Park at the Rough Butt Bald Overlook and walk across the Parkway to the Mountains to the Sea Trail. This section of the MTS runs parallel to the Parkway for several hundred yards before it forks right into the Middle Prong Wilderness proper.
- Rough Butt Bald Overlook
- Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 425.4
- Elevation: 5300′
It had been some time since we had hiked these trails and wanted to see if we could find the way out to Green Knob before the summer weeds take over the trails. In the hottest summer months, the briar thickets hang out over several sections of the trails in this area and if you have on shorts and t-shirts, you can get fairly scratched up. Ask me how I know.
Anyway, the briars had not come out yet this year so we thought we would be able to find the trail easily. 1.33 miles from the trailhead, we took the right fork. So far, so good. At 1.87 miles, we came to another junction. We turned left. We went another 1/4 mile or so came to a stand of spruce trees. The trail went straight through there and onto a field turning back down the hillside to what looked to be the opposite direction. The trail we were looking for, should have connected near the stand of spruce trees turning back a hard right to run the ridge line out to Green Knob.
We meandered about quite a bit and it looked like we were going to have to crawl through the thickets to find it. We decided that was more than we really wanted to do, so we turned back toward the car. Upon further investigation, other hikers have noted that they too had to blaze their own trail just sticking to the ridge line. There must not have been enough traffic over the years to keep this trail tramped down.