Arrived at the trailhead parking around 7:30 AM to an empty lot. There is a map board with permit blanks to complete. No fee but contributions accepted. The lot is small but adequate. You have two options to the top. West Fork is the main trail. It appears to be an old logging road. East Ridge Trail, to the right is more a foot path.

I took the West Fork. It starts out with a fair grade up. The trail is loose rock for the first 1.9 miles. Several creek crossings and small waterfalls. You quickly come to a huge rock that has cracked in half. The trail flattens out at the 2 mile point and is an easy hike to the 3 mile point where the trail takes a sharp turn to the left and up. the trail is more of a foot path. I put away the hiking poles and made my way up. Continue past the large rock outcropping to the left or right. The summit ends at a large rock to climb up on top. 360 views is the payoff. I was there on an overcast day so no pictures.

I would rate this hike moderate for the first 3.2 miles and hard for the last .3 miles due to the steep climb to the top.

ditto to Casey! Great Hike!

We really enjoyed this hike. Beautiful creek views, forest fauna, flora and more butterflies than you can count in early August. Hard is an accurate rating for this hike, especially the last .6 of a mile to the summit. It was raining when we got there but we could see how great the views would be if it were a clear day. Brought the dog and she loved it. We would recommend this hike, but it is a lot of work so come prepared and ready to have some fun.

This is an outstanding hike, however it is not for the faint of heart. I only recorded the track in one direction so the milage is really more like 7 miles. The elevation gain is 2752. The most important thing to know about this hike is that the AllTrails black dotted line headed to the top of Black Rock is off by a bit. I think there must have been a path there at some point, but we couldn't follow it. There is a well established trail about 1/4 mile to the east, heading towards the Blue Ridge Parkway and then turning left uphill towards the top of the mounting. The sings are easy to follow. The views from the top are amazing! 320 degrees or so.