Hike Details

Related Info

Trail Map

Printed Trail Map

South Toe River, Mount Mitchell and Big Ivy Trail Maps by USDA Forest Service

Hike Stats

5.2 m, 1500 ft   M 

5600 ft max elevation

Seasonal Accessibility

This area is closed when the BRP closes late fall through early spring.

Trailhead Coordinates

N35 44 54.30 W82 20 2.40 (DMS)
N35 44.905 W82 20.040 (DM)

Google Maps and other cell phone and car navigation systems generally accept destinations in the above lat/long formats

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View – a large rocky dome area with low growing bushes provides a perfect lunch stop that features nearly 180 views of the area northwest and southeast of the ridge that runs parallel to the BRP between Walker’s Knob overlook and Bullhead Mountain.

Hike Profile – the trail follows the Mountains-to-Sea trail from Walker’s Knob Overlook (Balsam Gap) to the shoulder of Bullhead Mountain. The trail makes a short ascent to Walker Knob before paralleling the BRP to the Glassmine Falls Overlook. The trail continues from the Overlook up a ridge toward Bullhead Mountain. The Bullhead Lunch Rock is on a low shoulder at the base of the mountain at 5600 feet. You can shorten the hike, if desired, by starting from and returning to the Glassmine Falls Overlook.

Trail Surface – the trail is mostly grass and dirt with some roots and rocks.

Environment – Walker Knob has a balsam fir stand of trees. However most of the trail goes through a birch and beech tree woods before entering another area of balsam fir.  Approaching the lunch rock area, the trail goes through rhode and low shrub.

Navigation – the trail goes over Walker Knob and then stays close to the BRP to Glassmine Falls Overlook, passes the Overlook and continues straight up the ridge toward Bullhead Mountain. The Bullhead Lunch Rock area is immediately adjacent to the trail.

Directions to Trailhead – the parking area is located near milepost 359 on the BRP at Walker Knob Overlook (previously Balsam Gap). The trailhead is directly across the BRP from the overlook parking.

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