The hike to the summit of Blackstock Knob from the Glassmine Falls overlook is a moderate 6 mile journey into a world of dense Balsam forests, fragrant stands of Fraser firs and solitude. For some reason people on the east coast do not seem to hike our comrades in the West. Most people that visit the Blue Ridge Parkway limit their visit to short stops at one of the many overlooks or pathetically short hikes often up paved trails to spots like the Devil’s Courthouse or Mt Mitchell. Blackstock Knob is like most of the other 40 Southern Sixers in North Carolina and Tennessee. Because of its close proximity to its more popular neighbors on the black Mountain Crest Blackstock Knob it is seldom visited. Rarely will you run into any other hikers/peakbaggers, even on the most spectacular of days. If you seek a solitary adventure into the southeastern wilderness there is no better place to find it than Blackstock Knob.
From the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center at Pinnacle Gap (mi. 364.6) on the Blue Ridge Parkway (near Asheville N.C.) follow the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Glassmine Falls overlook at mile 361.2 & park. During the spring thaw and after heavy rains one can view the spectacular 300 ft. mountain waterfall from the overlook. From the Glassmine Falls overlook follow the MST east to the summit of Blackstock Knob (for more specifics see routes section).
From the Glassmine Falls Overlook follow the MST east (& uphill) for about 1.5 miles to Balsam Gap. At Balsam Gap you will cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and follow MST (the furthest right-hand trail) into the woods. From Balsam Gap the MST ascends the steep balsam & fir covered slopes of Blackstock Knob for about 1.5 miles. The elevation gain between Balsam Gap and the summit is a calf-burning 1,005 ft. The summit should be obvious after Balsam Gap because the MST descends sharply on each side. There is no summit marker.
Rain gear is essential in the Black Mountains. Weather can change quickly so be prepared. It can even cool down rapidly in the summer.
Golite products are aptly suited to the environment of the southeastern mountains.
Basic trail shoes will suffice on this trail.
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