Ascent of Rocky Knob South on 2016-07-17

Climber: Bradley Reese

Date:Sunday, July 17, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rocky Knob South
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5240 ft / 1597 m

Ascent Trip Report

How I chose this hike: Wife wanted me home soon after church, giving me around a half day for driving and hiking. As always I wanted to get some peaks on one of my lists.

Getting there: I placed "Ridge Junction Overlook" into google maps, and knew the Black Ridge Trail Head (I did not hike on the Black Ridge Trail parking would be just before I got to the overlook. This worked out well.

The plan: In my research before hiking I could not find a trail to the top of either Bald Knob or the Pinnacle, so I planned to look for an obvious trail, otherwise I would bushwhack. Between the peaks I'd use a gated off road. I knew Rocky Knob had a trail, but wasn't sure where it was. I would look for it, if I could not find it I would bushwhack.

The hike: I parked as planned at the Black Ridge Trail Head. Looking at my GPS I decided to not even look for a trail up Bald Knob and started bushwhacking right up from the BRPW. At first the bushwhack wasn't too bad but as I got higher up the trees thinned and a thick layer of vines covered everything. I was not able to approach the high point from this side, but did get close. I looped around to the west side of the mountain and the foliage was more forgiving. The high point was a small boulder with a tree growing out of it. I then descended via a ridge to the south.

I reached a gated dirt road just after it leaves the BRPW, maybe 300 yards from where I parked. I continued on this unnamed road. Very soon after getting on this road I saw an unnamed, but marked, trail that I assume went to the top of The Pinnacle, but decided to continue to Rocky Knob first and see if there was another way up the Pinnacle. Soon after this I saw a hornets nest about shoulder high just off the road, though I wasn't bushwhacking at the time hornets nests are one of my biggest concerns while bushwhacking. I stayed on this road for a while along the way I saw another trail that went up the Pinnacle (I assume this is the other end of the trail I had seen earlier). Soon after the second trail I passed by a closed gate immediately followed by a small building and soon after 3 or 4 RVs that look like they haven't been used in 10+ years. I continue down the road 2.5 miles from the BRPW and find the trail up Rocky Knob.

The trail up Rocky Knob is a little steep but only ~0.3 miles long. There are a few nice views from the high point. I continued back down to the road and headed back the way I came from.

On the way back I saw a large black animal running through the woods, I guess it was a black bear. On the drive to start this hike I saw to cubs run across the BRPW.

Eventually I came to the second trail I'd seen earlier up The Pinnacle, I headed up. The trail splits in a few places but is pretty easy to follow. The high point has several nice lookouts around, best views of the day. On the way back I had intended to take a split I felt went back to gate without getting on the road, but I missed it and ended up back at the road. From here I continued on the road back to the BRPW. I passed the only other people I saw during this hike, 3 mountain bikers. I took the BRPW back to my truck finishing the hike at 6.2 miles.

I'm glad I did this hike, but have no intentions to redo it. Unfortunately the road and trails I was on are unnamed, making the hike a bit more difficult to describe.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy and humid... getting more humid as the day went on.
Ascent Part of Trip: The Pinnacle (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Bald Knob2016-07-17 a 
2Rocky Knob South2016-07-17 b 
3The Pinnacle2016-07-17 c3537 ft / 1078 m
Total Trip Gain: 3537 ft / 1078 m    Total Trip Loss: 3537 ft / 1078 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley Reese
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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