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 on the parkway).
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.
We arrived at the trail as another hiker was leaving, so we started the journey alone. The time was 8 am, which is a late start for me in summer. When we 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 critters, and the water provides a beautiful background noise. While the shallow creek crosses the trial a few times, all are easy crossings.
At one point the path splits with no sign to indicate which direction was the trail I wanted. The trail to the left made sense to my internal compass, 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 open pasture, and the sun was oppressive, reminding me it’s summer. After an uphill climb and no escape from that bright ball in the sky, I thankfully reentered the shade of the forest and start the descent back to the trail head. This trail has benches in strategic locations, which surprised me as Green Knob is not a long trail. One specific bench at the bottom of a steep downgrade I was especially thankful for.
Link to more hiking posts by N. R. Tucker.
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