Asheville: Blackstock Knob

Get to know the Mountains-to-Sea Trail while spiking your adrenaline on this 4.8-mile dayhike among the tallest mountains east of the Mississippi.

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Mapped by Tim Johnson

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.5



Location: 35.7485008239746, -82.3339691162109

From Balsam Gap, switchback ESE on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (blazed with white dots) through mossy groves of giant spruce and Fraser fir


Location: 35.7466201782227, -82.3261871337891

Hit rhododendron-lined ridgeline @ 6,031 ft.; pass state park border signs on L. Nuthatches and juncos chirp from trees


Location: 35.7406616210938, -82.3221588134766

Misty views NE to Mt. Mitchell (6,684 ft.), highest peak in NC and E of the Rockies, and where NC recorded its lowest temp ever (?34°F on 1/21/85)


Location: 35.7378005981445, -82.3184280395508

Crest Blackstock Knob (6,325 ft.), then descend on narrow path


Location: 35.7328987121582, -82.3096771240234

Pass through grassy openings near Rainbow Gap before ascending past boulders and the peeling trunks of yellow birch


Location: 35.7306289672852, -82.3001327514648

Evergreen needles soften trail tread. Winter wrens and other songbirds flitter through the open understory


Location: 35.7292404174805, -82.2959213256836

Water drips over large boulder on R as trail winds down stone stairs and past small cascades


Location: 35.7256088256836, -82.2918472290039

At grassy opening on S side of Potato Knob, look for big, flat rock for bird?s-eye view SW into the Asheville Watershed and Burnett Reservoir. Ravens caw from above


Location: 35.7262115478516, -82.2858963012695

Level trail passes field being reclaimed by beech trees, which often keep their brown leaves through winter until buds sprout


Location: 35.7258491516113, -82.2829666137695

Descend gradually amid hardwoods to wood stile built to keep horses from nearby steeps. Wood steps lead to Mt. Mitchell Rd. (NC 128) and parking area. Leave car here or backtrack to trailhead; MST continues NE