nature trips



wild flowers


Been hiking here for 20+ years. One of my all time favorite trails

1 month ago

Art Loeb was a real trooper, I find it amazing that Art built this trail the old fashion way by bushwhacking his way through the forest. Art chose the tallest five peaks he could find to climb, and when that wasn’t strenuous enough for him he decided to fully descend into the bottom of the canyon before hiking up to the next mountain summit. My wife, son and I hiked the Art Loeb trail in late fall and while the days were just beautiful the nights had fierce winds which made it nearly impossible to have a fire and enjoy the evenings. We only allowed 2 ½ days to hike the whole 30 miles which was a mistake because it didn’t allow us enough time to enjoy the views, next time I’ll provide 3 ½ days. We started the hike from Davidson River Campground and the first half of the trail is through dense forest but shortly after you cross the Blue Ridge Parkway the trail opens up. I have hiked dozens of impressive peaks in the Rockies but when you are carrying a 40-pound pack and trying to complete this trail in 2 ½ days its quite difficult, even for the most experienced hiker. We drove up a day before we started the hike and hid water near different road crossings that ended up being a really smart choice. We only had one car, so we rented a car from Hertz just outside of the park. Then drove up to the Boy Scout camp (where the trail ends) and dropped our car off. Then drove back to Hertz and they dropped us off at the Davidson River trailhead where the trail begins. They didn’t even charge us and the car only cost us about $30 for the day. Because of the grand views at the summits I would definitely hike this trail again but I can’t stress enough that I would allow for at least 3 ½ days to complete the hike.

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.

Great hike, beautiful sunsets!!!

This trail is a whopper. Make sure you have some water and snacks packed. I did this in just under 6 hours and it ended up being 12.5 miles–a mile longer than described. This loop is also unmarked, so I found it helpful to follow my progress on the app.

The first 4 miles are pure ascent, with the first 2 being especially grueling. Be prepared. Once you reach Shining Rock, you can hop on Art Loeb from the 4-way intersection; the preset connecting trail is overgrown! Once you reach the Greasy Cove trail, the descent is gradual. Once this trail converges with Greasy Cove Prong, I believe the idea is to cross the river and continue the trail. However, I must have lost sight of the trail or perhaps it was obstructed due to fallen trees, because I couldn't find a connecting path. So I did what I had to, and hopped down the river on the rocks until I arrived at the Big East Fork trail. From here on, you walk alongside the river until you reach US 276. If you're like me, you'll be so relieved and take off your shoes to drive off barefoot.

Beautiful falls and wonderful weather.

Great trail. Hiked to flower gap from shining creek trail head on night one. Then found a spot along the Yellowstone prong on MTS trail night two.

4 months ago

Very nice and easy to get to.

trail running
5 months ago

super fun trail!!! love it!

6 months ago

Really fun spot for swimming. Lots of people, noise, kids, and dogs. Lots of trash laying around unfortunately. Relatively short distance, the up/down uneven surface to get there makes it moderate. Careful with wandering little ones, there are some areas where if they fall from the trail it's certain death. You can explore a little to either side of the main area if you're into rock hopping. Super slippery. There are a few smaller swimming holes if you look around.

7 months ago

Easy trail. Quiet view. Only negative is the trash and debris people leave behind.

Short but great!

7 months ago

One of my all time favorite hikes!

Did this in reverse of what is shown. MST was a little rough at the start but it got better. Had some trouble connecting to the Bridges Camp Gap Trail, no markings. Got the the river a little early and had to bushwhack a little down stream. Once near the stream, we had great views good camping sites etc. Met ha hiker near Big East Fork who gave us some good advice, take Shinning Creek NOT Old Butt. Glad we took his advice. After getting home and reading more on Old Butt I think we make the right decision. Spent our time at Shinning Rock and Laurel Flats picking Blueberries. Hiked out on Art Loeb. Good hike!

Tiresome but well worth it!!

I wish I had the all trails map downloaded when I started.
highly recommend you download it before you start just in case.

I had to back track in a few areas as they didn't lead anywhere besides hideaway campsites. As there's not a lot of markings after you start you just need to pay attention to what looks like the main trail.

The first 2 -3 hours of the hike are no joke, literally all up hill. At one point I got sick and to crawl under a rock to nap. My advice don't be a dumbass like me and drink a red bull before you start.

I didn't touch all bases of the trail but a good majority.
I do recommend starting in the early morning so you can get a glimpse of everything and bring lots of water and good snacks.

7 months ago

One of the best waterfalls for us. Short but hard hike from the parkway. Swimming, exploring and jumping off of rocks into the cold pools. Fun!

8 months ago

Short hike was perfect for the two year old. Great picnic at the falls but very, very crowded. Would recommend!

Great trail! Shaded and not a tough walk. Definitely worth it!

8 months ago

Really cool Falls area and swimming hole.

9 months ago

Annoyingly crowded. Very pretty but full of children screaming.

Unbelievable trail. Heads up, the ascent up is brutal with or without a pack. My girlfriend and I (and our very in shape German Shepard) took on this ascent with full pack. Our legs were toasted after the first 3 miles. The views are serene, but you earn every one. We camped after about 4.5 miles on the Art Loeb.

Day 2 was a blast. Downhill or flat for the remaining ~10 miles. You get a taste of all the different retain NC has to offer. Rock formations, green pastures and a long section along the creek with white water and swimming holes. There are two creek crossings, pack appropriately.

This is one of my all time favorites, but this is not a beginner trail. The uphill is brutal and the downhill gets very technical. The trail is completely unmarked so navigation skills are a must. The app is very helpful. Even so we had to backtrack a couple times.

Lightly trafficked and gorgeous, but not for the faint of heart or inexperienced backpacker.

11 months ago

Very nice short hike. Bring a swimsuit in warmer months.

11 months ago

Fairly easy hike while you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. Bring a towel.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Amazing waterfall and a nice hike in and out.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

By far one of the best trails in the southeast. Offers everything someone could want in a 3-4 day trip.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Not marked well at all

Thursday, January 12, 2017

This was my first time in this trail. Went up old butt and came down shining creek. The only advice I have is take a portable charge for your phone because you will take some much video and pics. Once at 6000 feet the landscape was awesome.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Great hike. Need navigation for the way down. One pretty serious river crossing ...and this at low water level!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

amazing waterfall and not a difficult/long hike

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Awesome short hike to pretty waterfall/pools. Highly recommend!

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