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Glassy Mountain

  4.8 ( 5 ) Favorite


3.3 mile 5.3 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 601' 183 m
Descent: -601' -183 m
High: 2,766' 843 m
Low: 2,171' 662 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)


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A great out-and-back hike with a lot to see along the way.

Kristen Arendt

Features Fall Colors · Views

Family Friendly Explore the historic grounds of the poet Carl Sandburg's home followed by a trip to the top of Glassy Mountain all on easy-to-navigate trails. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the summit!


This hike is a popular option for visitors to the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, and for good reason. Along the length of this easy out-and-back, hikers can explore Connemara's grounds, stop in at Carl Sandburg's main house, and continue on a gentle climb to the summit of Glassy Mountain for some rewarding views of the area.

Need to Know

The park is open seven days a week, year round, and admission to the grounds, trails, and barn is free. Facilities including the Sandburg Home and Goat Barn are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year round. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Chrismas, and New Year's Day.


From the parking lot, follow the Parking to Main House Connector as it winds along the road to reach the main house. Once at the main house, take some time to explore the house and grounds as there is plenty of interesting history to discover. When you are ready to continue on, look for the Memminger Trail Loop near the south side of the house.

You'll only be on the Memminger Trail Loop for a short distance. This wooded trail is easy to follow, and soon you'll come to a marked junction with the Glassy Mountain Trail. Continue straight ahead to start your climb up to the summit.

The next section of trail is a little bit steeper, but there is nothing unmanageable. There are a few benches along the way as well so you can always stop to catch your breath if needed.

Eventually, the trail will pass a small rock outcropping, and you'll come to an open granite slab, the top of Glassy Mountain. The views are quite nice with the rolling hills and wooded grounds stretching out before you. On a clear day, you can spot Mount Pisgah in the distance.

Once you are done enjoying the views, simply retrace your steps back the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Evergreens, oaks , maples and poplars. Several species of wildflowers.

History & Background

Visit the park's website for a deep dive into the history of Carl Sandburg's home.

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May 31, 2019
Melinda Champion
7h 53m
Nov 10, 2018
Joye Harmon
Jul 1, 2018
Bill Baggins
Apr 22, 2018
Jean-Claude Linossi
Nice trail with some great views from the top. The trail is steep in some parts. Have hiked this trail numerous times. 3.3mi — 1h 15m

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 5 votes


  4.8 from 5 votes
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Carl Sandburg National Historic Site Main House - photo courtesy of NPS
Apr 20, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC
Carl Sandburg National Historic Site - photo courtesy of NPS
Apr 20, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC
Looking towards the house and fothergillas in the foreground.
Apr 23, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC
View of the Carl Sandburg Home.
Apr 23, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC
View of the lake
Aug 31, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic site garden.
Apr 23, 2018 near Flat Rock, NC


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