Shining Rock Wilderness Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and birding and is accessible year-round.
I did this full loop a few years back, going up the Shining Creek Trail and back down Old Butt. Nice hike up along a very pretty river. Fun to start from a strong-flowing river all the way uphill to where it begins as a seep. Trail is in good condition, with lots of stead climbing.
At the time I took this hike, it was very easy to get lost at Shining Rock Gap at the top, but they have since added a few signs (in spite of it being a wilderness area) that make it easier to find the trail.
Old Butt was very very rough coming down, and I would not advise going up it, unless you know what you are getting into. I had my dog with me, and I had to help him down many of the very steep sections.
Great hike, the views were amazing. Trail is confusing in places especially in the forest. We ordered a map from the forest service, worth every cent. I would not attempt this without a map.
Took an excellent trip up to Shining Rock & had a great time. Hit the Artlobe trail to the top of Shining Rock and also walked to the Upper Falls. BEAUTIFUL AREA. Be aware that it is bear country though. This time of year there are TONS of blueberries and blackberries to pick. Be sure to bring a map as well.
Just scraped the surface. but what I saw was beautiful. can't wait to go back when I have time
It really is wilderness. Be careful people get lost here every year.