"It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'" Carl Sanburg*
And there is no better rock for achieving this than Shining Rock. Shining Rock Mountain is one of 41 mountains east of the Mississippi over 6000 feet in elevation. The peak of the mountain is covered with large quartz boulders which cause it to "shine" when the sun hits it. Getting to the top requires a 4 1/2 mile hike, one way. The easiest route seems to be by way of the Ivester Trail from the parking area located at the end of Black Balsam Road which follows an old railroad track. Several other peaks over 6000 feet are within walking distance including, Black Balsam Knob, Tennent Mountain, and Cold Mountain. If you find the exact location listed below, you'll have the best view from atop the mountain, giving you a 360 degree view. You can take the Art Loeb trail back for an alternate view, which take you atop Black Balsam Knob and Tennet Mountain, both providing 360 degree views. This trail is more strenuous than the Ivestor Trail and slightly longer. In the summer months the area is covered with acres of wild blueberries. A note of warning, the trails are well worn but very poorly marked so bring a good map (which won't necessarily guarantee you won't take a wrong turn).
Location: N 35° 22' 6.00", W 82° 51' 45.66"
Distance from downtown Greenville: 70 miles
*(Hat tip to Specs Appeal for the quote.)