Richland Balsam

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About

Summary

The highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Pisgah Ranger district, the summit trail is rooty and rocky, but not too hard

Written by

Park Baker

Destination Distance From Downtown

0.1 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

3

Time To Complete

one hour

Seasonality

spring, summer, fall

Dog Friendly

yes

Fees Permits

no

Topographical Map

Link to Map

Review

The Richland Balsam loop is a unique opportunity to hike through Balsam Fir trees. The evergreen only grows above 5,000 ft, and this trail will have you surrounded by them the entire time. The Blue Ridge Parkway is at it's highest point here, and there is large sign indicating where to pull off. Richland Balsam itself is the highest peak in the Pisgah Ranger District, and has magnificent views of the surrounding area. 

From town, head into the main entrance of Pisgah and drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 25 minutes. When you reach the parkway, head west until you see signs for Richland Balsam, about 35 minutes. Park in the parking lot and head across the road. The loop can be done clockwise or counterclockwise, both directions will take you to the top and back to the car. 
This hike will not be accessible during the winter months, as the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed much of the winter due to ice. 

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Location

Richland Balsam

Pisgah National Forest
Brevard, NC, 28712
35.233447, -82.734292

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