March 21, 2015
Sam Knob is a beautiful mountain in the Pisgah Ranger District, just outside of the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness. Ramona, her friend and I started hiking at the trail head for Flat Laurel Creek trail off of Hwy. 215. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The trail meanders very casually over streams and beside beautiful birch trees. Every once in a while, a bit of warmer air would waft towards you in a sunny clearing. It has been a long winter and spring is most welcome. After a mile and a half two summits appear: the one to the south is Little Sam Knob and the one to the north is Sam Knob. We crossed Flat Laurel Creek and made our way to the start of the Sam Knob Summit trail, a .7 mile semi-steep series of switchbacks to the top. The view from the dual summits is incredible: Mt. Hardy, Black Balsam, Tennent Mt. We made our way back and went to the Black Balsam parking lot. The Forest Service has almost finished the building of steps to the lot, since so much erosion has occurred. From the lot we hooked back up with Flat Laurel Creek Trail and completed a loop back to the car. This was a wonderful, family friendly hike.
Ramona is really coming into her own as a hiker. Almost nine, she now bounds up and down the mountains with ease.
Total mileage is 7 miles.