View – one of Montreat’s signature views is from Rattlesnake Rock on Big Piney (Brushy Knob) located about 200 feet in elevation below the summit of Big Piney. This large sloping rock outcropping allows a 180 degree view of Black Mountain and much of the south and west rim of ridges of the Swannanoa River valley. Another view spot is located on the Big Piney Trail about half way up to Rattlesnake Rock. This smaller view spot has a nice view of the upper Flat Creek valley and Rocky Head. The view spot on the Lower Piney trail looks down on Montreat.
Hike Profile – the out and back hike ascends to Rattlesnake Rock via the Lower Piney and Big Piney trails. This hike has some steep climbs and rock scrambles. The descent is challenging in some places.
Trail Surface – a usually dry forest trail with some rocks to be stepped over.
Environment – much of the route goes through mountain side vegetation such as rhododendron, mountain laurel, some pine trees but mostly a canopy of hardwood trees.
Navigation – from the trailhead on Suwannee Drive take the Lower Piney trail until you reach the view spot marked with a bronze plaque honoring the volunteers who built the Lower Piney trail. Just beyond the view spot, the Big Piney Ridge Trail branches off to the right. The Big Piney trail will lead directly to Rattlesnake Rock.
Directions to Trailhead – take Montreat Rd. north out of Black Mountain. Just beyond the Montreat Gate the road becomes Assembly Drive and subsequently Graybeard Trail Road. About a mile beyond Lake Susan Suwannee Road intersects Graybeard Rd on the left. The trailhead is at the end of Suwannee Rd.