Explore the most popular hiking trails near Black Mountain with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It’s a great hike if you like a challenge. The trail was wet which made it pretty hard, harder than when it’s dry. It’s quite a steep climb and the descent is challenging. I would have rated it 5 stars probably if it was dry. Lots of wild life.

With all of the posted admonitions, I was expecting to barely make it down alive. It seems more like the contrast between Big Piney and Graybeard is at play. The trail itself wasn’t all too difficult...just different. It’s not well maintained or well marked; however, I took fewer wrong turns than I did on Graybeard since I was compelled to watch where I was going. I didn’t see anyone else on the trail until I got down to Little Piney, so that was a nice change compared to the high traffic of Graybeard. The loose rock near the end of the trail was a bit sketchy to navigate once I was fairly fatigued from 4 hours of hiking. Some rolling sections, interesting rock formations, and shady groves make this a worthwhile alternative to Graybeard’s out-and-back offering.

Although I had a full pack, and it was 90 degrees and really humid, this is a killer loop with a significant portion unmaintained and remote after Graybeard splits off at the top. Highly suggest novices stay away from the split and just stick to an out and back. Definitely not a moderate trail, definitely difficult. Also, take a look at the screen shot I uploaded with the circled intersection. Have no idea how but I went off trail onto Harmony Lane here where the road must intersect. If you are doing the full loop be VERY careful here, I’m an experienced hiker and even I got off trail !

Starts right along Route 40, with the noise and fumes from a major highway. Turns up and away from the highly fairly soon, but still has the traffic noise. There are better hikes in the area if you are looking for a quiet hike in the woods.

Challenging climbs, makes you break a sweat. Only did an up and back, want to complete the loop next time.

Good hike with manageable incline and decline. With intermittent rest stops we completed loop in 2 hours.

Really enjoyed a varied and semi-technical terrain on the bottom loop out to the picnic area but the top loop along a paved road was a little boring at times but had a nice view at Point Lookout. Next time I’d turn back at the halfway point.

Good steep incline starting NW from trail info box on Harmony Lane (that leg actually called Stomping Knob Trail), then along the ridge has nice views especially with winter and foliage down. Rattlesnake Rock looks back across valley to Black Mountain. Easy access for a short day hike.

Well marked. Reviews were very helpful - if you start on blue trail marks, and follow big piney, then take the southbound ridge to complete the loop. Steady up hill to big piney and then past that to the ridge intersection. We thought the trail was more moderate but probably depends on how much you hike. Overall very enjoyable even though we went when It was foggy and a bit rainy. Great for a 3 hour little burner

Slippery leaves on the way down. But good, steep hike which tops two hills. About 1:40 if you do not stop along the way.

8 months ago

Nothing special about this trail. It was okay, nice to get a break from driving.

Steep climb, but worth every drop of sweat. The view is breathtaking.

This trail was a great workout. With multiple overlook stops, a picnic, and a tree climb we completed the hike in 3 1/2 hrs. Loved it

This is a solid hike with steep ascents and descents, a good workout. My wife, myself, and our two leashed dogs stopped off to hike this trail on our way to Asheville with the intent of killing some time until our cabin was available. It was harder than expected, but overall we enjoyed it.

We hiked up to Big Piney, then down the west ridge trail, southbound. Make sure you hike down west ridge southbound to complete this loop (not northbound). Little Piney is marked with a blue diamond blaze and West Ridge trail with a yellow diamond blaze. I'm glad I brought my trek poles for the west ridge southbound descent trail. It is October and the leaves can create a slippery surface.

Overall a great day hike. I would estimate that most experienced hikers could complete within 3-4 hours.

Had a bit of fun with these trails. Pulling in to find the Lower Piney trailhead (demarcated by blue diamond-shaped trail markers) can be a little tricky. There's a gravel driveway just up past St Andrews on the right that you walk into and you'll see where the trail begins. The climb starts off almost right away on a narrow, two-foot wide trail. The march up to the first rocky outcrop is the just the first introduction of the awesome views to come along Big Piney (indicated by orange markers along the way) toward the summit at Rattlesnake Rock. The descent back down West Ridge (indicated by yellow) can give the knees a beating but much more ground is covered in less time. Took the dog and I think he'd give the trail 5 paws if he could. Great hike!

11 months ago

Dumbass below me doesn't understand how maps work

11 months ago

This hike doesn't exist anymore. Can't get to the trail head. We looked for an hour. The Google directions don't get you there.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Definitely underestimated the difficulty of this hike. Four and a half miles does not seem like much, but much of this is uphill and at a pretty significant incline. The last mile (or maybe even less) is downhill, but very, very steep. I had to turn around and climb down on all fours at least twice, and managed to fall once. Part of the trail was obscured and blocked off by a makeshift barricade--it looked like a natural pile of limbs at first and caused us (my wife and I) to make a wrong turn. Once we found where we'd erred we just went around the barricade. In retrospect, I suspect it to have been the work of pranksters, as it was near a part of the trail that is quite easily accessible from surrounding neighborhoods and we found nothing wrong with the trail behind it. As for the views, they are probably better in the winter. Rattlesnake Rock is nice, but you can find better and not have to work near as hard for it. The abandoned moonshine still site on the decline is kind of neat also. I don't recommend this hike unless you're simply looking for a challenge.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Beautiful River Park

Steep and strenuous hike that was difficult to navigate even with miles of hiking experience! Fun but not that many views. More for the thrill of the hike.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rattlesnake rock was such an incredible view!! Fun hike up, treacherous at times on the way down.

Great hike. Gearing up for a backpacking trip in October. This will get your trail legs going. The descents are tough. Where's the Advil? I wasn't familiar with the area. It's tucked away in rather residential section. You really have to look for the trail heads, and figure out parking. Take a trail map!

Pretty difficult hike, great views and steep dissents!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great trail for hard hike. Very steep inclines and descents.

This is THE most beautiful hike I've done in North Carolina! The overlook called rattlesnake-rock shows a humungoes view of many ridlelines on mt's directly across a valley. in the valley you can see many buildings. I recommend hiking a little was past rattlesnake-rock and taking the connection to the west ridge trail. taking this connection makes it a 5.5 mile hike but its worth it. The west ridge trail has very good scenery through most of the hike. I hiked this in April and the amount that you can see is amazing for a summer hike!

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