Huckleberry Knob & Hooper Bald

  • Highlights: Bald mountains, wildflowers, great views
  • Distance: 3.2 miles out and back
  • Elevation change: 500 feet
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: Cherohala Skyway mile post 8, Huckleberry Knob parking is on the right (westbound) and Hooper Bald parking is on the left a bit further west 
  • Website: US Forest Service
  • Beer Pairings: Nantahala Brewing—28779 Pale Ale & Pattons Run porter

The Hike:

The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile National Scenic Byway from Tellico Plains TN to Robbinsville NC. It has some glorious scenery and some great hikes. Two bald mountains are less than a half-mile away from each other. The hikes are pretty short and the views are amazing, so we decided to combine them into a single post. 

Driving from Robbinsville, Huckleberry Knob will be on the right near mile post 8. It is a small parking area, but overflow parking is available along the Skyway. Huckleberry Knob is the highest point on the Skyway at 5,300 feet. The hike up is easy. The first part of the trail is an old logging road which climbs a bit to reach Oak Knob, a smaller bald with views to the east and north. 

To your left, you can see the summit of Huckleberry Knob. Continue on the trail through grassy Oak Knob and then through a small wooded area to reach the summit of Huckleberry Knob. Find the gravesite of Andy Sherman, a lumberjack who died near the summit during a blizzard in 1899. The views from the summit are amazing. A true 360° panorama. To the south you can see the summit of Hooper Bald, the second half of this hiking adventure.

After taking time to admire the views, retrace your steps to the parking area. Walking along the Skyway is a bit dangerous, so we recommend driving the short distance to the Hooper Bald parking area which will be on your left. Hooper Bald at 5,290 feet also has great views. The trail is shorter and has less of an elevation gain. The summit has views to the east and north. You can see the the grassy top of Huckleberry Knob just across the Skyway. Enjoy the great views and then retrace your steps to your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Nantahala Brewery in Bryson City has a nice brew pub with outdoor seating, live music, food and beer. Kathy liked the 28779 Pale Ale, it was a nicely hopped and refreshing after a long day on the trail. Pete enjoyed Pattons Run porter which had notes of toffee, caramel, and roasted malts.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.