Old Butt Knob - Big East Fork Loop is a 11.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length11.3 miElevation gain3,264 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBlowdownMuddyOver grownRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)

Users have reported that this trail is not well-marked. It is recommended that you download offline maps before arriving at the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (51)
Photos (779)
Recordings (40)
Completed (113)
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Billie Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Amazing trail just down load map parts of trail hard to follow.. lots of ice and snow. Be prepared!!! 7 hour trip .. you will get wet on both crossings of river Best views ever in our 130 miles of hiking.. definitely our favorite

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Pat Parton
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Hiking
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Gal Bornstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 5, 2020
HikingOff trail

I wish followed the advice of the previous review a bit better. To explain further, the trails is not very well marked at all, and on top of all that, the trails is covered in leaves at this time of the year. Long story short, I took a wrong turn and what I thought would be a 7 hour hiking day turned into a little over 24 hours. I came across some very dangerous circumstances and am very thankful I made it out.

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Kyle Root
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 30, 2020
Hiking
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Jordan Hoshko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

This hike is beautiful, but it’s longer than 11 miles and I would not recommend for more novice hikers without proper preparation. Things to keep in mind: - There are NO trail markers, GPS and downloaded maps are a must. - There are a number of unmarked trail shoots that caused some back tracking, but that can be avoided with downloaded maps & GPS - There are 2 main river crossings, and this likely depends on the time of year, but the 2nd (when going counter clockwise) required us to take our boots off to cross - The first few miles are brutal, very steep incline, but a great challenge - Subtracting our intentional and unintentional strays from the trail, I’d say this is closer to 14 miles total - It’s worth taking the path to Shining Rock, we had lunch at the top with beautiful views Overall, don’t take this trail lightly. Plan for 14 miles, closer to 7-9 hours depending on your speed, and definitely download your maps before your hike. Wouldn’t recommend after consistent rain.

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Kevin Click
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2020
Hiking
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Chad Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingFloodedMuddy

14 miles...3,549 ft. elevation gain...5 hours 20 minutes Great hike that after several days of rain becomes more like a creek hike in spots as water was coursing from all directions to get to the creeks/rivers. No trail markings anywhere...GPS is necessary...download maps before you go. Awesome!

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Gregory Fleming
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Backpacking

Big east fork was great, shining rock trail pretty primitive

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Jackie driscoll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 16, 2020
Hiking

Road is closed for the season, bummer

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Kevin Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2019
Hiking

Really enjoyed this hike with my son. We started the trip with the climb up Old Butte Knob - in the rain. It's a stout climb but a nice challenge. Due to the rain, we didn't make it out to Shining Rock but managed a nice camp site and views from the rock outcroppings along the trail. This is the second time I've done this hike and will keep it on my list of regulars. The return route down by the creek can be difficult to locate but once you're on it is a pretty easy descent to the parking lot.

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Kevin Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2019
Hiking

Really enjoyed this hike with my son. We started the trip with the climb up Old Butte Knob - in the rain. It's a stout climb but a nice challenge. Due to the rain, we didn't make it out to Shining Rock but managed a nice camp site and views from the rock outcroppings along the trail. This is the second time I've done this hike and will keep it on my list of regulars.

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Adam Huryta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2019
HikingBlowdownBridge outOver grown

Greasy Cover Trail should be closed. The bridges are out and it is overgrown. Old Butt Knob is very difficult straight up hike. Would recommend Shining Creek Path on way back. There are couple times there where paths leading off Old Butt Knob Trail which caused a lot of back tracking. If you want waterfalls would recommend Big East Fork Trail. Overall if you avoid Greasy Cover Trail it is a good hard hike.

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John Tollefson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 12, 2019
Hiking

This hike has nothing to do with Old Butt Knob. It was just a walk in the farmland around my house. Not public, sorry.

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Dylan Hudock
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2018
Backpacking

We attempted this loop last winter. After reading how much work, and not a lot of payoff the Old butt knob portion was, we decided to take the Shining Creek Path up to the Art Loeb trail, and finish the loop back from there. First off, either way you cut it, that trail was absolutely NO JOKE. As a pretty seasoned hiker and recent Army vet with tons of rugged terrain and rucking under my belt, that first stretch to the Art Loeb absolutely destroyed us. We had every intention of taking 2 1/2 days and doing the full loop, after the 1st day of getting my butt handed to me from almost sun-up to sun-down, we decided to turn around and call the trip early and hiked back down and out the next day. Will not be attempting this one again without better conditioning.

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Pete Balthazor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2018
Hiking

Wow! What a hike. Definitely take a good map and a compass. We took Old Butt trail to Shining Rock and then back down Shining Creek. We went in mid July and there was so much vegetation the trail was almost unrecognizable in places. Old Butt trail is no joke and this is no easy stroll.

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Daniel Hernandez
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Hiking
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Zoey Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Jennings Hester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 30, 2017

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.

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Shane Gibbs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 12, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Pat Helms
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2016
Hiking
First to Review

This loop is a nice way to knock out several less-traveled trails in one of the quintessential wildernesses of the Blue Ridge. Starting on Shining Creek Trail from the Big East Fork camping area off Hwy 276, the Old Butt Knob Trail spurs to the right after about 3/4 of a mile. Although there is no sign for it, the trail is pretty obvious and very hard to miss if you are looking for it. I can only describe the ascent as epic. Gaining 1500 feet in just the first 1/2 mile, you're up there pretty quick! Great lookouts abound - primarily to the south - all the way up to Shining Rock. Heading south on the Art Loeb Trail coming through Flower Gap, there is a stunning view of the Cataloochie Divide, Mt Sterling and Guyot - the figurative and literal rock-stars of the eastern Smokies - all standing layered together to the northeast. All the while, blueberries line the path with such abundance there was no need to stop for them - just grab as you go! Does this sound like the after-life yet? The Alltrails app on my phone came in pretty handy from this point on. The social trails along the ALT live up to their notoriety. I went down one for quite a ways before the app convinced me to turn around. Likewise, I missed the Grassy Cove access trail head, continuing on ALT for about 1/8 mile before retracing my steps. This is not a place to travel for the first time without some navigational skills and/or guidance system. From the ALT, the Grassy Cove access trail is pretty overgrown, but upon arrival to Grassy Cove Ridge, it descends into a lush, old growth forest with (surprise) a beautiful grassy floor. Gorgeous and somewhat surreal - I loved this part of the hike the most! The Big East Fork Trail forks to the left immediately following Grassy Cove's second creek crossing. From there, the creek stays on your left for the entire trip back to Hwy. 276. There are two areas where the trail takes you to the creek and disappears, but following along the edge, it picks back up again. The BEFT travels behind a western ridge that blocks the late afternoon sun, resulting in an everlasting twilight for its 3.5 mile duration. The mapping track gave this loop 11.5 miles, but it is definitely just over 13. Even so, it still took 10 hours to complete! Maybe I could have shaved off another hour without the turnarounds and all the picture stops........but not much more than that. Pack an extra Payday for this one!

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Alexis Tatore
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Hiking
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Jan Lane
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Hiking
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Richard Phelps
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Hiking
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abby tremont
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Hiking
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Michael Kaplan
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Sam Robinson
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Hiking
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Joshua Madrid
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Hiking
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