Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide - Grassy Ridge Bald

Drive Guide - Grassy Ridge Bald from Atlanta

  • Duration: 4:30 (Google says it is 4:20. My 2018 experience is that you need 4:30 (plus any time for pit stops).
  • Google Maps URL fromAtlanta (33.91998, -84.33898): https://tinyurl.com/atl-grb-atl
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: Paved road all the way.
  • Directions:
  • I-285 to I-85 N
  • In Greenville, SC: I-185 N and go 1.6
  • Exit 15, US-25 N and go 39
  • I-26 W and go 45
  • Exit 9, US-19 N and go 10.7
  • US-19E N and go 6.9 (last McDonalds is on this stretch)
  • L on NC-197 and go 3
  • R on Fork Mtn Rd and go 4.2
  • L on NC-261 N and go 9.1
  • Park at the state line, where gated road 1348 goes off to your left.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: 19E in Burnsville, NC; just before you turn L on NC-197.
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Weaverville, NC; I-26 exit 19B.
    • Best Plan: About 10 miles before Asheville (whether you go I-26 or I-40 route)

Drive Guide - Grassy Ridge Bald from Knoxville, TN

  • Duration: 2:35
  • Google Maps URL:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
  • Directions:
    • I-40 East
    • I-81 North and go 56
    • I-26 East (exit 57A) and go 15.5
    • US-321 North (exit 24) and go 4.5
    • R on TN-362 South and go 0.2
    • R on Gap Creek Rd and go 8.2
    • R on US-19E South and go 10.2
    • R on TN-143 South and go 12.6
    • Park after crossing state line into NC
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Exits 13, 19, 23 along I-26 between I-81 and US-321.
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Exit 23 on I-81 between Knoxville and Kingsport.

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 2.4 miles, 1:40 up and 1:20 down (actual times in 2018, first summit of the day)
  • Navigation
    • Follow the AT east from parking at the state line
    • Cross 2 peaks before you get there
    • At about 2 miles, the trail forks and the AT bears left and downhill and the trail to Grassy Ridge Bald bears right and uphill to the summit.
  • Trailhead altitude: 5510 @ 36.1064, -82.1104
  • Summit altitude: 6180 @ 36.0998, -82.0804

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: Few trees on top. Some off-summit in the activation zone.
  • Space to guy mast: yes
  • Cell coverage: 2018: ATT no, APRS excellent. 2015: ATT yes, VZn intermittent, ATT had data service
  • Unique features: Beautiful hike.