Devil's Courthouse

A short hike to an overlook with expansive views.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
1.4 km
Ascent
79 m
Descent
79 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Devil's Courthouse Map

Description

Just 1-mile round trip, Devil's Courthouse is a short hike with plenty of views. The highlight of the trail is a unique observation deck built along a bluff with phenomenal views. The climb to the viewpoint is steep, yet attainable to almost any fitness level.

According to the National Park Service, peregrine falcon nest along the cliffs of the mountain and it is illegal to venture off-trail. In the mid-to-late 1900's, commercial pesticide use greatly diminished their numbers and their population has just recently begun rising. Please be respectful of all warnings and signs along the trail.

The path to the observation area is paved for the first half of the hike, then transitions to singletrack in a stand of dark spruce and fir trees. The paved portion is particularly steep and includes a couple of benches along the way should you need to catch your breath. About halfway up, you will encounter a spur trail that heads to the Mountains To Sea Trail. Keep right to follow the rugged, rocky trail to the summit. Be particularly mindful of the slick, exposed rocks that line the way.

Atop the observation platform, you're rewarded with epic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge and Pisgah National Forest. To the north, you can see down toward the parking lot where you began. Look for the placards that denote the distant peaks including Toxaway Mountain, Tanasee Bald, and Pilot Mountain - to name a few.

In the winter months, portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway frequently close do to ice and snow. If closed, park at the intersection of NC-215 and the BRP and walk along the road to the trailhead.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area