dogs on leash

wild flowers




nature trips



2 hours ago

Hiked this trail on Sunday along with 16 septillion other people! That said, we went back today and enjoyed a significantly less crowded hike. The weather was comfortable and the constant breeze atop the bald refreshing.
Parking was at a premium Sunday, but plentiful Monday (we arrived around noon both days).
Recommend this hike to anyone interested in majestic 360° views, hiking with little to no gear or packing in and staying the night.

Awesome trail. Great Views. Some water on the start of the trail. Well worth the hike to the summit.

I love this hike! It's not easy at all. I just went yesterday 9/13/17 and if you go soon there are a lot of downed trees and debris from recent storms and the trail was very hard to read in some areas. I don't think this trail is well blazed compared to other trails and this is the first trail I ever got lost on but that didn't happen yesterday thank goodness! The view at the top is so worth the climb but this is not a trail for people who don't hike, who barely hike, or who are remotely out of shape. Oh and it's not 9.9 miles, it's 10.6. Like it matters that close but when the weather changes on you and you are cold, wet, and tired...even an extra tenth of a mile seems like a lifetime!

Start at the Art Loeb trailhead about half way down Black Balsam Road from the Parkway and ascend to a grassy knoll and up to Black Balsam Knob with sweeping 360 degree views from the top - the Shining Rock Wilderness does not disappoint. Great bang for the buck and this popular hike can get crowded.

Starting from end of Black Balsam Road, Ivestor Gap trail is the flat trail to the right of the rest rooms that looks like a fire road. It can get water logged after a good rain. The trail is pretty flat until you get to the intersection with the Art Loeb Trail. Take a right uphill to Tennent Mountain through small trees and blueberry bushes. The trail is rocky and becomes a stream bed during heavy rains so watch your step going up. On the roof at Tennent Mountain, the world opens up with awesome 360 degree views of the Shining Rock Wilderness - quite a spectacle with all the hills, small mountains and far reaching views. From there you descend along the ridge line and then back up to Black Balsam Knob and then down again to the grassy knoll that intersects with the Art Loeb Spur trail which will take you back to the parking lot at the end of Black Balsam Road. Or you can proceed down the Art Loeb trail to the other parking area, but will have to walk down the road to your vehicle. Great loop and very popular on weekends and holidays.

20 days ago

Ivestor Gap trail parallels the Art Loeb Trail, taking you through a nice quiet walk through the woods. While Art Loeb goes over the knolls, Ivestor Gap takes the low flat route from Shining Rock. Some nice stands of hemlocks. Trail can be muddy after a rain, so waterproof hiking boots are a must; also the trail is rocky in places.

Great hike off the BRP. The first half mile sees a ton of traffic as the lower falls are widely accessible to the general public. once past the half mile mark the trail thins out. Dogs do well here. A little messy after rains. Great set of waterfalls and primitive campsite at the top of the falls. Easy/Moderate.