggest making that your lunch spot. I would rate this moderate not hard, at least when comparing it to some other hikes in the region such as table rock. That being said however, it is overall an upwards gradient just about the whole time, but the switchbacks in the first half are generally pretty smooth and gradual which is why I rate it more moderate (I saw young children making it to the top...albeit it took them extra time). Lots of dogs in the trail. It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get up with one short water break, stayed at the view for about an hour, and then took 1 hour 10 minutes to come back down. Trail was pretty busy, but did go on a Saturday.

Hiked this with my 7 year old; took about 3 hours. We both loved it! Got a little nervous go be up so high at the summit with just the kiddo, dog and me; but a good opportunity to teach safety. It was beautiful, especially during leaf season. I would not rate this trail as hard; more moderate than anything. My son and I even trail ran the last mile.

1 month ago

Parking is on the side of the road, GPS will take you right to it. There were a ton of cars around but it appeared everyone was doing the Bearwallow Mountain Trail not this one. We backpacked down the switchbacks and to an annoyance of deadfall over an exceptionally steep place. Beyond that one bit of deadfall the remainder of the trail was clear. Once we got down the first initial grade it seemed the trail leveled off until we started to incline to the knoll. We packed through the deep forest without seeing anyone going in and only one couple coming back out. Trail deadheads in the middle of the knoll. We stopped and had lunch and watched the clouds go by. Field had recently been mown so there was no overgrowth to deal with. Trail over all was very nondescript. It was a good workout to get the heart rate up carrying the additional weight. Will likely go back again during the winter to see the snow on the mountains.

1 month ago

This trail was nice! There were a lot of rocks which made it more difficult but it wasn’t the worst rocky hike I’ve ever done. When we went it was extremely foggy and couldn’t see a whole lot.... however we did hike the additional 3.6 miles to Douglas Falls and it was beautiful!

1 month ago

This is a fun, moderate hike! Great for our family with kids ages 14, 12and 4. Some technical parts (rocks, mud, lots of roots) but my 4 year old managed just fine! Gorgeous views at the top. We could have spent all afternoon up there.

Just as a heads up, it took us a few minutes to find the trailhead from the parking lot. It’s the trailhead just to the right of the bathrooms, it’s not well marked.....several trailheads to choose from.

1 month ago

This was a beautiful, challenging hike! The drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway is gorgeous & has many lookouts. Once you get there, the trail is through the gate to the right of the bathrooms. I didn't find the trail all that well marked throughout, but fortunately, we passed many friendly people. There weren't that many forks in the trail & of the times we choose the wrong fork, the trail became overgrown. So choose the path most traveled, haha. I found the hike to be on the difficult side of moderate. I'm in my early 30s, work out every week & found it challenging. The beginning is pretty flat, then there's a boardwalk that brings you down to a lovely field, then you see the mountain ahead. The trails on the mountain could be steep, narrow, muddy, & tricky to navigate boulders with a steep dropoff. So just go slow. The lookout is well worth it! We went on a clear, fall day & could see really far. Truly gorgeous!

Amazing view as everyone said. Took me 2hr 50 min out and back. I'll take it considering I'm a bit out of shape. lots of dogs and can be very muddy after rain.

1 month ago

We parked at the hatchery at 10 Sunday morning and by the time we returned, cars were lined up to find a space. Arrive early! The trail was a bit muddy in spots and my feet were covered by water on a couple water crossings, so wear waterproof shoes. We loved the trail. My Fitbit counted 89 flights of stairs, but there was not any intense section. It somehow seemed very easy. Absolutely stunning views at the top. Well worth seeing.

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