Hemp Hill Knob

Posted By on June 23, 2020

5.64 miles; Waynesville, NC

Ever since having gorged on Appalachian Trail books, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of “balds,” which are mountain tops devoid of big trees which give fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Well, I live in Western North Carolina, and there are more than a few of them in the area. Thought I’d visit this one, finally.



Any visit to the mountains around here in spring is sure to overwhelm with wildflowers. So many wildflowers!

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

And of course, where you have wildflowers, you have butterflies. Love this so much!

The Trail

This was, for the most part, not a difficult or strenuous hike by any stretch of the imagination. It was mostly a gravel road that went to the bald, the location of the Appalachian Highland Science Learning Center, where they host tours and educational groups, so there was even some automobile traffic.

The Views!

The views, even from the trail, were stunning.

Atop the Bald

And once you get to the actual bald… breathtaking. This is not, however, your typical mountain bald. This is a lawn. Still, pretty astonishing.


Once past the Science Center, the trail does finally go into the woods for a stretch before coming back to the gravel road.

Ferguson Cabin

There was a small side trail on the way back that pointed to the “Ferguson Cabin.” And what might that be, you ask? I’ll tell ya. The Ferguson Cabin was built in 1874, by John Love Ferguson. Ferguson Cabin is the highest cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at 4700 feet. The Ferguson family lived and farmed here until 1902.

You can find out more about the Appalachian Highland Science Learning Center at this link. As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.


2 Responses to “Hemp Hill Knob”

  1. […] Hemp Hill Knob, June 23, 2020 […]

  2. […] Asheville Mushroom Club excursion, and it wasn’t till I got here that I realized I’d hiked here before, back in June of 2020. Last time I had to make the loooong walk up the road from the gate, but […]

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