Drive to Trailhead & 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
  • Google Maps:
  • Directions:
    • Left on BRP and go 10.8
    • Left on Black Balsam Knob Rd at BRP mile 420.2 and go 0.7
      • Trailhead is on R.

Drive Guide - Black Balsam Knob from Atlanta

  • Duration: 3:10, 173 miles
  • Google Maps URL from Atlanta (33.91998, -84.33898):
  • 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.”
  • Directions:
    • I-285 E
    • 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.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: 7512 Skyland Dr Sylva, NC (1.4 miles from exit); exit 85 (US-23 Business) on US-64.
    • Also 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.
  • Directions:
    • 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
  • Directions:
    • 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

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 0:30 up, 0:25 down, 0.7 miles
  • Navigation
    • 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

Summit Guide

  • 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.