Green Knob Trail from Sunburst

HARD 11 reviews
#3 of 4 trails in

Green Knob Trail from Sunburst is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,024 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching



wild flowers


off trail

bridge out
off trail
over grown
1 month ago

This "trail" is crazy... in both good and bad ways. It’s really more a system of logging roads/goat trails where a machete would have been nice. I walked almost 14 miles in total. In retrospect I would have taken a much lighter pack and someone who had been here before. I second that this is not a good fit for anyone not comfortable with being lost in remote, extremely rugged terrain. I relied on GPS to get back on course several times and even then I got turned around and confused multiple times. I am not sure what the best way up is, but going counterclockwise, the first two miles is gravel. The "trail" then leads you pointlessly straight uphill through shin deep leaf litter only to get back to the road. Next, you schlog directly up a creek that turns into a beautiful but vertical tree root system overtop of a thick mossy underground spring. All that said it’s a Stunning landscape and tons of amazing unique fauna and flora of Western NC. The views really aren’t really worth the punishment but I'm glad I did it in the end.

3 months ago

I'd guess I lost the trail 5 or 6 times leading to rough bushwhacking up and down creek banks through heavy brush in an attempt to find it again. I started off on the left leg of the loop and probably fell down 10 times during the last mile which was straight down on loose soil/leaves. It was a punishing hike but not busy and is rewarding.

8 months ago

Made sure I saw everything I wanted to see ‘cause I won’t be there again! Great Hike! So glad I did it!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Unquestionably the most menacing hill I've done in the combined Shining Rock / Middle Prong wildernesses. The trail begins unceremoniously just a few yards beyond the bridge coming from the Sunburst campground. Once you manage to top the ridge, the trail frequently vanishes, but is recoverable by remaining on the ridge-line while favoring the left side. I actually descended it coming up from the MST to loop back via the Fork Ridge. My toe nails were black for months afterward! A brutal trail, but worth a tale!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hiked this trail over 2 years back. Absolutely loved it! However, use extreme caution, this trail isn't marked and the way up is steep at first. Also, because there aren't any blazes, I didn't know it was a loop trail, so I ended up hiking back the way I came.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Take heed when it says "very experienced adventurers." We weren't aware that this pieced together a couple of trails, and we needed GPS to trail blaze to stay with this route. I'm glad we did it, but won't do it again!!! Haha!!

7 months ago

Saturday, November 05, 2016

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