Trail Guide: Black Balsam
- Parking is an issue. At 9 AM on Memorial Day, it was almost full; by 11 AM, everything was full.
Drive Guide - Black Balsam Knob from Richland Balsam
- Duration: 0:20, 11.5 miles
- Left on BRP and go 10.8
- Left on Black Balsam Knob Rd at BRP mile 420.2 and go 0.7. Trailhead on R.
Drive Guide - Black Balsam Knob from Atlanta
- Duration: 3:20, 173 miles. (Google says 3:10 but experience says 3:20.)
- Google Maps URL from Atlanta:
- Seasonal/Limited Access: Blue Ridge Parkway closed in winter. KI4SVM says “often access from the side Hwy 215 is available… BRP’s infoline… is highly recommended - 828-298-0398.”
- I-85 N and go 16.6
- I-985/GA-365 N and go 52
- US-441 N and go 44
- R on US-64 E and go 20
- Ramp for 64 E and go 13.1
- L on BRP access rd and go 0.5
- L on Blue Ridge Parkway and go 23.3
- L on Black Balsam Rd at BRP mile 420.2 and go 0.7. Trailhead is on the right.
- Last McDonalds: 7512 Skyland Dr Sylva, NC (1.4 miles from exit); exit 85 (US-23 Business) on US-64.
- Avoid McDonalds in Franklin and Clayton. Slow service Saturday A.M.
- Before that: Cornelia, on Level Grove Rd (just BEFORE Cornelia)
Drive Guide - Black Balsam Knob from Green Knob
- Duration: 0:15, ? miles
- Seasonal/Limited Access: Parkway closed in winter. KI4SVM says “often access from the side Hwy 215 is available… BRP’s infoline… recommended - 828-298-0398.” Check the BRP Closure Map.
- West on BRP (right, from the trail coming down from Green Knob) and go 5.7
- R on Black Balsam Rd (Road #815) at BRP mile 420.2 and go 0.7. Paved but many potholes.
Drive Guide - Black Balsam Knob to Atlanta
- Duration: 3:15, 177 miles
- Google Maps URL: http://tinyurl.com/BlackBalsamKPK
- Drive SE (back toward BRP) and go 0.7
- R on BRP and go 23.3
- R onto exit for US-23 and go 0.5
- R on US-23 S and go 13
- Ramp to US-441 S and go 20.5
- Ramp to US-23 S and go 21.8
- R on US-23 S and go 11
- R on US-23 S and go 40
- S on I-985 S and S on I-85 S
- Duration: 0:30 up, 0:25 down, 0.7 miles
- Follow the Art Loeb Trail about 1/2 mile through the forest to reach the alpine meadows. Cross the first Knob and continue to Black Balsam. Deeply eroded dirt trail plus walks on exposed granite.
- Trailhead altitude: About 5895’
- Summit altitude: 6214’
- Grid square: EM85nh
- GPS tracks/waypoints:
- Trailhead: 35.320654,-82.876193 (along road - not at restroom parking lot)
- Summit: 35.328, -82.8746
- Hang antenna from tree: no. Space to guy mast: yes.
- Cell coverage: 2018: No AT&T; APRS OK. 2016: AT&T Cell + internet.
- Unique features: a bald bald.