Middle Prong - Green Knob Loop via Green Mountain Trail
This remote hike in the Middle Prong Wilderness features some of the steepest sections on any official trails in the area. From the trailhead near Sunburst Campground, it begins the steep climb immediately. The strenuous climb continues for almost 4 miles until reaching the summit of Green Knob.
The remainder of the hike is much gentler, though there are some climbs and steep descents. There is beautiful scenery throughout the hike, and the part of the loop along the Buckeye Gap Trail includes interesting remnants of the historic logging rail works. Depending on river conditions, a wet river crossing may be required.
Note that this hike approaches Mount Hardy, but use of a separate user trail is required to reach the summit.
The parking for this trailhead is easy to find, but the trail is not. There is no sign, but the narrow trail is located very close to the bridge.
This trail actually continues across Hwy 215 and the river, transitioning into the Fork Mountain Trail in Shining Rock.
Not recommended for young children due to steep climbs and descents.