Green Knob Trail is located in Julian Price Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway just past Blowing Rock if you’re traveling north. The trail head is at Sims Pond Overlook (milepost 295.9).
The rhododendrons were past their prime but still pretty, especially against the dark green ferns and moss from all the rain we’ve had. Mushrooms were everywhere posing for photos. Bugs were also everywhere, but my essential oil bug spray (homemade) kept the biting critters away. One thing that wasn’t everywhere, was people.
I arrived at the trail just as another hiker was leaving, so I started the journey alone. The time was 8 am, which is a late start for me in summer. When I walked off the loop trail at 10:45 am on this Monday morning, I had taken over 170 photos (I don’t travel fast, but I record the journey) and the parking area was packed. My advice: go early in summer.
This trail has a lot to offer. The trail starts by a pond and immediately enters the woods. The sights and sounds of the mountain creek rushing past as I walk under a canopy of rhododendrons melt the stress away. The woods are not silent. Birds are the most vocal critter and the water makes a beautiful background noise. Shallow water crossings are part of the trip and all are easy crossings.
At one point the trail split with no sign to indicate which direction was the trail. The trail to the left made sense to my sense of direction and it turned out to be correct. (I found out later that the trail to the right is steeper and goes to another parking area.)
Eventually, the woods gave way to a pasture and the sun beat down, reminding me it’s summer. After an uphill climb in the sun, I thankfully reentered the forest and start the descent back to the trail head. This trail has benches in strategic locations. One specific bench at the bottom of a steep downgrade I was especially thankful for.