The Green Knob Trail is a beautiful 2.4-mile loop hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway – in the Julian Price Park. It’s along a very scenic loop drive from Sugar Mountain (read more). Locals often call it the Sims Pond Trail since it begins at the roadside pond and overlook parking area at Milepost 295.9. The moderate hike climbs about 500 feet in elevation. There are no overly strenuous sections, so it would be great for the kids too.
Begin the trail by crossing the bridge just below the Parkway overlook, hiking the loop counter-clockwise. Continue around the pond through beautiful rhododendron tunnels along a ridge.
The trail has many stream crossings via rock hopping, so waterproof hiking shoes are highly recommended. Expect muddy sections and higher water at crossings after rainy periods.
After circling the pond, the trail takes you under a towering Blue Ridge Parkway bridge. After that, you begin to climb up the ridge to the summit of Green Knob. Pass many small cascades along the way. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
About halfway through the hike, you will walk through a scenic highland pasture area across the top of Green Knob, elevation 3,920 feet. After crossing the summit, you will descend quickly back through the forests to the Parkway. Be careful, there are some steep downhill sections that are slippery when muddy and tough on the knees. During the winter months with no leaves, you can look down at Price Lake. When you reach the Parkway, look to your left to find your car at the overlook.
Directions from Sugar Mountain
From Sugar Mountain, Green Knob Trail is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 295.9 at Julian Price Park. It’s part of our 55-mile Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic Loop Drive. The directions below keep you on paved roads (15 miles). If you have a higher clearance vehicle (4 wheel drive not required), you can save a few miles by taking the unpaved but bumpy Holloway Mountain Road.
- Find Green Knob Trailhead on Google Maps. NOTE: GPS & Google Maps may direct you to a shorter route via Holloway Mountain Road. It’s unpaved with eroded ruts, so only go this way if you have 4-wheel drive or high clearance vehicle.
- From the main entrance of Sugar Mountain, turn right onto NC 184 South and go 1.5 miles to the stoplight.
- At the stoplight for NC 105, turn left and drive north for 6.4 miles.
- Turn right onto Shulls Mill Road and drive 5.7 miles (paved but curvy) to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Follow signs for Blue Ridge Parkway SOUTH and go about 1 mile to Sim’s Pond Overlook on the left.
Green Knob Trail Map
Here’s the trail map for Price Park. Green Knob is on the right. Park and begin the hike at the parking area beside Sim’s Pond – near Milepost 296.