The Carl Sandburg Home, a National Historic Site, is less than an hour from Greenville. And though there are just a handful of trails, the hike to the top of Glassy Mountain makes it worth the visit.
After hiking to the overlook atop Glassy Mountain, you can spend some time exploring the rest of the National Historic Site (like the Carl Sandburg Home itself), or venture into Hendersonville to make this a proper day trip.
Glassy Mountain Trail
There are two main parking lots at the Carl Sandburg Home. One is the main lot that’s closer to the home itself. The other is a secondary, hiker’s parking lot. If you’re coming just to hike, choose this second one. This is what I did.
If you choose to hike from the main parking lot, it’s a little further and with slightly more elevation. If both lots are full, see additional parking options from the National Park service.
This guide starts from the hiker’s parking lot. But if you park at the main parking lot, see the map at the bottom of this post for the trails you’ll need to take.
Follow the trail out of the back of the parking lot until it brings you to a service road. This road is use by NPS employees, but otherwise is closed to traffic. You’ll follow this road for about a 1/3rd of a mile until you reach Connemara Farm.
The Farm Area consists of several pens of goats and is open from 10am to 3pm (except on holidays). Read the signage by the main gate before heading into main barn area. (Pets are not allowed in the barnyard or goat pastures.)
Here you can see descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s famous goat herd and hear stories from rangers and volunteers about the history of goats at the Carl Sandburg House.
Once you’ve gotten your fill of goats, take the trail across from the barn (right turn off the road). You’ll head across an open field before entering the forest.
In short succession, there will be two intersections as several trails come together. Stay to the right both times and follow signs towards Glassy Mountain.
After the second intersection, the trail heads up. And it is a pretty steady climb for the next .9 miles. Some parts are steeper than others, but most of the elevation of this hike is concentrated in this section.
Take water breaks if you need to (and definitely do so if you have a dog with you). There are also several benches along the way that are conveniently placed. Use them.
After climbing for .9 miles or so, you’ll see a sign pointing to the right towards Glassy Mountain. The trail will become granite underfoot, but keep going until you see the sign pointing towards the Glassy Mountain Overlook.
The view at the top is nice and I enjoyed it, but it isn’t panoramic. You’ll see a bit of the mountains in the distance, but the bottom of the view is blocked by the trees below you. I called it a baby Table Rock.
I still really enjoyed this trail. We sat on one of the benches at the top and just enjoyed the scenery.
On your way back down, you can head straight back towards the hiker’s parking lot, or swing by the house if you like.
The Sandburg Home Visitor Center & Park Store is open Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Tours of the Sandburg Home are available from Thursday to Sunday at 11am, 1pm, & 2pm. They are limited to 10 people and take about 30 minutes.
Tours of the house are free, but you should make a reservation. This is the only way to see the furnished interior of the Sandburg Home.
FAQs for Glassy Mountain
Is there a fee? Free to enter the park, access the park store and visitor center, walk the trails, and visit the barn. Tours of the house are free, but you should make a reservation.
Can I bring my dog? Yes but make sure you clean up after them. Dogs are not allowed in the house or in the barnyard and goat pastures. You cannot leave your dog tied up while you visit these areas.
Where can I park? There are two main parking lots (and they are less than a mile apart). If you want to visit the house and see more of the grounds, you can park at the main lot. If you just want to hike, there is a smaller hiker’s lot 1/2 mile further down Little River road (if you’re heading away from Flat Rock).
What are the hours? The grounds, trails, and parking lots of the National Historic Site is open from sunrise to sunset. The house and farm have specific hours.
I’ve included two maps below. One showing my hike on All Trails (and a link to the alternate hike from the main parking lot). The other is the official NPS trail map.