Bald Knob Ridge TR 186

From NFSR 472 the trail ascends switchbacks to the ridge. It offers good views of the Black Mountains and passes through stands of red spruce and Fraser fir trees. Several primitive campsites are in the area. At milepost 2.8 the trail meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. A carsonite trail marker denotes the trail at both ends.

This trail is designated as hiking traffic only. Bicycles and motorized vehicles prohibited. 

Total Length: 2.8 miles

Total Elevation Change: 1,510 feet

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Beginning Point: NFSR 472

Ending Point: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost  355

Average Hiking Time: 3 hours (one way)

Amount of Use: Moderate

Blaze Color: Yellow Rectangle

Area Trail Map: South Toe River, Mount Mitchell & Big Ivy Trail Map

USGS Quad Maps: Montreat and Old Fort

General Information


From Burnsville, go east on US 19E for about 4.3 miles. Turn right onto NC 80. After 0.6 mile, turn right again to stay on NC 80. Follow this road for 11.6 miles. After passing Mt. Mitchell Golf Course, turn right onto South Toe River Road/NFSR 472. This road soon changes to gravel. Arrive at an intersection and turn right toward Black Mountain Campground. Travel about 3 miles past the campground. The Bald Knob Ridge trailhead, marked with a sign, will be on the right.


Day Hiking

Elevation desc Low Point 3,700 ft.-High Point 5, 210 ft.

Viewing Scenery