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Red Spruce Knob Trail

A short hike through lush stands of red spruce atop the highest point on Highland Scenic Highway.

Hiking Moderate

3.2 km
121 m
121 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.4 km
Red Spruce Knob Trail Map

The Red Spruce Knob Trail is a short out-and-back through stunning, native evergreens on the highest peak on Highland Scenic Highway. The forest floor is blanketed in needles, unique rock formations line the trail, and summer blackberries can be found amongst the ferns. A viewpoint beyond the summit overlooks the Crooked Fork watershed, and at nearly 4,700', this hike offers the perfect break from the summertime heat!


Though removed in the late-60s, the peak was once home to a fire lookout tower built by the Black Mountain CCC. Erected in the 1930s, the tower followed the logging era, which clearcut timber from all of the surrounding forests. Portions of the Highland Scenic Highway were also a historic logging railroad used to transport the timber to town. The two-lane road remains open year-round, but it receives no maintenance, plowing, or treatment during the winter.

This hike is just over a one-mile round trip and one of the more moderate hikes in the area. Two series of switchbacks help navigate steeper sections, but the trail is well-maintained, signed well, and suitable for most abilities. The trailhead is small, but you could park alongside the road if you're in a larger vehicle.




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.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and November


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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area