Shinny Creek Loop Trail

MODERATE 6 reviews

Shinny Creek Loop Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Connellys Springs, NC that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.4 miles 1312 feet Loop

dog friendly



nature trips





wild flowers

Nice woodland walk, diversity of Shinny Trail, wonderful creek This is a great hike to experience the diversity found in the park! You'll start down low on old logging roads, then explore a dry mountain ridge, and eventually return to a riparian area next to Shinny Creek. (It's pronounced Shiny.) First, pick up a map at the ranger station. Follow HQ trail away from the parking area. When you come to Shinny Creek Picnic Area You'll continue to the right up the old roadbed. Ascend HQ trail past Shinny Creek campsites and the lower end of Shinny Trail until you intersect with Upper Falls trail at the top of the ridge. If you want a challenge, turn right onto Shinny Trail at the campsites. For the easier walk, at the top of the ridge continue right on HQ trail. After approximately 1 mile, turn right on Shinny Trail. Descend down Shinny Trail until you return to the Shinny Creek campsites and HQ trail. Turn left on HQ trail and return to the parking area.

10 days ago

South Mountains State Park has one of the best trail systems out there -- great work out, not a lot to see but forest; however, its a great way to spend the day. You can go short or long, your choice with all the trails clearly marked for easy navigation.

14 days ago

Definitely strenuous and not a lot of views but a great workout!

1 year ago

Completed this trail today. While the entrance is crowded, once you begin the loop about 1 mike in, it becomes peaceful and beautiful. One of my all time favorite trails. My dogs love to race up the elevations and splash in the shinney creek. The entire state park is amazing.

1 year ago

I went a few years ago w/Hans,my late beloved German Shepard,a good 7 or 8 miles or so!Parts of the trail going back down weren't well marked!Nobody else was on it and it was real sqwatchy back there,good thing I had my dog w/me!

3 years ago

Definitely my favorite trail at South Mountain. The beginning of the trail is essentially a water hike as you follow Shinning Creek for the first mile-ish. Once you turn away from the creek and begin to ascend the mountain you're in for a steep two mile climb. Once you level off around 2200 ft elevation you'll intersect with Upper Falls Trail. I recommend cutting this loop in half and turn north off the loop for a quick and easy walk to Jacob Branch Campsites. Here you can find a water source (if you brought a filter) and some picnic tables and outhouse. Rest up then head south on Upper Falls Trail to rejoin the loop; the rest of the loop is downhill. You can choose to complete the loop via H.Q. Trail or keep south to High Shoals at which point you have another choice to traverse the top of High Shoals or head to the southern High Shoals loop to see the falls - you're approach 8 total miles if you choose the south loop of High Shoals.

3 years ago

Probably the prettiest scenery of all the trails at South Mountain. Strenuous 2 miles up to Upper Falls Trail, then all downhill on HQ trail to complete the loop. Several stream crossings, lots of rhododendron and mountain laurel. ,