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Sam Knob Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall 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.

Length 2.5 mi Elevation gain 492 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

There may be temporary closures during winter months. Please check with the park before visiting: https://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/black-balsam/sam-knob. Hikers recommend ice spikes if you will be hiking in the winter. You can also do Sam's Knob Loop by combining the Sam Knob Trail, Little Sam Knob Trail, Mountain-to-Sea Trail, and the Flat Laurel Creek Trail. This route passes several waterfalls and creeks along the way. Take the short spur off Sam Knob Trail to the top of Sam Knob, reaching 6068 ft.

Pit toilet at trailhead.

The the BLue Ridge Parkway to MM 240 and turn on FR816 (Black Balsam Road). Follow this road to the end where the trailhead is located.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (237)
Photos (388)
Recordings (197)
Completed (665)
Alex Halfmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingMuddy

Great hike. Start to the right of the outhouse. 5 min walk to a field, go through the field then take the trail to the right and head up the mountain. Trail was muddy but it did rain right before we got on it. I recommend wearing pants as you’ll brush against a lot of grass in the field and trail is narrow going up and down. There were a few large rocks/steps to navigate but even the most amateurs hikers in our group made it slow and steady. Stunning views at the top. Bring a lunch and sit to enjoy the view. May also want a jacket if clouds/rain in the forecast.

Damon Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky
View Damon's Recording
Lauren Langsam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

This trail was a little more strenuous than I thought it would be; however, it was a fun trail! It had a little bit of everything! There is a lot of vegetation at the top which can make it difficult to find a good spot to relax if there are a lot of people at the top with you. But other than that, would love to do this trail again!

Ali Jaffry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingRocky

Phenomenal trail to do during the warmer months. A small group of ours camped up towards the base of the mountain after hiking from the Art Loeb trailhead towards and checking out Tennet Mountain. We decided to hike up to the summit the following morning for sunrise. Great experience overall just make sure to pack for cold weather if you plan on backpacking. The winds during the night were outrageous and difficult to sleep through. Splendid views at the summit though.

Hayley Blackwell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful trail and views but there are some tricky spots.

Nicholas Gustafson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 19 2020
Hiking

Sam’s Knob -> shining rock and back. Great hike, a lot of open grass fields

View Nicholas's Recording
Kyra Pruitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Mar 17 2020
HikingMuddyWashed out
View Kyra's Recording
Mason Kazer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jan 16 2020
HikingRocky

Luckily the parkway was open! Easy to follow trail, minimal elevation gain til the end, with nice flat sections in between. Great view!

View Mason's Recording
Whitney Redfern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 07 2019
Hiking

Great trail for the fam! Gorgeous views at the top. Highly recommend.

Travis Mathis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 16 2019

easy to moderate.. depending on you. crossing through wildflower fields you can see the summit. ascends from marker up. amazing views and theres even a spot to do a bit of rock climbing with even better views then the summit.

Mike Trimble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 11 2019
Hiking

Great trail with fantastic views. Access the trailhead via the Black Balsam Knob Road off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to check the NPS (National Park Service website for BRP road closure before you go since this road is frequently closed in the winter months. The Trailhead is that the end of Black Balsam Knob Road, has plenty of parking and a privy for men and women (except that the privy is a mess and one of the grossest places on the face of the earth. That said, the trail to Sam Knob is easy to follow and easy to moderate except for the last half mile where summit ascent starts. The effort is well rewarded though because the views from the top are spectacular and 360 degrees. Highly recommend this fairly easy hike.

Marissa Metro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 03 2019
HikingMuddy

Really good views and hiking on ridges!!!

View Marissa's Recording
Jill Cripe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 29 2019
MuddyRocky

Panoramic views, steady incline. Some rocky areas. Took about an hour to top.

Wayne Schwiegerath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 22 2019
Hiking

Great hike with the dog. More than just a gravel trail to walk. Loved going from the forest to the rocky bald. Views were breath taking. Have never seen so many red berries and red leaves. As with other reviews. Stay to the right at the beginning fork. Trail very well defined and easy to follow. Great hike.

Whitney Redfern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Oct 15 2019
Hiking

Excellent hike for the family! My kids did great (ages 7 & 5). Gorgeous views at the top. Would do again in a heartbeat.

Allison Moser Peck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 27 2019
Hiking

Short but rigorous trail. We did not branch off and the trail took about 1.5 hours. The trail was well maintained and had quite a bit of traffic for a Friday. Walking stick and hiking shoes are a must. Great views from the top!

Jessica King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 23 2019
HikingRocky

Love this little trail! There are some rock scrambled, so good shoes are suggested, but the views are beautiful and unique. The walk across the wildflower field is absolutely gorgeous, and the views from the top of the knob are beautiful as well. Very well maintained trail.

Angie ***
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Spectacular scenery and lots of fall wildflowers. The view from the top is amazing. Lots of friendly people on the trail today. We arrived mid morning and got the last parking spot in the lot.

View Angie's Recording
Amanda Rich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 08 2019
HikingRockyScramble
Matthew Garvin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 02 2019
Hiking

Excellent little hike with spectacular views at the top. I’ll certainly return for an overnight camp excursion soon.

In Constant Pursuit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 30 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Interesting trail. Very rocky, so wear good footwear and I recommend a hiking pole. Some very good views of the surrounding mountains. Walk through various specimens of trees, plants, and wild flowers. Trail is muddy in some places. Short and relatively flat hike (elevation gain is less than 500 ft.). As always, carry plenty of water. Note... even though we didn't see any bears there are notices and warnings that bear are active in this area. The day we hiked there was a lot of traffic so that probably kept the bears away from the area along the trail. We recommend this trail when you're traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Michelle Campanis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 26 2019
HikingMuddy

very nice trail- no signage, trail starts by restroom in Black Balsam parking lot. Amazing wildflowers, birds and butterflies first part of hike and then accends into steep shaded climb. Not difficult but easy to take a spill- poles are helpful.

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