Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam

MODERATE 81 reviews
#4 of 66 trails in

Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
0.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
275 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam are two short moderate to strenuous out and back trails off North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway featuring spectacular sweeping views, wild flowers and peregrine falcons. Devil's Courthouse - A moderate to strenuous 1 mile RT climb to a walled lookout above the Blue Ridge. Within the jagged mountain is a cave where the devil holds court, according to folklore. The steep cliffs provide spectacular panoramic vistas and ideal hunting grounds for peregrine falcons. The mostly paved trail starts from the overlook parking area beside the mountain. According to the sign at the overlook, the bare rock profile named Devil's Courthouse is sinister in appearance and legend. In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla. Devil's Courthouse is also home to rare and delicate high-altitude plants. Black Balsam Knob - The Black Balsam area of the Blue Ridge Parkway includes several trails, including a spectacular mountain bald Black Balsam Knob. This treeless mountaintop offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge. The summit at 6214' is accessed via the Art Loeb trail while gaining about 400' in elevation. Walk about 1/2 mile through the forest to reach the open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows. Cross Sam's Knob and continue to Black Balsam (about a mile). The first quarter mile passes through a thick Balsam Grove and next abruptly breaks out onto the wide grassy ridge. It passes through open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows. These two hikes are highly recommended!

scenic driving
2 hours ago

At first I was like this trail is .9 miles and moderate...whats the catch. It is very steep but well worth the stop along Blue Ridge Parkway. Great views from the top that go for 100s of miles.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Impromptu stop at this trail to look for peregrine falcons. No sightings, but the view from the top is far reaching and worth the effort.

hiking
27 days ago

scenic driving
28 days ago

This was a fun, short hike to the pedestrian overlook from the parking area!

1 month ago

Awesome!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Beautiful overlook but be prepared for a steep uphill climb. Took me a bit longer then 20 mins because I had to stop and catch my breath. But the view.....well worth the work!

hiking
2 months ago

Great little trail, really enjoyed the walk. Was short, a good incline, and stunning views at the top. If you're taking your time and enjoying the Parkway, it's a must stop and see.

hiking
2 months ago

This place is absolutely beautiful!! We packed a picnic and went, the view is lovely and the drive up there is just as pretty! The hike up to the top is a little difficult, I wouldn't recommend if you have very bad knees but they do have benches to stop and rest along the way it's about a 20 minute walk from the parking area. It's a perfect day trip and coming down the mountain there's more trails and a place called sliding rock I recommend going to and bringing swim wear for sliding rock!

hiking
2 months ago

Simple but steep 20 minute hike up to the viewing deck. Beautiful views of the mountains.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Great views, but most of trail is paved.

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

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4 months ago