Trails in the Black Balsam Trailhead Area

Here is a list of all trails in the Black Balsam Trailhead area.

Each trail has its own printable page with all the information and links, including (where available):

  • directions to the starting point
  • difficulty
  • length
  • elevation change
  • a map
  • photos from along the way, and
  • a detailed description and trail directions.

For general information about the Black Balsam trailhead, see the Black Balsam Trailhead page.

Need to find trails by another method? Go back to Trails.

Devil's Courthouse Connector Trail

  • Connnects the Mountains to Sea Trail, between the Little Sam trail and NC Hwy. 215, with the Devil's Courthouse trail. Short and mostly level. Passes over the top of the Devil's Courthouse tunnel on the Parkway.
  • 0.1mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Flat Laurel Creek Trail

  • Follows an old railroad grade up from NC 215 to the end of FS 816, the Black Balsam parking area. It's a gentle climb on a wide trail; it's very rocky all the way. It's also a unique trail since it's entire length is above 5000 ft. elevation. Starts...
  • 3.7mi, Climbs Gently, Moderately Rough

Ivestor Gap Trail

  • Similar to the Flat Laurel Creek trail, this trail follows an old railroad grade. It travels around Black Balsam and Tennent Mountains. It is level or climbs gently in places. It is very rocky and very wet, although there are no sizeable stream...
  • 4.3mi, Level, Few Obstacles

Little Sam Trail

  • Connects the Flat Laurel Creek to the Mountains to Sea trail, providing several loop options. High elevation trail. Follows old road/railroad grades with one larger stream crossing. Very muddy and wet, and somewhat overgrown. Passes above a very...
  • 1.3mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Sam Knob Trail

  • Fantastic, high elevation trail. Starts at the Flat Laurel Creek trail and travels to the summit of Sam Knob. Blueberries abound in season. Short, high-elevation hardwood forest near the bottom, then heath balds and grassy areas near the top. At the...
  • 1.07mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Sam Knob Summit Trail

  • This short trail starts at the Black Balsam parking area at the end of Black Balsam Road. It follows an old road bed through a mixed, high elevation forest on a level path to a big staircase that makes easy work out of the descent over a once highly...
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Gently, Some Obstacles

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