Devil's Courthouse Trail is a 0.8 mile heavily 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 and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length0.8 miElevation gain275 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

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!

Large parking lot at Devil's Courthouse trailhead. For Black Balsam Knob, look for the "Black Balsam" sign near milepost 420, just south of Graveyard Fields and north of Devil's Courthouse. Drive about 8/10 of a mile down the road and look for the trail on the right. Park along the Black Balsam access road.

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center 195 Hemphill Knob Road Milepost 384 Asheville, NC 28803 Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center: 828-298-5330 Visitor Information Recorded Message: 828-298-0398 U.S. Forest Service Regional Office Asheville, NC 828-257-4200

From exit 85 off US 23/74 in Sylva, drive east on US 23/74 for 8.9 miles then turn left, accessing the Blue Ridge Parkway North. Proceed in the direction of Asheville, go 0.4 miles past milepost 422, then turn right into Devil's Courthouse parking overlook. Trail parallels the BRP toward the tunnel. From Asheville, drive 40 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 422.2. The nearest access points to the Parkway are US-276 which crosses the Parkway at Milepost 412 on its way from Waynesville to Brevard. The other is by way of NC-215 which crosses at Milepost 423 on its way from Canton to Rosman. The Black Balsam Knob Access Road is located just west of Milepost 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, look for the "Black Balsam" sign near milepost 420, just south of Graveyard Fields and north of Devil's Courthouse. Drive about 8/10 of a mile down the road and look for the trail on the right. Park along the access road.

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Reviews (431)
Photos (456)
Recordings (320)
Completed (1288)
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David Justice
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Ed Lapine
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Hiking

BRP closed just spectacular to enjoy the views.

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Brian Grenchik
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James Hilton
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Hiking

Cloudy and snowy day. Top of trail is frozen and steep. Be careful.

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Rachel Nichols
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HikingIcySnow

Moderate trail with lots of ice in the winter but still a great hike.

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hannah frala
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Hiking

just stopped at the overlook and it was really pretty!!

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Leah Pinney
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Hiking

Nothing too exciting. Majority is paved and steep uphill, then still uphill but rocky path. Very short, rated moderate probably just because it’s all uphill.

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Scott Clodfelter
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HikingGreat!
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Jessica L
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HikingGreat!
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Paul LaRoche
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Joe Young
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PH charleston
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Easy

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Terry Harris
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Jenny Bennett
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heather martin
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Hiking

Steep paved then rocky hike.

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Jessica Langston
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Hiking

Straight uphill. The view is probably great, but the fog was so thick we couldn’t see anything!

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Rusty Mountains
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Hiking

Amazing view, quick hike, very good overall.

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Sarah Smith
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HikingGreat!

Quick, easy, uphill, mostly paved. Just walk down the road to get to the beginning of it. Great views. Good for visiting non hikers.

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Dave Navarre
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Hiking

Got here before the crowds. We'd been doing mostly easy to moderate and with the short distance this was a great test of what moderate to strenuous is. Amazing views.

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Sandy McManaway
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Hiking

Steep Angle is paved followed by a rocky path.

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Justin Main
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Maggie Smith
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful view after a fairly steep climb.

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Maddie Mulhearn
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Shruthi Cyriac
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Hiking

nice views!

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HikerGirl Donna Savage
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Hiking

Very short trail to great view but very steep paved path

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Mitzi Johnson
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Big payoff view at the trail terminus. Connects to some of our very favorite trails on the Blue Ridge.

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Bobbie McDonald
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Laura Smith
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Bruce Thomason
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Showing results 1 - 29 of 431