Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews
#21 of 48 trails in

Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Tuckasegee, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
383 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

forest

views

Short loop trail to the top of Richland Balsam. No views from the top, but there is a large rock with the USGS survey marker.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike, not lengthy or excessively strenuous, however, you’ll want to be sure footed and not contemplating a knee replacement. Because likely, you’ll be scheduling it shortly afterwards. The views are at the start of the hike so enjoy them at the beginning and the end. Although this is an up-and-back hike, because of the loop, you’ll have a variety of trail scenery. It’s fresh and clean flora and fauna. And if there are any trail guides in the little kiosk at the start of the hike, you’ll be able to do a self guided tour following the posts along the way. Or like us, since there were none left, we made up our own guesses as to what was being singled out as unusual and educational. We went early/mid September, over cast but still worth the drive and hike from Sapphire.

hiking
28 days ago

A nice little loop trail that climbs through the balsam forest. The trail is pretty and smells like Christmas. It's a great walk for the dogs but can be steep in spot going up and looping around. The view from the BRP overview is amazing- a great place to setup for a picnic.

hiking
2 months ago

Steep but nice loop through balsam forest. No real views but beautiful canopy of trees and moss covered rocks. Parts of the trail are quite overgrown but push on through because it’s worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

I love this little trail! It’s a great leg-stretcher for those driving the BRP. While there are only a couple of spots with mountain views, the forest setting is serene and lovely.

4 months ago

Short hike but disappointing by not having a view at the summit

hiking
5 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

If you are interested in landscapes and scenic views, pass on this trail. The best scenic view is from the parking lot.

The forest itself isn't all that photographic either. A lot of scrub brush and scraggly pines.

5 months ago

Nice hike, wooded. Quiet

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nice hike to the summit. Trail is well marked and clean. Not a lot of views on the way up but the forest is beautiful it opens up a little more on the return loop to give some amazing views Definitely worth the trip. Hope to do again

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Download and print your own trail guide before taking hike as none was available at the site. Wasn't sure how high it went and there was no cell service available. We gave up right before a steep climb to marker 13...maybe we would have gone for it had we known that would take us to the summit and the downward loop back. Beautiful, cool, quiet except for an irritated squirrel, lots of photo opportunities, a world of its own.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nice hike through a variety of pine forest trails. Enjoyed the canopies with layers of soft pine needles underfoot. The summit was completely silent - no cars, birds, or people -just the wind in the pines. We had a great picnic lunch with the trail to ourselves. We'll be back

hiking
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Good for dogs!

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

A pleasant, short hike. Mostly in the forest, with only one overlook near the end. Lots of interesting smells. It's worth a stop to stretch the legs.

hiking
Friday, October 21, 2016

A nice climb through the forest to the summit of Richland Balsam Mountain (elevation 6410 feet). Only a couple pretty views on the return part of the loop (the Parkway side of the trail). On the way back, you pass above the Richland Balsam Overlook...the highest point on the BRP. It is unseen but not unheard. Given the cover on the trail, it can get a little slick in some of the rocky and steeper spots. There are beautiful views and a nice picnic area by the trailhead at the Haywood Jackson Overlook (mile 431.0).

hiking
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Walk in a dense forest. The info sheet was missing, which is not good for a nature trail. Views are limited. The Haywood Jackson Overlook where this trail start have great views however.

hiking
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The only views were on the return side of the loop. It was really foggy and wet but still easy to navigate. Not a bad hike but was wanting more

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Close to Waynesville and a pretty drive along the Parkway. Our 4 & 5 year olds had no problem navigating the entire trail. Pretty trail and nice views on the return loop. Will definitely do it again.

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

A little overgrown in parts, and the summit view isnt exactly the best, but the back half of the trail makes it so worthwhile! not to mention the whole trail smells like christmas trees!! great trail for beginners who need a little extra challenge.

hiking
Friday, May 27, 2016

The paved section quickly becomes gravel which only lasts a few hundred yards. From there it becomes single file to the summit. Posts along the way point out features described in a trail guide, but none were available.

hiking
Wednesday, February 04, 2015

If you're looking for spectacular views, this is not the trail. However, it is a great little loop trail through the wooded area at the top of Richland Balsam, the highest peak/point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a few minutes to pause at the top and sit on the large rock at the USGS survey marker for the mountain. (Great place to eat lunch. :-)

hiking
3 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

11 months ago

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

hiking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

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