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Amazing hike. I’ve hiked it year round. Especially love the fall. Blueberry bushes abound.

Quick and easy with great views

Signs or trail markers would have been super helpful as there are multiple forks. It was pretty though!

The Devil's Courthouse is a pinnacle rock outcropping at MP 422 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the summit you can see Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I recommend parking in the lot to take a view/photo up toward the outcropping to get a feel for your destination. From the parking lot you'll walk uphill along the road on an asphalt path that then turns right into the woods and ascends very steeply up the mountain. Eventually the asphalt ends at a rocky gully that you'll follow to the top. The viewing area has a rock barricade so it's safe for children. From the highest rocks within the viewing area you can get a pretty nice nearly 360* panorama. Due to the short hike leading to an excellent view that is safe for the family this is a "must do" excursion for those driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Nice, easy path to the top. But super crowded even on the chilly, windy day that I went. Other than the crowds, the views are fantastic! Definitely worth going.

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes. So many trails to go on in one area, and kid friendly. The views are amazing! I could stay here forever...

This is a great hike! The leaves aren't on the tress yet so you get some awesome views that won't be there in the Summer. Definitely a heart pumper and several rock gardens along the way. The views from the top are incredible and well worth the hike.

Love this trail! Hiked here 4/2/18, perfect weather, even got a small sunburn. the views and diversity of this trail is amazing.

I went on this hike with my wife and two younger daughters. We intended to take the trail to the upper falls but strayed right and had to come back after we figured we had gone the wrong way. We eventually made it to the upper falls. I have to say I’m disappointed with this hike as it wasn’t worth the view at the falls. Just our opinion. However, we did the lower falls a few days ago and that one is well worth it. Only .3 miles and the water is much better suited for kids. I’d recommend the lower falls all day any day and will definitely go back during warmer weather with my kids.

A great trail with a mix of sights and terrain. We did Art Loeb to Shining Rock first, then Ivestor Gap back. Beautiful views mixed with quiet forests. We had a great time. I would recommend bringing your hiking poles, the footing can get tricky in parts, especially if your knees bother you like mine do. Also, bring a map! There are several unmarked junctions along Art Loeb.

My husband and I completed this hike yesterday with our dog Charlie. Round-trip, the hike clocked in at 8.8 miles per my husband's Garmin Fenix GPS. (It is definitely nowhere close to 12 miles, as another reviewer stated.) Although the trail is not marked, it is fairly easy to follow, with a few spots being trickier at times. Shining Creek trail was beautiful, following the creek for most of the ascent up to the rock. The views from Shining Rock are incredible and well worth the hike up! We also saw spectacular views on Old Butt Knob on our way down. The descent got extremely steep near the end, so hiking sticks would really come in handy on this trail. There are also several very nice campsites off of each trail. We completed the hike in just over 5 hours' active moving time.

This trail was perfectly fine. You have to choose which direction to take several times while signs are there to help about twice. It’s annoying, but not too bad. The upper falls were pretty, but nothing exciting. I would not recommend this because you could find better trails to use your energy on.

This trail gives you lots of freedom to see all the views and explore (in trenches!). It was busy, but not crazy busy by any means. Many cars were parked along the road but there are several trailheads at that starting point. Lots of dogs, too! Like everyone else said, great views. You can go far or not. I do think it should be rated as “moderate” though.

OH MAN- this trail was intense!! We started off doing Old Butt Knob to get to the top of Shining rock and then took Shining Creek trail back down the mountain. I highly recommend doing Old Butt Knob first. That trail was like the ultimate stair master and going down it after a full day on hiking would have been hard. My friend and I are both active people, but we don’t hike too often. It took us about 8 hours to hike 10 miles (the trail was closer to 9 miles but we wandered a bit and that’s why we hiked 10 miles). We just took our time getting up the mountain and had a blast. I know some reviews say this trail isn’t for amateurs, but if you are an active person, you should have no problem completing it. The only problem I had was that there were not a lot of view points along this trail. Any views of the mountain range were blocked by trees. We actually hopped on the Art Loeb Trail for about a mile to get some better views and ended up hanging out at the top of one of the mountains for an hour or so. Also, make sure you bring a trail map and compass. There were no blazes on any of the trails. There were, however, distinctive paths through the forest that were easy to follow. If you are going to venture off on another trail, make sure you know how to get back! Also, if you are looking to camp overnight, there are plenty of campsites along both trails. There were these little paths that we followed off of the main trail and they always lead to a campsite. I think we stumbled upon 4 or 5. Overall, it was a good hike, but I felt it was more for the exercise rather than the views.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this as a 2 night backpacking trip. Well established trail but NOT marked. Tough, rocky terrain that can be slippery after rain but elevation gain isn’t bad. We had intended to continue on to Greasy Cove Trail and loop around Shining Creek Path back to the trailhead but we could not find the trail after 2 hours so we made an out and back of Big East Fork.

All in all a good first time trip for this novice backpacker. Campsites were nice and flat with easy access to the creek for water.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful crisp morning with a little snow on the ground still. Falls were gorgeous.

I love the diversity that this trail has to offer! It starts with a nice uphill climb up Old Butt Knob, as you work your way towards shining rock. The quartz boulders cannot be understated – they are phenomenal and must be seen in person! I didn’t stay past dark, but I hear that they glow for about an hour after sunset. How amazing! The hike back down from shining rock, we walked along the river and there was waterfall after waterfall after waterfall… It was spectacular! Two moderately athletic hikers finished this loop in about five hours.

Oh my!!! The reviews are accurate...no blazes (Except Art Loeb Trail), you will end up leaving the trail and you need to be comfortable navigating your way back, it's a test....a real test-9.1 miles in 6 hours. I know doesn't sound fast but it's a serious incline and the decent it's nothing to discount. We took Shining Creek to Art Loeb to Old Butt Knob. Coming down OBK is work in itself be ready. The trail follows the creek with great flowing water making some beautiful cascades. The views are stunning and there was a lot of ICE today.

Really, really hard trail but glad I tested myself and it is worth the effort.

Just do it. You’ll see why.

We started and took shining Creek and had planned on coming back old butt. However the trail is NOT 3.4 miles, as it states on the map. It is more close to 6 miles one way so be prepared. It was getting dark on us so We came back out the same way We went in and do not get to do old butt. This trail was very pretty with lots of water Cascades. We tracked The trail to be around 12.5 round trip. The trail is NOT marked and is very confusing to what is and is not the trail. This trail even with a map would be super easy to get lost. we ran into other hikers and they were just as confused as we were and some had done the trail before. It would be nice if they could have some small makers at least on some of the places.

I gave this 3 stars because of the careless dog owners! And the lack of posted leash laws! We have pets and always keep them on a leash! Some people seem to think they are above the rules because it’s a national forest! The rules are posted but in only one place! Not every dog likes every human or other dogs! Two large dogs run up on my little girls with no owner in sight! Not a pretty site! This is really crazy! They could have hurt my dogs or one of us! People need to get with the program or stay home! Forestry people in N.C., you need to enforce your leash laws! Graveyard Feilds has always been one of my favorite places! As of now we will not be returning due to the lack of the lash laws! Some human or their pet is going to end up getting hurt! Remember your dogs aren’t the only pets out there!!! I’m done!

Kevin, email me caronj@gmail.com

The views speak for themselves. Absolutely loved the scenery I highly recommend for anyone. If you drive past Graveyard Fields parking area, you can drive up the road and a side road to the right (if you are passing graveyard fields on the right) will take you to an area where you can park and take the easy way up.

This is more of an inquiry as myself and a few friends would like to plan this hike in June, but reading reviews causes some concern. We are in pretty good shape and have hiking experience, but don't wish to get lost for hours. Anyways, I think that we would be willing to hire someone who has made this trek and could guide us to the summit. If anyone can offer some insights and suggestion, I would be most appreciative.
I have a vacation home in Asheville and used to live there, and actually tested the hike for a half mile or so out of Canton, so have some insight. Looking at second weekend in June. Thanks, Kevin

Great loop with the Mountains to Sea Trail and Little Sam’s Trail

Very easy trail that anyone could hike (my 80 yr old grandmother did it). The swimming hole is gorgeous the only reason I cannot give 5 stars is because of how crowded it can get (we went in the summer). If you can avoid the crowds and go on a weekday morning I’m sure it would be beautiful and relaxing.

One of my favorite trails. You will have breathtaking scenery around you every second of the hike.

this trail extends outward around the mountain. highly recommend it!

Awesome hike, beautiful views

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