The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area starting January 2 at 10:00pm through January 3 mid-day. Conditions could be hazardous so plan ahead and stay safe. Learn more here.
National Parks & Forests, Nature Lovers, Outdoor Activities

Richland Balsam Overlook

About

Richland Balsam, a mountain near Waynesville, North Carolina, rises to 6,410 feet and is the highest peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors can reach the summit on a 1.5 mile, self-guided loop trail that passes through a spruce-fir forest.

The term “balsam” is commonly applied to Fraser fir and red spruce, the scent of which permeates the fresh air on the mountain. Two varieties of spruce grow at Richland Balsam: “he-balsam” has rough bark and prickly needles like a man’s beard and “she-balsam” has smooth barked fir with shiny flat needles.

Other plants such as blackberry and elderberry grow where the firs have been knocked over by windstorms, opening the forest floor to sunlight.

We recommend stopping at this overlook, located at Mile Post 431, for a picture in front of both the incredible view and the large sign located here signifying the relevance of this spot.

Recent Blog Posts

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and love is in the air in the NC Smokies. But that’s not all … around every
It’s 2022 and we know you’re already busy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy schedules, we forget to give ourselves time
Many say that the best experiences are shared with others—especially if it’s your significant other. Take a break from the daily routines of life