It is the second highest mountain in the Great Balsam Mountains. The Great Balsams are within the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is part of the Appalachian Mountains. It is the 23 highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6000 feet.
The top of the mountain is a grassy bald that affords a panoramic view. The origin of grassy balds in southern Haywood county is a result of extensive clear-cut logging and the horrible fires that followed a century ago. These fires burned deep down into the mineral rich topsoil slowing reforestation or stopping it altogether. Examples of this cannot only be found on Black Balsam knob, but many of its neighboring peaks and ridges. These unique features contribute greatly to the areas popularity, but the heavy amount of foot traffic also does further damage to this already fragile ecosystem.
The Art Loeb Trail follows the grassy ridge of Black Balsam Knob.
Visible peaks from Black Balsam Knob include: