Sam Knob Hike – Makena’s First Hike

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Sam Knob Hike – Makena’s First Hike

Looking for a hike with pretty fall views?  Try Sam Knob Hike near Asheville, NC!

Sam Knob Hike near Asheville NC / Running in a Skirt

Hello! Hello!

This past weekend the Hubs and I took Makena for her very first hike!  She has been finally not acting like so much of a spaz AND I’ve had some luck running with her… so we decided it was time to give it a try.  Spoiler Alert… she LOVED it!

I decided to take her on a new to me hike… the Sam Knob Hike, which turned out to be perfect for a half day adventure and her first outing.  I wanted to find something not too hard or too long for her.  If you are local or visiting, the Sam Knob Hike is along the parkway past Pisgah Inn and Graveyard Fields.  It’s a pretty drive and makes for a lovely day.  You could even combine it with the Black Balsam Hike because the trail heads are very close.  I’ll pass along some more specific directions if you’d like to go yourself at the bottom of the post.

Sam Knob Hike

The Hubs had to work for a big chunk of the day, so after a pretty drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway we arrived at the trailhead about 4 o’clock.  The hike is about 2 1/2 miles, so we felt confident we had plenty of time to finish before dark.

The summit trail was well marked and easy to find.

The hike starts off very easy along a gravel road.  Makena was pretty excitable at first, but quickly finds her groove.  You can tell she wants to RUN though.

The hike starts well above 5000 feet, so fall has already arrived here.

It’s a gorgeous time because there are still some lingering summer flowers along with the yellows and oranges of the season.

We follow the path down some wooden steps and eventually into this gorgeous field.  Our final destination is just in front of us!

After the field the path forks (follow it right if you go) and starts to climb.

Even though this is a summit hike gaining over 500 feet elevation the path curves around the mountain several times, so it is not that steep.

The leaves have already changed at this elevation and it weather is much crisper than in the valley.

The pathway has some rock stairs and few places to climb, but is pretty manageable.

We stop for a breather at this pretty rock that looks like quartz.  Makena is doing so great so far and seems to really love it.  She has no problem getting up the mountain.

After a short break for the pup, we keep going and finally start hitting those money views.

The Sam Knob hike is about a 1 1/4 to the top and the summit peaks at 6,045 feet.  These views make it worth every step.  The valleys are just starting to fill in with fall color.

Luckily Makena wants nothing more in life than to be near us, so she stays close by.  She even tries to sit on me- haha!

This mountain pup loves hiking and most of all coming along with her people.

The Sam Knob hike is such a lovely way to spend part of a day.  I have been itching to hike since I broke my elbow earlier this summer and it felt amazing to finally make it happen.  This little corner of the world I live in is too beautiful to not explore!

I’m just noticing that my elbow still looks kind of wonky in this picture…. 

The Sam Knob Hike was a great half day hike for us and could easily be combined with Black Balsam, Graveyard Fields or Mt. Pisgah.

How to Get to Sam Knob

If you are coming from Asheville for south along the Blue Ridge Parkway for 26.5 miles past the NC Arboretum.  Just past milepost 420 turn right on FR 8216 (Black Balsam Road.)  Follow the road about a mile until it ends in a parking lot.  The trailhead is right there!


Want to try some other WNC hikes?  Check out my hiking page which features lots of options near and around Asheville.


Like this post on my Sam Knob Hike?  Pin this to your favorite hiking or travel board!


Thanks for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I’m sharing some weekly highlights.

Your turn!

Ever taken your dog for a hike?

Have the fall colors started turning where you live?


I’m linking up my Sam Knob Hike post with Thinking Out Loud Thursday, Fit & Fashionable Friday and Wild Workout Wednesday.
By | 2020-06-02T17:06:22-04:00 October 5th, 2017|Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes, Fitness, Fun, Hikes with Views, Hiking, Rhett|31 Comments


  1. […] 21. Spend time with animals. […]

  2. Annmarie October 12, 2017 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Gosh- it is so gorgeous! Make me want to come down to NC right now!!!

  3. Andrea on Vacation October 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    I wish my boxer liked to hike like this! He gets into it at first but then will plop down and refuse to move 🙂 Oh well. That does look like a gorgeous hike!!!

    • JulieWunder October 15, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Awwww! One of the boxers who lives on our street is the same way. Makena have never ending energy.

  4. Kristy from Southern In Law October 8, 2017 at 5:33 am - Reply

    What a gorgeous hike – and way to go Makena for acing her first hike!

  5. Emily October 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Awww I love that you took Makena on the hike; dogs are such good hiking companions. You and the hubs must be fast hikers; I don’t think I would have completed it that quickly!

    • JulieWunder October 7, 2017 at 9:52 am - Reply

      I’m fast going up but so slow going down! I’m always afraid of slipping!

  6. Alicia @Bridges Through Life October 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Wow what beautiful views. I need to plan more hiking vacations or day trips.

  7. Nicole @ Fitful Focus October 6, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Wow! It looks gorgeous there! I’m so glad you were able to bring the pup! Moose loves hikes, too 🙂

  8. Agness of Fit Travelling October 6, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Wow! This place seems so picturesque and an awesome hiking destination, Julie! When’s the best time of the year to go there hiking?

    • JulieWunder October 7, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

      I think mid-Sept would be perfect! But anytime from May-Oct would be lovely.

  9. Blane Sherer October 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Glad you enjoyed your family hike.
    I’m glad to see Fall ( smile ).

  10. Marina @ Happy Healing October 5, 2017 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Wow – this looks like such a gorgeous hike. I can’t wait to go hiking again in a few weeks 🙂 seriously the best fall activity!!

  11. Patricia @Sweet and Strong October 5, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I just really noticed the leaves changing the other day. Looks like such a beautiful hike! Hiking in the fall with the colors and cooler temperatures is my favorite.

  12. [email protected] October 5, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I love hiking in Fall when the weather is cooler and the scenery so beautiful. Glad you and the Hubs had an awesome hike with Makena.

  13. Dan Steadman October 5, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

    the leave has started in SC…I did a Graveyard/BlackBalsam loop last year….went to Pisgah Sunday and got in a group with some people from NJ and a lady from Lithuania…she was surprised how nice the people on the trail were

  14. Shelley Marcy October 5, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

    This is a perfect opportunity to remind people to have legible and current ID tags on their dogs as well as microchips. Please be sure that the microchips are the brand that universal chip readers can detect. Do not consider one form of ID or the other, but both. Dogs can slip their collars or get their tags hung up on something and pull them loose. I have been in rescue for many years and I can’t begin to tell you how often this happens. Even though your dog always stays by your side, please do not let them run free. Find a safe fenced in doggie day care for that. These dogs who never leave your side, WILL if they get frightened, spooked, or see a rabbit! My own dog is obedience trained and service dog trained. She is still a dog and could break command. In my heart I don’t think she would, but there is always the “what if” question that lingers. Please do not take a chance. Keep them close and identifiable. Don’t let your perfect day end as the worst day of your life….

    • JulieWunder October 5, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Hi Shelly! Such a good reminder! Makena is chipped and has a collar. 🙂

  15. Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real October 5, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    That hike looks beautiful! I really want to go hiking now ha.
    Unfortunately it seems like the unusually warm weather that is happening in New Jersey is making a lot of leaves go from green to dead 🙁 I hope the trees that are still green change colors soon.

    • JulieWunder October 5, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Oh no! I hate that! I feel like our fall is behind this year because of the warm weather too.

  16. Ann Gardner October 5, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Julia, we lived in Black Mountain for 11 years before moving back to Memphis Tn in 2012. I loved the mountains and so glad you are sharing your adventures with us.

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