Black Balsam Knob, also known as Black Balsam Bald, is in the Pisgah National Forest southwest of Asheville, North Carolina, near milepost 420 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is the second highest mountain in the Great Balsam Mountains. The Great Balsams are within the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountains. It is the 23rd highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6000 feet.
The top of the mountain is a grassy bald that affords a panoramic view. The origin of grassy balds in southern Haywood county is a result of extensive clear-cut logging and locomotive fires in 1925 and 1942. These fires burned deep down into the mineral-rich topsoil slowing reforestation or stopping it altogether. Examples of this can also be found on many of its neighboring peaks and ridges. These features contribute to the area's popularity, but foot traffic also causes some ecological damage to the ecosystem. The Art Loeb Trail follows the grassy ridge of Black Balsam Knob.
Visible peaks from Black Balsam Knob include:
Shining Rock in the Shining Rock Wilderness (3 miles northeast)
Looking Glass Rock (5 miles southeast)
Cold Mountain (6 miles north)
Mount Pisgah (9.5 miles northeast)
Mount Mitchell. On exceptionally clear days, Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern United States, is visible 45 miles north east.
There's a hiking trail (T2) called Black Balsam Knob Trail leading to the summit. Black Balsam Knob is one of the 11 peaks along the Art Loeb Trail.
By elevation Black Balsam Knob is
# 3 out of 315 in the Great Balsam Mountains # 38 out of 3424 in North Carolina # 10 out of 270 in Haywood County # 16 out of 497 in Pisgah National Forest # 44 out of 39823 in the Appalachian Mountains # 43 out of 6326 in the Blue Ridge Mountains
By prominence Black Balsam Knob is
# 6 out of 315 in the Great Balsam Mountains # 93 out of 3424 in North Carolina # 14 out of 270 in Haywood County # 15 out of 497 in Pisgah National Forest
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