OverviewCumberland Knob is located at mile marker 217.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, in Alleghany County, NC just south of the Virginia/North Carolina border. This is actually where the construction of the parkway began in 1935 which now runs all the way north to Waynesboro, VA and goes as far south as the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Cumberland Knob is a 1,000 acre park/picnic area which hosts a picnic area (with picnic tables, horshoe pits, and grills), a cemetary, a travel info center/store, and two short hiking trails.
The cemetary is the final resting point of the bodies of Rebecca Smith Moxley (buried in 1908) and 18 other descendants of the Smith family, (the last one was buried in 1960).
One of the two trails is the summit trail which the distance was not marked but it is approximately 0.4 miles round trip.
The other trail is a 2 mile loop trail The Gully Creek Trail that takes you to the gully below the summit of the Knob.
Getting ThereThe Blue Rige Parkway can be accessed from I -40, I-77, and multiple Highways.
From I -40, near Asheville, NC you would take the parkway north for roughly 170 miles to mile marker 217.5.
From the parkways intersection with I-77 at Fancy Gap, VA you would follow the parkway south for roughly 10 - 15 miles before reaching Cumberland Knob.
Red TapeNo camping at Cumberland Knob. For lodging/camping options look at the camping section below.
Cumberland Knob is open daily from 8am - 9pm.
During the winter the gates are locked and you cannot gain access to the knob. I believe it is okay to park your car outside the gate and hike to the knob. Nobody stopped and said anything to me when I did this.
CampingThere is no camping allowed at Cumberland Knob.
For camping look south about 25 miles to Stone Mountain State Park.
As far as lodging I did notice a motel about 10 miles south on the parkway. Also the Bluffs Lodge is located in Doughton Park at mile marker 238.5
External LinksBlue Ridge Parkway Information Mileposts 216 - 340
When to ClimbAs mentioned above the gate at Cumberland Knob is locked during the winter, but you can still park and walk from the parkway.
Anytime of year is a good time to hike in Spring and Fall the view and interactions with wildlife are more pleasant but one should expect quite a large crowd and a lot of contact with tourists.
During the summer keep in mind that it can get hot, check the weather report before leaving the house and be prepared.
During the winter it can get cold and icy but there are no crowds to deal with. One can have the entire areas to themselves. If you plan on making a winter trip you will not be able to use the picnic area and make a day of the hike, however I believe many of us on summit post are in it for the summit not for the tourist attraction below. Parts of the parkway can be closed during the winter due to ice, before visiting I would strongly urge that you call the Parkway Information line at (828) 298-0398 and make sure that this section of the parkway is open.