Length: 4.0 miles
Start from Black Balsam parking area. Take the Flat Creek Trail out of the southern end of the parking lot. It descends slightly, and then levels out. After approximately one mile, turn right (uphill) on the Little Sam trail. Climb for awhile, and then descend to a stream crossing, and a short, steep uphill climb. Several confusing trails at this junction. Pick one of the two on your right (one’s the actual Little Sam Trail; the other’s not and is unnamed, but will still get you there). Both of these trails dead-end into the Mountains to Sea Trail. Turn left for a (mostly) gradual ascent. There are a couple of good overlooks just off the right side of the trail. At the junction with Art Loeb Trail, bear left (uphill) for a relatively steep climb. After the trail levels out, you’ll pass through a thick forested area and come out at the access road to Black Balsam parking. Follow the road back to the parking area.
Directions: From Asheville, take the Blue Ridge Parkway south. Pass Mt. Pisgah, Pisgah Inn, and junction with US 276. Shortly after you pass Graveyard Fields overlook, turn right on road to Black Balsam parking area. This is also the entrance area to the Shining Rock Wilderness.