Green Knob! AUGH! Yes, another, different, separate Green Knob. Probably pretty close to yet another Green Knob.
This Green Knob is well known as having one of the finest views of the bulk of the Black Mountains of North Carolina. While not technically a part of the Blacks, it is yet an impressive peak in its own right, standing over 5,000 feet above sea level, and commanding a grandstand of the looming valley between itself and the highest peaks in the eastern United States of America.
On the summit stands a lookout tower of pretty cool design, although much the worse for the predations of the local assholes who have shattered out all of the windows. Because of the broken windows, it’s not much good for getting out of the wind on blustery, cold days. The catwalk around the main building does serve to provide some great photographic opportunities, though.
One can attain the summit by way of a very short trail with a brief, moderately steep climb from the Blue Ridge Parkway. We decided to access the mountaintop by way of the Snooks Nose Trail from the Curtis Creek Campground for a 7-mile round trip and total elevation gain of about 3,000 feet. This climb takes you through a variety of forest types, past some interesting waterfalls, over the exposed summit known as “Snooks Nose”, and to the Blue Ridge Parkway where you catch the trail to the summit.
Once again one is reminded of the wide use of common place names in the southern Appalachians. One of my hiking pals makes the joke that his goal is to climb all of the Big Butts in the South. Good luck! This Green Knob is one of two prominent peaks of the same name along the Blue Ridge Parkway (the other being in the Middle Prong Wilderness not far from Richland Balsam). Whether you climb from low elevations, or take the easy way to the summit, it’s well worth the trip to land a view of the Black Mountains on a clear day.
We took the Snooks Nose Trail. Directions are:
Snooks Nose Trail
From Old Fort, NC, take State Rt. 70 east 0.2 miles to campground
sign (Curtis Creek Rd./State Rt. 1227). Turn left onto Curtis
Creek Rd. and go 4.7 miles to campground. The Snooks Nose Trail starts directly across the road from the campground.
None. National Forest lands. Hiking and camping are unhindered and unlimited.
The lookout is now shuttered and off limits because of vandalism and the fact that it's being used as a commercial receiver.
The nearest developed campground is Curtis Creek Campground, a National Forest facility.