Sunburst Campground to Black Balsam via Fork Ridge Trail

based on 26 tracks & routes #7 hike out of 34 in
6.6 mi
3 hrs 21 min
2,584 ft
Elev Gain


This is a difficult one way trail in Shining Rock Wilderness.

Starting from the bridge near Sunburst CG, you will immediately need to cross the river. This is often a wet crossing, and in storm conditions it can get high. That is why it is best to cross at the beginning rather than end of your hike.

This trail goes by Birdstand Mountain and is easy to follow. It is long with some challenging climbs.

Where the Fork Mtn Trail ends it intersects the Ivestor Gap Trail (an old roadbed). You can follow Ivestor Gap to the right for the shortest route to the Black Balsam Parking. Alternatively you can take a short left to pick up the Art Loeb Trail for a more scenic (and strenuous) path back to the Black Balsam Trailhead.

Getting Started

You will have a lengthy shuttle to do this as a one way hike, but it is worth it. Recommend leaving a car at Black Balsam TH and starting from Sunburst.

Taking Children

Tough hike with a lot of climbing, but no risky areas for children.

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Public Tracks

merchantscp2 3 months, 1 week ago
Rob 5 years, 2 months ago
Rob 5 years, 2 months ago
BrandG_Hikes 12 years, 5 months ago