Twenty minutes from the Graybeard overlook. Secluded but surprisingly buggy for the area. If you're looking for views go to the Craggy Pinnacle overlook.
My grandmother used to tell me stories of her two-day outfitted ascent of "Old Craggy" with pack mules, done from Black Mountain almost exactly 100 years ago. But the mountain fell into obscurity after that, and the trail disappeared ... I believe my 2017 visit to the summit (on the reestablished trail) is the first by my family in a century.
I was expecting cooler temps and packed my hat and gloves. I didn't need them though as I hiked in short sleeves. I started from Balsam Gap.
After coming from the Craggy Gardens picnic area on the MST, this ascent was extremely difficult!! I was worn out when I got to the top, but I made it.
When it's clear, great views of the Blacks from the bushwhack. We did this from the Craggy Picnic Area.
with a nice peek of a view here and there.
Fun Hike with a little ice. Some dicey steps but great views from half way up.
Last time I was there I saw a makeshift grave complete with cross and flowers, looked like maybe a pet. Weird! Anyway nice place close to Asheville and it is really cool in heavy fog walking through the laurel tunnels.
Bagged this one by starting at Mt. Mitchell ranger station and taking MST south-west, so we approached it from the north east. Much better than heading north.
This was a relatively difficult route for this mountain. There is a much shorter and easier route from Greybeard View overlook via the MST.
Lesson taken from this trip: HEATH BALDS AREN"T BALD!!