Trail Report: Mountains to Sea Trail Over Blackstock Knob to Balsam Gap, Mt. Mitchell State Park
We've been talking a whole lot about the West Coast, so we thought we'd swing over to the East for today's feature. This trail is rumored to be one of the best in North Carolina, and we think Meanderthals is a great resource for learning about hikes all across the country. -Victoria
Hiking among the giants of the East. That’s what you’re doing when you take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell State Park for this trek on the Mountains to Sea Trail in the Black Mountains. With fabulous views of the Blacks and the Great Craggy Range, and closeup experiences with gnarly old growth fir and spruce krummholz, this stretch of the MtS is some of the best of the North Carolina high country. The trail climbs through ancient forest, past moss-covered granite outcrops, to the crest of the ridge and Blackstock Knob summit. From here you can almost reach out and touch Mt. Mitchell, the tallest peak in the East. Descend to Balsam Gap, then return on perhaps the most scenic stretch along the entire length of the Parkway. We thoroughly enjoyed this hike on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 beginning at 11:00AM and ending about 5:30PM. Our plan was to take the Mountains to Sea Trail from Mt. Mitchell State Park across Blackstock Knob and down to Balsam Gap, then return along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
For the full trail report, including ratings, maps, and tips, click here!