Place

Richland Balsam Overlook

Gray wooden sign framed by stone designating the highest point on the Parkway
Richland Balsam

NPS Photo / Morgan Bissell

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trash/Litter Receptacles

Take in the expansive views of the Nantahala National Forest from the highest point on the Parkway at Richland Balsam Overlook.

Sitting at 6,053 feet above sea level, Richland Balsam is the highest point along the Blue Ridge Parkway motor road. Named for the red spruce and Fraser fir trees found here, known as the “he-balsam” and “she-balsam” respectively, this area features a forest type that resembles a Canadian wilderness. Since the late 1970s the forest has been affected by the balsam woolly adelgid, an invasive pest that has been killing Fraser fir trees.

Last updated: October 29, 2020