Devil's Courthouse and Black Balsam

MODERATE 61 reviews
#4 of 63 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!

2 days ago

2 days ago

16 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Expansive view of the area after a short, but steep hike to the top. It is worth stopping for the view. I would not recommend going too far out of your way just for the hike. Also, we lost cell service here - make sure to download directions to your next destination before coming here!

hiking
2 months ago

walking
2 months ago

Great view

hiking
2 months ago

Great way to do team building exercises; could not have thought of a better way to start my season off.
Absolutely love being home!! #mtnlife

hiking
3 months ago

Cold and windy today!!!

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice, easy hike to some incredible views.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely breath taking views, worth the steep incline.

hiking
7 months ago

7 months ago

amazing views. definitely worth the incline!

7 months ago

Easy hike! Beautiful views!

hiking
7 months ago

Great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains,

hiking
8 months ago

We hiked up to the Devil's Courthouse this morning. Unusual trail because it is paved almost the entire distance. It is quite a pull but it's only for about 1/2 mile to the top so it is bearable. Great views from the top in every direction!

8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago