After an entire week of day after day AFTER DAY of rain, we decided to pack up the family and go for a little hike. We picked the Green Knob loop located near us on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even with us living so close, we have never hiked this loop before. Afterall, the parking areas are typically so crowded on the weekends, you can’t find a spot, so we decided to check it out.
The sun was hidden behind the gray threatening rain clouds, but we decided to tackle the 2.4 mile loop anyway. What’s a little rain? We parked at the Sims Pond Overlook, (you can also park at the Sims Creek Overlook about half a mile down.) After looking over the trail board, we set off down to Sims Pond, over the bridge, and along the foot path into the rhododendrons.
The first part of the hike is relatively easy. The only obstacles we encountered were washout in a few places from the prior week of rain, and some very muddy, mucky conditions. There are a few points of interest here and there, but for this most part, this trail is for escaping into the trees. You can hear the constant sound of the trickling creek that you will cross quite a few times during the hike, and every now and then the sound of a car on the parkway above.
Before the slight uphill climb, we passed under the parkway bridge and had an amazing, underneath view of such a massive structure. It is a little odd to see dead in the middle of the woods, but beautiful in its own right, I suppose. (This is also near the entrance/exit to the Sims Creek Overlook parking area.)
A little up hill climb, a squeeze through the turnstile, (And I mean squeeze. My day pack got stuck.) and we found the Green Knob. It was actually quite breathtaking to see such green, green grass against a backdrop of still dormant, brown trees. I wanted to climb to the top and roll down the hill just to bask in the soft grass. Maybe next time. We followed the footpath up to the top to just stand and gaze at all of the green.
We continued on the trail, having to adjust our eyes from a brilliant green meadow back to a brown forest.
After a few winds in the trail, we crossed another knob, then headed back into the forest for a downward decent. This part, I’ll admit was a little tricky. The trail is steep and there was a lot of wash out, so steady footing and careful placement are important here. Of course, Charlotte had no problem. Just a few logs to jump over.
Someone’s creativity gave us something to smile about.
At the edge of the forest, we reached a clearing with the most beautiful view of Grandfather Mountain. I recommend stopping here for a moment to take in the grandeur, for the trail continues in a steep downward decent and you must keep an eye on your foot placement. Trying to traverse over a gully, not get stuck in the mud, while carrying a baby that was tired of riding in the carrier, and look at the view at the same time is a tricky thing. Take my word for it.
At the bottom of the hill, we briefly hiked through a rhododendron forest, just before reaching the end of the trail at the Blue Ridge Parkway. When you reach the pavement, be sure to take a left and walk on the side of the parkway, as the trail does not end at the parking area.
We managed to escape the rain and enjoyed a day somewhere new. The green rolling hills of the knob were a favorite and we can’t wait to return for the summer view. Maybe then I’ll take that roll. 😉
How To Get There:
The Green Knob Loop is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost #295.9. You can park and begin the trail at either the Sims Creek Overlook or the Sims Pond Overlook.