Walker's Knob hike named for a 'first family'

Staff reports

Walker’s Knob, this month’s segment of the Swannanoa Valley Museum’s Rim Explorer Series, will take hikers along the Mountain to Sea Trail from the Balsam Gap Overlook to the Greybeard Overlook.

This moderate, one-way hike on the Mountain to Sea Trail will start at Balsam Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway's Walkers Knob Overlook and head south, heading up and over Locust Knob.  Lunch will take place at an exposed rock area on the rim with breathtaking views north and south.  The hike will continue over Bullhead Mountain and end at Greybeard Overlook.  There are some ups and downs, but elevations will range only from 5,100 to 5,800 feet over the 4-mile distance.

Van Burnette explains some history along the Walker's Knob hike to hikers in a previous year's outing,
A group on the Walker's Knob hike gathers around to hear Van Burnette share some of the stories that make up the hike's history.

Along the way a stop will be made at the Glassmine Falls Overlook to see the beautiful falls as well as the long range views over the North Fork Valley and the Asheville Watershed. This area has a distinct and very interesting history.  Walker’s Knob (elevation 5,482 feet) was named after North Fork's Walker family, one of the early families to settle in the upper North Fork Valley. The Walkers owned much of the land and were engaged in timber and logging. Along this trail are giant hemlocks, lichen and moss covered rocks, stretches of beech forest, all surround by spectacular views.

This is truly a unique opportunity for hikers eager for an adventure to learn about the geography, early settlers, and fascinating history of the area within the Swannanoa Valley.

Hikers should bring their lunch and plenty of water. Wear good hiking shoes and socks and long pants. It is also best to bring sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, hiking poles, rain gear, and any personal medications that may be needed. All gear should be in a day pack to keep hands free while hiking.

Swannanoa Valley Rim Hike #8

Hike: Walker’s Knob from Balsam Gap to Greybeard Overlook

When: 8 a.m. Aug. 20

Meet: Black Mountain Savings Bank, 200 E. State St.

Difficulty: Moderate, 4 miles

Cost: $30 museum members, $50 nonmembers

Register:, 669-9566


Difficulty: Moderate, 4 miles
Meet: Black Mountain Savings Bank, 200 East State Street, Black Mountain