Hike Blackrock at sunset or sunrise. Drive to Pinnacle Park, located a few miles down Fisher Creek Rd. You can hike either Blackrock or Pinnacle. Both are about the same distance. West Fork Trail takes you to both destinations. I’ve done both the East Fork and West Fork Trail and trust me, you will be a happier camper if you take West Fork. It’s easier on you and is a gradual uphill. East Fork is straight up and seems to never end. Only fun thing about East Fork is a cool little waterfall but it’s nothing special. (At least not worth the extra push uphill for a lazy person like me). Some people I’ve talked to think West Fork doesn’t go to both destinations but it does so don’t listen to those people because they don’t know what they are talking about.
You will come to a sign after a few miles up that says Pinnacle Left .6 miles and Blackrock Right .5 miles. Take Blackrock. It’s a bit of an uphill scramble and seems like a long .5 miles but its worth the sweat. Once you get to top, you get an incredible 360 view of the Smoky Mountains. Best view I’ve seen around Western Carolina, and it’s close to campus compared to every other hike I’ve done. So if you want a kickass view and don’t feel like driving far to see it, choose Pinnacle Park. Be prepared to be hiking a couple hours or so up to get to the top, and bring layers. If you are trying to catch sunrise or sunset, make sure and leave with plenty of time to get up to the top. It’s not a quaint walk in the park, but its perfect for a semi-challenging, fun day hike.
Word of advice: When you get to the top, it might be cold so you may be tempted to make a fire. Please don’t! I’ve gone up there before when someone had made a fire the night before. Minimize campfire impacts please and Leave No Trace.