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Snowball Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Weaverville, 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 May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.9 mi Elevation gain 1,994 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Road biking

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Trail starts near the entrance of the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area and follows the MST briefly before veering north on the Snowball Mountain Trail. There is a short but difficult climb to the top of Snowball Mountain followed by a moderate descent down the peak's narrow ridge. Highlight of the hike is the dramatic view from Hawkbill Rock. However, you must first overcome a challenging but enjoyable rock scramble in order to access the scenic outcropping.

Restroom facilities and picnic tables are available at the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area at the end of the road.

Blue Ridge Parkway (828) 298-0398; nps.gov/blri

Look for the trailhead before a park gate that leads to Craggy Gardens Picnic Area. Begin the hike by following the white-blazed MST west and slightly uphill. After 0.1 mile veer right to stay on the yellow-blazed trail on the Snowball Mountain Trail. If hiking in the summer or fall, it is a good idea to wear pants in order to protect your legs from stray thorns, nettles and poison ivy.

Follow the Blue Ridge Parkway north to mile marker 367.5 and turn left onto Craggy Gardens Picnic Area Road. The closest parking to the trailhead is located off the side of the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area Road, at a sharp right-hand turn and just before a park gate. If there are not available spaces alongside the road, continue to the main parking and picnic area and begin your hike by backtracking along the road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (204)
Photos (111)
Recordings (167)
Completed (294)
Sarah Lima
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 14 2020
HikingScramble

Great variable terrain, payoff peeps of surrounding hills and mountains, and that view from Hawk’s Bill is lovely. Spotted a 150# black bear yearling around mile 2!

Brandon Horak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020

On the tougher side of moderate but absolutely worth the effort. Nicely shaded for the vast majority of the go with a few rocky outcroppings that provide fantastic valley views. Watching low clouds cascade over nearby ridge lines is mesmerizing if you're lucky and get the right conditions.

Liam Hirapara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 24 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

This was a pretty nice trail, but more of a forest trail than a mountain trail. The end is very anti-climactic with no fire tower, but the end is good for a picnic and hawksbill rock (about 1.5 miles into the hike) has some pretty good views anyways. You have to scramble on the rocks, but it isn’t as bad as it looks. The trail was slightly muddy and very foggy around 8:30 in the morning, and it was slightly cold. Overall this hike is a pretty good forest trail, and it took us about 3 hours.

Jessica Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

Great workout... anticlimactic ending. But the walk through the forest was lovely and cool. I’m sure the views would be awesome in the winter.

Shaughn Hutchinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 30 2020
Hiking

Beautiful view from Hawks Bill. The snowball fire tower is no longer there so it was an anticlimactic end to the hike. Some steep sections. Well maintained trail.

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Keith Jordan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Met a trail worker who gave me the low down on the hike. Good hike but with a lot of up hill hiking. Stopped around Hawksbill Rock, well worth the walk!

Nina Hassing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Loved this trail and the views at AMAZING about 2-3 miles in You can turn around whenever, but it’s an awesome workout for sure!

Carrie Mann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 11 2020
Backpacking

Gorgeous early-spring ridgeline views. I’d rate it moderate — the climb on the way back is steep, but relatively short.

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Janet Hargette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 04 2020
Hiking

Did not do the Snowball Trail but walked up 63A from Stony Fork Road to Hawksbill Creek. Lovely walk up the creek among lots of wildflowers! Eventually hit forest road again and travelled it up to the Snowball Trail at the Gap. Beautiful day.

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Nicholas Logie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 03 2020
Hiking

I only made it to hawks bill and back (1.7 mi each way) moderate. The rock scramble going up to hawks bill wasn’t as difficult as I thought. I’m 25 and in decent shape but I did it carrying an 8 mo old 20 lb baby my back so you can probably do it too. There’s an awesome flat rock with a beautiful view so bring some snacks sit back and catch a tan!

Lucretia Pintacuda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Apr 02 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow
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Polina Bondarchuk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 30 2020

great hike, beautiful views

Amy Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Mar 26 2020

Dont expect views in the summer except for at the incredible rocky knob you'll pass along the way. If you can go when the leaves are off the trees, this is key! Great views intermixed into the hike with no leaves! I actually really enjoyed this hike!

Danielle Larson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 09 2020
HikingIcyMuddyScrambleSnow

This trail is dog-friendly; however, near Hawk Bill Rock you need to scramble up a decently steep rock. My 5 year old 90 lb lab mix was able to handle it while wearing boots with great traction, but some dogs might not be able or willing to do that. The way down the rock was even more sketchy with our dog. The view from Hawk's Bill Rock is beautiful and the best view in my opinion. If you're looking for a shorter hike with a beautiful view, you can stop there. There wasn't much of a view from the Snowball Fire Tower (which the actual tower has been moved). This hike was beautiful and well worth the view. There was a lot of incline and decline throughout the hike. So be prepared on your way back to still have to ascend. I consider myself in decent shape and this was difficult on the way back due to the length and incline. At one point, my dog laid down for a bit because he was exhausted. Be careful of the ice and mud. There were some very slippery spots. We started around 1pm on a Monday and there were a lot of people and pups in the beginning. However, the further we got on the trail, the less people were around.

View Danielle's Recording
Rachel Carroll
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 30 2019

great hike, we went all the way to the snowball tower, but should have just turned around at the hawksbill view. I see what they mean by slippery with leaves! the second half was steep downhill on the way there making coming back up tough. the view is worth it!

Sarah Mackenzie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Dec 27 2019
Hiking

Amazing hike, view from rocks is well worth the scramble.

Carrie West
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 17 2019
HikingOff trailScramble

A great hike if you can get to it! When the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed, you cannot get to the trailhead by the alternate route because Stoney Fork Rd. is also closed. Google maps does not tell you that important info! You can park near the road closure and do some walking and bushwhacking up the back side to get to the trail. Definitely have your app open and a fully charged phone if you choose this option! I'm giving it 5 stars because we had a very nice adventure and were rewarded with great views!

Chris Schneider
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 27 2019
HikingRocky

Had a blast hiking this trail. Great views, a little rocky, and a little wet due to recent fall rains. Most definitely worth doing for the views.

Cathy Webster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 25 2019
Hiking

Nice trail, great fall colors, slippery due to falling/wet leaves. No view at fire tower ruins. Hawksbill has great views. Large bear sighting on trail-at water spout/ wet area near top, but no interaction. I was happy to have my dog with me!

Alison Mann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Oct 08 2019
Hiking

This is a great trail but I would lean towards the hard end of moderate. There was a lot more up and down than I anticipated and some interesting rock scrambles. I appreciated the obvious trail maintenance but I think switchbacks on this trail would make it fit more of a moderate rating. It was misty/foggy all day when we went but still absolutely gorgeous. That said, there is absolutely no view on a day like that. You’re just out there for the hike and good company.

Leslie McLain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

I parked at Craggy Picnic area and walked down to the trailhead on MST. That was a beautiful little part of the trail, rocky and rooty, but pretty. Rather than Snowball I stuck to the Forest Service Road....I think it’s called Stoney Fork. All in all it was a lovely mini-hike!

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Andres Gutierrez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 29 2019
HikingRocky
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