“A great loop that goes to the top of Sam Knob, around to Devil's Courthouse, and back to the parking lot.”
— Kristen Arendt
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
This is a nice loop that can be completed as an overnight backpacking trip or can be done in a long day if you really power through. The top of Sam Knob has some pretty spectacular views, and there is a bridge that crosses a picturesque waterfall. There are several sources for water along the trail.
The Sam Knob Trail
starts in a meadow, right up to the base of Sam Knob, where you'll have the option to continue the loop or take a little side trip to the top of the Knob. Once you descend from the mountain and continue on the trail, you'll descend into a forest, where the trail crosses the creek a few times joining with the Flat Laurel Creek Trail
. Along the way, there will be several excellent campsites, both for tent campers and hammock hangers.
Continuing on, the trail follows a ridge, so there will be excellent views of a valley along much of the way. The Flat Laurel Creek Trail
will cross a creek one more time, and then it will end at a parking lot. At this point, hike up to the street, staying on the left side as you hike up the road. Be on the lookout, because after about half a mile the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will cross the road, and you need to get on it!
From this point, the trail will be uphill. In about 1.5 miles, you'll come across an intersection and have the opportunity to go to the top of Devil's Courthouse
. Past this, the hike opens up into mostly meadows, providing great views of Sam Knob and Little Sam Knob as you hike around them. Cross a creek once more, and head up to the top of the hill on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail
where it ends at the parking lot where you started.
Flora & Fauna
This area is know for black bear activity, so be prepared to properly secure your food so as not to share it with the wildlife!