Distance – 1.0 Miles (out and back)
Elevation Change – 258 feet
Highest Point – 5,720 feet
Hike Rating – Easy+
GPS – 35.3025 -82.895556
The Devil’s Courthouse is right on the Blue Ridge Parkway near mile marker 422. If you’re coming from Asheville or US276 in Pisgah, the parking area is on the left shortly after you emerge from the Devil’s Courthouse Tunnel. Coming from the direction of NC215, the parking area will be on the right 0.8 of a mile from the intersection with NC215. If you get to the tunnel, you’ve gone too far.
There is ample parking but the lot does fill up so be prepared. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot that faces Devil’s Courthouse. It heads toward the Parkway and follows the side of the road for a short time before veering to the right. The portion of the trail from the parking area to the turn into the trees if the only flat section of this walk. Once you enter the woods, it’s time to get the calves burning. The first portion of the trail is paved and steep and roughly parallels the Parkway after entering the woods. There is only this one paved path to follow on the way up. After passing a pair of benches on the left side, the paving ends as the trail swings into a hard right hand turn. At this point the trail turns to rock and dirt and continues higher. At this intersection a smaller trail goes to the left but I didn’t explore it.
Continue up the hill. The incline varies between steep and moderate as you ascend. As you near the summit, there are several faint trails on the left that provide varying views of the area below Devil’s Courthouse. The view wasn’t that great from the two we explored but you can look for yourself. I can tell you that both lead to precipitous drops so if you have kids with you, be careful. The trail flattens out when you reach the summit. The flat area at the top of Devil’s Courthouse is surrounded by a stone wall, decorated with plaques used for sighting on distant landmarks. The view is an almost unobstructed 360 degrees, permitting you to see North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
The viewing area is two tiered. From the right side, when entering the summit you can see the parking area and the BRP. From the upper section on the left you can look out over Pisgah Forest. No matter the direction, the view is amazing. More that worth the effort expended to climb to the summit.