It took about ninety minutes to get to the base of the cross from the Waterrock Knob parking area. The ridge between Waterrock Knob and Browning Knob is a strenuous hike but the trail was recently blazed all the way to just past the cross (if you plan to go to Plott Balsam there is a clear path downhill from the cross that will bring you to the old logging roads needed to get you to the base of Plott Balsam). To give you some idea it took me 90 minutes to get to Lynn Lowry but only an additional 60 to get to Plott Balsam, with the last part of the climb up Balsam being a bushwhack.
We heard about this hike and went from Waterrock Knob (turn left at the second to last stone step)to Browning Knob and then to Lyn Lowry. Somebody has recently blazed with orange duct tape and the path is well worn. There's even a camping spot on the summit of Browning. After leaving Browning Knob, someone has blazed with orange and blue ribbon. There is red paint on many of the trees. We didn't have to do much bushwacking as we expected. Definitely one of my favorite hikes so far.
Did with my fiance. Got all the sixers (including Browning Knob) in one trip with this ridge hike. Huge cross on this summit. Lit up can be seen from all around at night.
Very tough hike. No real trail to speak of. A lot of bush-wacking through thick brush. Some rock to scrable (if you get "off trail"). This is a Sixer that if you make it....you know that you have earned it!
From the Waterrock Knob parking lot, we climbed Lyn Lowry and Plott Balsam. Coming back up to Lyn Lowry after climbing Plott was really steep (it was also steep descending, but a lot easier). This is actually a really fine hike, even though it's unmaintained.
Another off trail adventure. Parked car on Walker Rd (off US 23) and climbed Plott Balsam via a logging road up Winchester Creek then bushwhackstraight up. Rather steep.Found a recently dead dalmation on summit ridge, very strange! Hiked ridge over to LL, then bushwhacked down ridge back to car. Real neat to see cross lit at night.
Very difficult but rewarding trip.