My wife and I. Amped out here for the fall leaves change in October. It was honestly my favorite camp to date. Every morning we’d wake up to the sunrise (even though it was foggy) and go explore a new area.
There was a water point about a qtr like away on the art loeb trail heading back towards the black balsam knob parking area. We camped in a saddle between tennet mountain and the next unnamed peak on map. Perfect spot for views and was bordered on three sides by shoulder height brush. 10/10 on the selection. It was the perfect distance from civilization (1.5 miles to the car) and 10-15 miles of wilderness for us to explore.
Tennett mountain has a superb view of the surrounding area and I highly recommend peak bagging it.
The art loeb trail is heavily trafficked until you reach the northern side of tennent mtn. The trail is for hikers horseback and 4x4 so you aren’t crazy waking up to a car engine going by. I can’t think of much else to put because there was so much to explore.
This camping area is part of the Shining Rock Wilderness and is a beautiful place to spend the night. There are several dispersed camping sites from which to choose. The parking area for these campsites is the trailhead for a trail to Sam’s Knob, and there are several other trails close by. It is also within a few miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and there is a roadside waterfall about half a mile up the road along Hwy 276. Another great thing about these campsites is that they are along the East Fork Pigeon River. The campsite I chose was about a tenth of a mile from the trailhead and within earshot of the river, so sleeping at night is great because of the constant sounds of water. However, there are muddy places along the way, and the trail down to the actual campsite is steep, narrow, and mostly overgrown with weeds. Unfortunately, I hadn’t planned on“backpacking,” so I had to made several trips to my campsite—one trip for the tent, one trip for the sleeping bag and sleeping pad, one trip for food, etc. The disadvantage of the campsite I chose is that it is also a popular place for people to play in the river. While I was there, there was a family who was tubing and playing in the water within a few steps of my tent. Other than that, the site was great since it is miles from the nearest town, and at night, you can be in peace. You don’t have to worry about locals invading your space at night since there are no lights(other than my own), and it is down a trail. The worst part about this site, and another site I saw, is that a level spot is hard to find. You have to be careful not to set up your tent on rocks. If you have a small tent, that should not be a problem. It is in the mountains, and the sites are sloped. Another thing I didn’t like was that there were blackflies. They weren’t too bad but just bad enough to be annoying. If you want to go exploring by car, you can drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and see Looking Glass Rock, or you can continue on Hwy 276 and visit Moore’s Cove Falls, Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, or the Cradle of Forestry in America. Down the road, there is also Moore’s Cove Falls, which is a waterfall you can walk behind. However, it requires a nine-tenths of a mile hike one way. Overall, it’s a great place to get away from civilization, yet you are close to great wonders of nature.