Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail

EASY 123 reviews

Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
347 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked this with family in November 2017. It remains my favorite hike. The views at the top are amazing. So clear views for a long ways away. Great photo ops. Can’t wait to return.

15 days ago

Felt like coming home

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful 360 view of the Blue Ridge, wow!

hiking
17 days ago

360 degree panoramic views, butterflies, blueberries-great hike.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful hike, moderate difficulty, amazing ridge top views. There are latrines in the parking area, but you don’t want to use them. Combine with Art Loeb trail to make a nice 5 mile loop.

hiking
29 days ago

Don’t be fooled by the number of cars parked along the road at trailhead. Many people are just there to camp. Not exactly easy trail as many parts have rocks to scurry up or step through. Meadow at the top with a hum of bumblebees on the many wildflowers. Amazing views in every direction. We’ve done it twice this trip.

1 month ago

Beautiful views. Lots of wildflowers. A nice, enjoyable outing.

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful views. Great hike! Maybe, a little tricky for older folks with knee issues. Good shoes will make navigating the rocks easier. This hike should not be missed. Also, so many other places to see: Devil’s Courthouse, Skinny Dip Falls, Looking Glass Falls, Graveyard Fields. Make a day of it!

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding views and rock formations.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great, short distance hike with exceptional scenery of the surroundings mountains. I went on an overcast Thursday morning and was surprised at the number of cars in the parking area. I was afraid there was going to be a crowd at the top but I only encountered a few people. Despite the overcast conditions the sun poked through several times for great 360 degree views. This will be a great hike on a cool Fall day and I will definitely be going back.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with spectacular 360 views!

hiking
1 month ago

On June 8 hiked up with my daughter, sil to be, 7 year old granddaughter and a photographer to take pics of the kids on their wedding day. I’m not sure I’d say this was easy, lots of loose stones, steep switchbacks and narrow areas and being out of shape! However, I did it! The vista from the top was spectacular. The greenery, tall forest trees, dainty flowers and a distant stormy sky brewing (and the steepness at times) made this breathtaking. Do it, I’m glad I did. Some of the most beautiful NC pics I’ve ever taken were here.

1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful views. Our 2-year-old was able to handle it (with some help).

2 months ago

Breathtaking views.

hiking
2 months ago

Did a sunset hike here the views were amazing! I highly recommend seeing a sunrise or sunset here.

2 months ago

Panoramic views atop this knob. Nice place to relax and take it all in at the peak of Black Balsam.

scenic driving
2 months ago

One of the most scenic spots in NC in my opinion. Pretty easy hike to the top of black balsam knob. Love this place for camping! Sunrises and sunsets with a 360 degree view, you can’t beat it!

3 months ago

this one can be quite difficult depending on the path you choose. part of it is very narrow once you get up the first summit. beautiful views though. keep notice of where you are so you know when you turn back to loop back

hiking
3 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail! Initial climb, but moderate with some places to stop and check the view. Once you reach the top gorgeous 360 degree views. You can continue on the Loeb trail if you like. Highly recommend.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes. So many trails to go on in one area, and kid friendly. The views are amazing! I could stay here forever...

3 months ago

So beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

This trail gives you lots of freedom to see all the views and explore (in trenches!). It was busy, but not crazy busy by any means. Many cars were parked along the road but there are several trailheads at that starting point. Lots of dogs, too! Like everyone else said, great views. You can go far or not. I do think it should be rated as “moderate” though.

5 months ago

Just do it. You’ll see why.

5 months ago

The views speak for themselves. Absolutely loved the scenery I highly recommend for anyone. If you drive past Graveyard Fields parking area, you can drive up the road and a side road to the right (if you are passing graveyard fields on the right) will take you to an area where you can park and take the easy way up.

6 months ago

One of my favorite trails. You will have breathtaking scenery around you every second of the hike.

8 months ago

Great, quick trail. Needs a sign at the intersection on the other side of the knob (heading towards Tennent mountain).

hiking
9 months ago

This is sort of long so here's the run down. I am a 30 year old guy and like to backpack/camp or hike for the relatively quiet and peaceful experience away from the city (Charlotte) and all that. This trail was absolutely slammed with people. I have never seen anything like it. Used to love this trail. Would not recommend now....

Art Loeb starting at Black Balsam and venturing in to Shining Rock used to be my favorite hike in NC. I hadn't been back here in about 2 years until this past weekend. Black Balsam Knob Rd. used to be sparsely populated with cars and the trail was generally a pleasantly quiet experience.

That said, this past weekend, I have never seen so many people at a trailhead. I am from Charlotte so I will relate it to Crowders. It was like the Crowders parking lot on steroids. We arrived at about 9 a.m. on Saturday to hike up Art Loeb over Black Balsam and then take Ivestor Gap back to Black Balsam Knob Rd as a sort quick loop. First, there was hardly a place to park. Once we actually got on the trail we essentially hiked in a single-file line (behind some guy with a portable speaker blasting music from his backpack) and topped Black Balsam Knob to find a crowd of SnapChat/Instagram girls taking group selfies and the like. People drop their dog poop bags on the side of the trail. Tons of people venturing off trail in to vegetation and such for that "perfect photo."

Once we hit Ivestor everything chilled out a bit until we got back to the road where it looked like the parking lot exploded with people and cars. There were so many people walking around seemingly lost, dogs running around off leash (we have a dog and brought her and luckily she is very friendly with other animals), cars frantically trying to find a parking spot, etc. We parked maybe .25 miles down the road and I was stopped maybe 7 times in about 5 minutes to ask what I thought the people should do or where they should go and what to look for.

The trail is beautiful and if you can experience it during the week or something when it would be a lot less packed I would highly recommend it. Also, maybe I am just being a jerk. If you don't mind the noise and like that sort of trail mentality then go for it.

I just prefer being out in nature to get away from the noise and distractions of people and to enjoy (seemingly; thanks Leave No Trace) undisturbed places. If you are like me, I would suggest you try somewhere else.

9 months ago

Epic Views !

9 months ago

This trail was my favorite in the Blue Ridge. You can keep going for a day if you really wanted to. You hike from peak to peak over looking graveyard fields. Great hike to see mountains and the leaves.

hiking
10 months ago

Holy Smokey Mountains! I know balds are usually known for their amazing 360 degree views, but this place was stunning in the dense fog. I bet I wouldn't even recognize it if I went back on a clear day. It made for fantastic pictures and a crisp hike. Loved seeing everyone and their puppies just grinning ear to ear. Don't pass this one up!

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