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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, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.5 mi Elevation gain 2,437 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities

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

Gravel parking spot right in front of the Black Mountain Campground (State Run)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (57)
Photos (92)
Recordings (37)
Completed (122)
Vanessa Moseley
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HikingGreat!

Great trail. It deserves 5 stars, I just prefer trails with a bit more stress / exposure. The intensity of the incline was great. Nothing technical - just a lot of steep. The satisfaction of hiking up a ridge line without the stress of exposure. The cliffs on each side have plenty of growth to give you a sense of protection. Lovely hike. Great views from the fire tower steps at the top.

Bethany Marie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

Relentless elevation gain but not particularly technical. Fire tower was closed today (July 5) but if you climb the steps, you can get a wonderful view of the range. There are a couple of peepholes along the way down for great views too but on the way up, you will be much more focused on the steep incline to notice what is behind you. I wouldn't recommend this hike if the ground is wet in any capacity.

Alyssa W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2020
HikingOver grown

Hiked this right before the Saharan dust storm - it was incredibly windy!! Didn't have much of a view at the top, which is why only 4 stars. Beautiful trip up. Was sad to see that you can't get up into the fire tower,

Kristina Barnes
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HikingBugsMuddyRockyScrambleWashed out
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Greg Ott
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Hiking

We liked this trail. I clocked 6 miles there and back to the fire tower with 2400 for total climbing. It was about 2100’ to get up there with an extra 300 on the way down. Steep at times, but doable - hard is accurate from the steepness perspective. Not very technical with some rock scrambling at about 2.5 miles. There was a washed out section 1/2 mile in, but it had some logs put there by the trail maintainers. Very well marked with white diamonds. Nice to have trekking poles for the way down and bring your baskets as it is a bit soft. We went on a dreary and cloudy day and there was 0 vis at the tower. Not much to see on the way up. A couple of openings with some views but basically walking through the woods.

Brian King
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HikingMuddyRocky
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Charlotte Wright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2020
Hiking

This trail was great! Well marked and easy to follow. It was a trek though, so unless you feel like you are 7 on the good shape scale (best being 10), this is not the trail for you. Also, I have no idea who marked this as 5.5 miles. I started the trail with .78 miles on my Fitbit and then ended with about 7.4, so way more than 5.5. For those looking for something to do during quarantine, this trail is perfect though! Saw about 8 people the whole time and there is space at the top for most people to space out 6 feet apart. Have fun adventuring!

Andy Vestal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 22, 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

Nice drive to start trail. Enjoyed the river, small towns, etc. Mt Mitchel is so dominant as you approach! Green knob trail was quite the hike! Lots of steep inclines. Cardio city! Loved viewing the mountains ..... must remember to look up occasionally we took numerous breaks . The weather was perfect, I believe around 59/60. Got to fire tower less then 2 hours.... I think . May have been just a little under that. I feel that anyone with some physical ability could do this just remember it’s OK to break..... breath , and look around. It was nice to see people out on trail..... but of course we gave everyone their space

Jayson Moorman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
Hiking

Tough but a rewarding hike! It’s steep for some ways up but the view at the top is beautiful. Unfortunately, we got up there just before sunset so the fire tower was closed. That didn’t matter much we were able to catch a fantastic view. However, be sure to go up earlier please. On any hike, the way back down is much more difficult in the dark.

Sandy Lucas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 31, 2019
Hiking

I hiked this trail on a warm Christmas Eve and did not see one other person on the whole trail. This trail is tough due to how steep it is and because it was wet and covered in leaves, very slippery in some spots. Near the summit, the trail forks and if you go to the right, you’ll see the observation tower. As others mentioned, it is locked but you can still get good views from the steps. If you turn left at the fork, the trail takes you down to the blue ridge parkway. I thought the descent was more difficult than going up, because of the slippery leaf cover (it rained the day before I hiked it). Also it was hard on the knees, I would suggest a walking stick or trekking poles. Very tough hike as far as the workout you’ll get, I found it tougher than mount Mitchell even thought it’s shorter in length. If you are looking for a good workout and less crowds, this is the trail for you, however, if you want views I would probably skip this one.

Luke Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 25, 2019
HikingSnow

Definitely one of the steepest trails I’ve ever done. Roughly 3 miles to the outlook at the top but it feels longer. Went in mid-November so there were plenty of leaves on the ground and some snow towards the top that made it tricky especially on the way down. Took about 3.5 hours round trip. Great leg workout if that’s what you’re looking for. View from the top is beautiful, but the observation tower door is locked which is a bummer but you still get a great view from the stairs leading up to it. Only passed two groups of people the whole time. One group did have a dog (big German Shepherd) that seemed to have no problem with the trail but if you bring a small dog or one that is not used to rough terrain you’ll likely have to carry them for at least part of it. Overall great hike that I would definitely do again.

Jane Gary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2019
Hiking

There were a couple fell trees over the trail but nothing you can’t climb over. Great views near the top but the door to the observation tower was locked. When your almost to the summit the trail splits...right to the tower and left to the blue ridge parkway. Both have a great view!

Katelyn Sheppard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 3, 2019
Hiking

We certainly agreed with the hard rating for the last ~0.75 mile. Took us about 4 hours, but there was significant slippery leaf coverage that slowed us down. Great views at the top! Nice quiet trail if you want a good leg workout.

Jay Montgomery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2019
Hiking

Steep, bring plenty of water. Great views from the top. Hiked on a Friday afternoon and did not see another person the entire hike. Nice contrast to the traffic on the Mt. Mitchell trail.

Gabriel Cade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 6, 2019
HikingScramble

Steep but worth it. Used to be able to enter the overlook tower (previously a fire tower). Bring water. Bring lunch. Bring layers. Likely to be alone unless you see someone coming down from the Parkway side, and you wonder why you didn’t do this. Nice renovations going on at the start at the Black Mountain Campground.

Sean Patrick Devlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 18, 2019
Hiking

This trail is steep and a couple up hills on the way back. It was really great. We didn’t see another person on a Saturday. Pretty views at the top. Took about 2:45 with a long break at the top, but we were cruising. Great trail.

Rebecca Dracup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 18, 2018
Hiking

Just spending the day at Black Mountain campground hiking all the trails! Magnificent day!

Jack Haile
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We parked a car on the BRP and hiked down to campground. Very enjoyable and relaxing since at 75 not trying to set any new records for endurance. Sorta gone past that and like to stop a lot and check out wildflowers, views and take pics.

James Huskey
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Backpacking

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!!

Sara Smithson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2018

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!

Alex McClain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 8, 2018
Hiking

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.

Brooke Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 19, 2018
Hiking

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

Loring S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2017
Hiking

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. http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/greenknobfiretower/

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