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Ivestor Gap Trail to Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam Knob Trail

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Shining Rock Wilderness Area

Ivestor Gap Trail to Tennent Mountain and Black Balsam Knob Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Balsam Grove, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 688 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

Offline map is recommended. Users have reported that the trails are not marked well and the last section is "Closed due to Erosion."

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

My advice get here early!! Gets really busy since it’s not very steep but has amazing views. Trail can be rocky and in summer with everything in bloom you can expect to be walking on very narrow paths with bushes touching you on both sides.

This is to review Tennent Mountain adding Ivestor trail to make a loop. 5.1 miles. Art Loeb Trail has nice views and tons of Azaleas and Mountain Laurel in bloom. Popular trail so expect a big crowd. This part I’d give 3.5-4 stars. Generally easy to slightly moderate. Extending the hike, we too Ivestor trail to loop back to Art Loeb. This trail is lower elevation without the views and much warmer. All rocks the entire way with a good amount of water and mud (wasn’t raining). Muddy rating is only for this section. I’d suggest the out and back rather than adding the mikes for this section.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views!! Start early on a weekend - wasn’t crowded at 10 when we began, but was packed at 12/1!

So we started out the day with the full intention of hiking the entire trail, however, it was PACKED out there. Between the breaks for scenery (stunning) and having to backtrack for other hikers/groups to get by the hike ended up taking a little longer than planned. We ended up just doing about 4.5-5 miles of the lower part of the loop. Totally worth it but go on a week day if you can. Trails get tight at points becoming single file only. Be prepared to stop frequently and even go backwards to find a place to step off to the side (assuming your day is as busy as mine was). I have a Great Dane so moving out of the way wasn’t always easy, but she got pets and loved every minute. I give it a 5 because seeing those views today was worth it.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Firstly, during this time (April 2020), they’ve closed the road that that allows you to access Investor Gap Trail Head so you will need to walk up the steep road to access this. If you are not in adequate shape, please avoid this for the time being. To begin the hike, I accessed the diamond rock, Art Loeb Spur Trail. This was an excellent choice and along this hike, you come across some truly spectacular views. After connecting with the Black Balsam trail and eventually reaching its peak, I was rewarded with one of the best views on Blue Ridge. Also, the view from Tennet Mountain is spectacular as well. Do be aware that the descent from Black Balsam Knob is a rocky one so be cautious as you navigate that terrain. On the return route, via Investor Gap Trail, there was some muddy areas but nothing major. Overall, this was a spectacular spring season hike and one I will surely be returning to!

Beautiful trail! Be sure and have the map on the app handy cause there are multiple trails that drift off to the side along the way that may get you confused. This trail is extremely wet and muddy! Make sure you bring some good waterproof boots that can withstand 1-5inches of water. The majority of this trail is along a creek and water run off from the Knob so be prepared to be walking on wet rocks for at least 70% of the trail. This would be a great trail for older children or dogs that like to explore, or if you’re like me and you just l like to jump across rocks. The trail was easy during the first half (other than jumping rocks and avoiding deep bits of water), but once you meet the big wide open area where you finally turn and make an ascend up the knob it does get more difficult. Since the majority of the trail is balancing on one rock to the next, make sure you bring sturdy shoes and be very cautious on which rock you choose to step on as some are extremely shaky since they have been worn down from the constant water flow.

hiking
flooded
over grown
rocky
washed out
8 months ago

If I'm rating the trail, it's a 3. The views are a 5 though. We hiked this trail plus more, going to Shining Rock. None of the trails are well marked. The trails were very washed out. We encountered several long stretches of "creek" hiking and massive puddles. Many parts of the trail were hard to navigate with 40 pound packs - steep, narrow, rocky. We also encountered bear hunters just off of the trail - always a buzz kill when you're trying to enjoy nature. We camped on Black Balsam Knob and luckily had all the right gear, because it was a brutally cold and gusty night. The views are great, but the trails need a lot of maintenance.

Investor Gap Trail was very wet, rocky and muddy. The first 1.25 miles was more like hiking in a shallow stream, which surprised me as I didn’t think it had rained within the last few days. Tennent Mt. was dry with 360-degree views; wow! Slightly soggy on the way to Black Balsam Knob. Surprised to see so many people on a Monday at Black Balsam Knob, but it is leaf-peeping season... Muddy on the Art Loeb Spur Trail but more manageable than Investor Gap. Took 2 hours moving time and about 30 min for lunch at Tennent Mt. Great hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Great loop hike with amazing views. Start out going up the art loeb spur trial. Trees are just starting to change up in elevation.

I wouldn’t call the whole trail moderate. Just the entrance to the art loeb trail through the Forest was a bit rocky. Then you come out to a clearing and WOW!!!! 360 degree views from Balsam Knob to Tennant mountain. It took me forever because i stopped to set up my tripod so much. I only did half the trail before I had to turn around before dark. I’ll come back and camp for sure!

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

I hiked this trail in foggy conditions so I can not give much about look out views. The hike it’s self was easy. Watch your feet because there are a few loose rocks. The path it pretty well maintained there are parts where the vegetation is over grown into the narrow path, so would suggest not wearing shorts. The hike was a lot of fun and the flowers, trees, and birds were beautiful. I brought my dog and she had no problems doing this hike and she had a blast!

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

Nice hike.. unfortunately cloudy wet and windy. Views would have been awesome if clear...will have to do again. Fairly over grown in many places but not horrible...but late summer and before killing cold expected when trails are narrow. The All Trails red route on the ridge, separate from the dotted line, was heavily eroded, narrow, very rocky but would have great views to the east. the dotted line trail would have views to the west. Overall a moderate hike. Oct 5, 2019

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