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  1. #1
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    hiking and riding in Pisgah National forest...

    We are wanting to hike black balsam knob trail but finding it difficult to find a campground that is close by. I was thinking Davidson River campground But don't know how far we would have to travel to get to the trail. We are also wanting to do some riding on some trails, but we have never been to the area so if some one could point out some fun interesting trails that wouldn't be to hard on beginners that would be great TIA for all the help. Also we will be going in October can you tell me how the area is color wise is and how is the weather in the middle of October

    Campgirl79

  2. #2
    hooked on quack
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    29 miles from Davidson. 17 to the Parkway, and I think 12 more from 276 to the Black Balsam lot at the end of an old paved(816 I think) 1.6 mile spur off the BRP. Be prepared for any weather up near Black Balsam(6214'). In Oct, It can be quiet down at the TH, and be blowing 50mph up on the summit with temps near freezing. Altho not the norm, I've seen snow in Oct(as well as 12" the first day of May a few years ago) in that area. If so, the Parkway can/will be closed sometimes, especially that section. Again, this isn't the norm but easily possible.

    Typically..Mid Oct the leaves will be done(what leaves there are, since its mostly blue berries and a few Furs up on the Balds)up at the highest elevations. Peaking maybe around 5000-4500'. And barely halfway down lower around Davidson.

    Trails for mtbing? If you've not gotten it already and don't know the trails, you need to have a good trail book like Off the Beat'n Path or equal, as well as Trails Ill map. Also ck the trail reviews here.

    Edit: Theres 2 Black Balsams(Black Balsam/Black Balsam Knob). The other is about 200yrds from the highest point of the BRP(6052') and about 12 more miles west from the one above. Its 6400+' with a .75 mile trail to the top. Theres nothing up there tho... The one above/below is waaaaaay better since its an open bald. I've seen 74mph with a wind meter up there whiler camped on the summit. The BRP was closed when this pic was taken. From the summit.



    Pic of the summit the same day.

    Last edited by Duckman; 09-04-2006 at 08:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Was that pic taken in Oct. I have a few more questions about the trail. How long is the trail. Can you do it in a day? Do you recommend only a certain part of the trail. Well thank you again for anwsering my post I stumbled across this board and I figured that you guy's would know so Thank you. I have never been to North Carolina before so in October we are going there on vacation from Florida. Thanks again

  4. #4
    Official Cooler Inspector
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    This forum gets several similar requests for Pisgah information a month, so you might want to scan down some of the other titles or do a seach - you'll get tons of current information from local folks and people who vacation here.

    Another good link:

    http://www.mtbikewnc.com/

    As you get closer to you're trip, post some detailed plans - you could make some connections with area riders/hikers from this board. Watch you private message box.

  5. #5
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    Since I have never been to pisgah national forest I am open to some suggestions about hiking/biking trails. I appreciate all the advice I am getting. Thank you everyone for being so welcomeing and being so nice.

  6. #6
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    Since I hike as well as mountain bike I though I'd throw in some tips.

    Davidson River will make an excellent base for you. There are several mountain bike trails (North Slope, Sycamore Cove, Thrift Cove, Black Mountain) that you can ride right out of the campground onto. The Art Loeb Trail starts at the Davidson River Campground and travels all the way up and over Black Balsam Knob, but it's quite a long hike from the campground (darned if I can't find the mileage right now). The chances of the parkway being closed in October are pretty low. If it is, heaven forbid, you can easily hike to Black Balsam Knob from the Davidson River area (if you're up to a long hike) or from NC 215 on the Flat Laurel Creek trail (easy hike) which is always open. This is BUSY season, so make reservations for the campground! Reservations:
    http://www.reserveusa.com/jsp/common.../newindex.html

    Since you'll be in Pisgah, I recommend some hikes to Waterfalls. Moore Cove Falls, Cove Creek Falls, Falls on Cedar Rock Creek, High Falls, and Twin Falls all come to mind. Second Falls and Upper Falls in Graveyard Fields are spectacular and fall color may be at or about peak up there. Don't have much time but you can find more information on my web site:
    http://www.hikewnc.info/

  7. #7
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    The hike up the Art Loeb trail to Black Balsam Knob is somewhere over 20 miles in length, and generally takes about 2 days to complete. If the parkway is closed from highway 276 south toward the graveyard fields/black balsam knob area because of the weather, then it is generally open from the intersection with Highway 215( Beech Gap) back north to the road up to the Black Balsam Knob parking area. This route remains open to provide access to the high country of the national forest for deer hunters during deer season. To drive up to Beech Gap from the Davidson River area, you would go west on US 64 to Rosman and then travel north on 215 until it crosses under the parkway. Also, nearby is the Mountain to Sea Trail, Devil's Courthouse, and Flat Laurel Creek Trail ( Old Shining Rock Road on some maps).

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