Waterrock Knob Trail

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Waterrock Knob Trail is a 0.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waynesville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.9 miles Elevation Gain: 439 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Please note that the Blue Ridge Parkway closes seasonally due to snow and hazardous conditions. Please contact the park before visiting during the winter.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail for what would’ve been an amazing view if there had not been fog.

4 days ago

Nice short trail. Pretty overlook view if you can spare 20 min and willing to get out of the car.

hiking
5 days ago

Cloudy, couldn’t see anything

hiking
9 days ago

Pretty view with an incline but short Hike and it’s open currently!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Steep incline in the beginning! But short enough that it’s doable for most. Loved the lookout! Huge parking area with picnic tables and great views. And there’s a secret trail to get to the air plane that had crashed back in 1983. Eerie site!

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful trail! This is a great leg workout. The trail was steep, muddy and slick but worth the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Very enjoyable. Lots of people on the trail. I went a bit further to view the 1983 plane crash. Certainly a place of respect

hiking
3 months ago

Easy hike and beautiful views

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

The view on this trail and on the way there was FANTASTIC. We were here on 12/31 and it was 20 degrees- very cold and windy.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail..definitely moderate especially in beginning & near top. Beautiful vistas all along the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Can you camp at the top?

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I’m sure if we started at the wrong point, but we parked at an overlook and walked across the street to the trail. I was expecting a total of around 5 miles round trip, out and back. By the time we made it back to our truck, my step counter said 9 miles. So it was longer than we expected, but we did love the hike. Great views along the way. Trail is well maintained, but not over done. You are still hiking over some sometimes rough terrain, but yet not enough to rate as hard. As others have said, make sure to bring plenty of water, a snack for energy, and plenty of time so you’re not rushed. We had to hump it to make it back before dark.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

If you hike the whole trail it takes you from the Waterrock Knob parking lot, near the Visitor’s Center, to the top of Waterrock Knob 6,292 feet high, to Browning Knob, which is also over 6,000 but not part of the SB6K Challenge, continuing East you’ll summit five false peaks in the way to Lyn Lowry (6,240 feet) where the 60 foot cross is and the dedication to Lyn Lowry (teenage who died from Leukemia). Then the trail turns north and really gets hard/steep downhill. It’s hard to even say this trail follows a ridge since it’s basically straight down. But once the trail reaches the gap between Lyn Lowry and Plott Balsam it follows an old, unmaintained Jeep trail for about 1.5 miles, at which point you have to leave the trail and bushwhack a fairly distinct ridge to the top of Plott Balsam, where the are no views but it is 6,088 feet tall. At this point you can turn around and retrace your step back to the parking lot. Great trail, very interesting terrain.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. A little roughy terrain in some places but definitely worth it.

hiking
off trail
rocky
6 months ago

Awesome! You gotta check the Cessna crash-site though on an unofficial path marked by yellow spray paint on the trees and orange flags tied around the branches. The trail veers off to the left nearly at the top. It’s worth checking the beautiful views at the top and then meandering through the roots, tree trunks, rocks, and fallen trees on the way to the airplane carcass that’s been there since 1983. It’s a challenging ~30 minute hike from the top to the site but totally worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely breathtaking views! It was too much going up for our 3 year old but our 7 year old did fine and loved it. We weren’t sure where the airplane was, so we plan on going back soon.

6 months ago

Awesome view on this trail! It’s not a long hike, but it is straight up hill. Go the extra distance and check out the wrecked airplane! If you love hiking you will love the wooded trail to get there. Also there is an amazing look out and more privacy.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail. Steep but worth it to reach the top. Outstanding 360 degree views.

hiking
7 months ago

Love this trail!

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome views!

hiking
7 months ago

Nice trail. Well maintained. 1/2 is paved and the rest fairly rocky. Pretty steep incline to the top but the view is worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Disappointed that 2/3 of the trail was paved but it was steep. Nice views from the top though. Reminded me of hiking up to Devil's Courthouse, paved trail to start then progressing to rocky natural with a great view from the top.

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