Green Knob Trail

HARD 20 reviews
#46 of 156 trails in

Green Knob Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.5 miles
2,437 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers




Awesome day hike and pretty views from Black Mountain Campground trailhead.

1 month ago

It was magnificent!! An all day adventure for sure and the views are amazing. We started out early on a February morning, the air temperature was 26 degrees, no clouds in the sky, and we picked the perfect day. 200 yards into our hike we were already taking off our jackets and trying to cool off, the trail is nearly straight up. Take lots of water and snacks and enjoy this one, it’s an experience you’ll never forgot... we loved it!!

1 month ago

I underestimated how steep this trail would be. You can also access this trail at the head at the campground on S Toe Rd. The hard rating is true, but I loved the challenging hike. The tower at the top was a highlight. Would love to come back to this trail again!

5 months ago

Bummed the lookout tower was locked! Very steep climb up, def felt it in my legs the next few days, but overall the views were nice.

6 months ago

You can’t go into the lookout!! Major bummer. One of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done, all uphill the whole time. If you want a good workout this is it. Go prepared a lot of water and give yourself a lot of time to complete

Sunday, August 20, 2017

We took a trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway to get to the tower, it was a short 1.1 mile round trip, easy. Check out my full review with directions and pictures.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Such a hard trail! Great hike overall. We didn't make it to the to because of a thunderstorm. Getting struck by lightning isn't my idea of a good time. We may try it again sometime.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tower is closed but you *can* climb up the side if you're feeling bold ;) Otherwise the long trail is not worth it. Take the short mile trail from BRP to check it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Thursday, May 29, 2014

I am surprised by the reviews which call this hike grueling or brutal. We hiked it on a warm day from the campground to the tower, 2 hours, 12 minutes. The trail has lots of stumps and some rocks, but I only used my hands once. A few views of Mt. Mitchell and the other hills along the way, and an excellent view at the top. really nice woods full of rhododendron and mountain laurel in bloom, There are some steep climbs coming and going, but if two elderly New Yorkers can do this, maybe you could, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A friend and I hiked this trail on 5/20/14...I confess I think of the Mt. Mitchell trail while writing this since that trailhead is just across the road in the Black Mtn. campground (one of my favorites). If you looking for a sheer challenge and a great aerobic workout, go for it, but it is a strenuous hike all uphill for 2.8 miles, and the kicker (we learned AFTER we got down) was that someone had burned the fire tower 2 years ago, so they built it back and padlocked the access - no 360 degree view from the top as advertised on the map we got at the campground. Sure, you can sit on the top steps and gaze through grating and metal supports. Also, other than a few rhododendron blooms on the way up, there was nothing else of any real interest. I'd recommend the Mt. Mitchell trail...sure, a longer hike and also strenuous, but not like this ball-buster, and it has far more interesting scenery.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

This is a really nice trail although it's a fairly strenuous climb of about 2,000 ft over about 3.5 miles. Long 7 mile walk to go up and down -- better to park a car at the Green Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then drive down. Beautiful views of the Black Mountains and Mount Mitchell. The topo lines in this app are way off for this trail but the trail lines are right on the money. Trail markings are not great on this trail so the app is very helpful!

2 months ago

6 months ago

8 months ago

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Friday, September 25, 2015

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012