Flat Laurel Creek Trail, Little Sam Knob Trail,
Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and Devil's Courthouse Trail


Picture of view of Pilot Mountain from Devil's Courthouse

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 10/20/90

Length: 5.6 miles

Type: backtrack

Difficulty: 3 (due to poor footing)

Scenery: 4

Blaze: white circle on Mountains-to-Sea Trail, no blaze on other trails

Main Features: views, especially from Devil's Courthouse

Location: Middle Prong Wilderness, North Carolina

Driving northeast on the Blue Ridge Parkway from highway 215, turn left on 816 near mile marker 420. (The turn is 3.2 miles from the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and highway 215.) Drive 1.2 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. There are restrooms here. The Flat Laurel Creek Trail begins at the south end of the parking lot. It is the wide sandy trail that runs parallel to and below the road you drove in on.

Note: Much of this hike is wet and marshy.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Descend 300 feet from parking lot to Little Sam Knob Trail
Ascend 250 feet to top of Devil's Courthouse
Total Ascent: 550 feet

Miles
0.0 parking area
0.0 - 1.0 views on right (perhaps Sam Knob and Mt. Hardy)
0.1 stream runs down trail
0.2 metal culvert
0.3 metal culvert, stream leaves trail
0.4 stream in trail
metal culvert, stream leaves trail
0.6 cross stream on rocks
0.8 metal culvert
1.0 bear left up off of road onto faint Little Sam Knob Trail
1.4 potentially wet stream crossing on rocks
ascend to junction, turn sharp right
1.7 metal cables in trail
1.8 - 2.0 good views on right
2.0 metal cables in trail
2.3 turn right in grassy clearing (south)
after a few paces, turn right at the junction with
the white-blazed Mountains to Sea Trail
2.4 trail comes out on rock with views of Blue Ridge Parkway, the
Devil's Courthouse parking lot, and the Devil's Courthouse itself
to the left (south)
turn left off of rock
2.5 bridge
bridge
2.6 go straight at junction crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway over a tunnel
(Mountains to Sea Trail goes right and immediately crosses bridge)
2.7 turn left at junction with Devil's Courthouse Trail
(this trail is partially paved and has several benches for resting)
2.8 top, beautiful views
backtrack



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