Shining Creek-Old Butt Knob Loop Trail

HARD 33 reviews
#22 of 121 trails in

Shining Creek-Old Butt Knob Loop Trail is a 8.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Canton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3064 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

Wonderful S. Appalachian creek and cove, Shining Rock, and views galore. This loop is not blazed because it is located in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. Some trail junctions are very difficult to recognize. I strongly suggest not attempting this hike without a topo map of the area. A GPS and experience in route finding are also very helpful. Begin on Shining Creek trail (old roadbed) from the Big East Fork Trailhead. Ascend along the creek most of the way to the Art Loeb Trail at the top of the ridge (approximately 4.1 miles). Turn right. You'll see Shining Rock after about 0.5 miles. Stay to the right and ascend uphill near the rock. Just past the trail on the left that leads to the top of the rock for spectacular views look for a faint trail on the right. Turn here on Old Butt Knob Trail. This junction may be difficult to recognize. Continue down this trail to rock outcrops with great views. Continue descending until you intersect with Shining Creek Trail again. Turn left to return to the trailhead.

hiking
24 days ago

I would rate this loop as moderate. The Shining Creek trail is nicer than the Old Butt Knob trail. It runs mostly along a creek is is quite scenic. The Old Butt Knob trail is rather boring in comparison. There are no great scenic vistas on this loop. It's a pleasant hike, but not spectacular.

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

The nothern segment to the top is challenging and has limited views. The southern segment along the creek is beautiful with numerous waterfalls. We did the whole loop but the way down was difficult with rocky footings and deep areas covered in leaves. There are several areas where it is quite easy to lose the trail.... There are no markers. Overall it is worth it... Just wish we had more time to enjoy the falls on the way down.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This trail loop is not for the faint of heart. Depending on your physical condition and age is for the strong of heart or foolish of heart. We took the loop to right, this is a rugged climb, 2500 feet in a little over 2 miles. There are some spectacular views if you take the side trails off the loop. On the main trail itself, the views are sparse, and we hiked in winter when leaves are at a minimum. Continuing on past Shinning Rock there is an option to take a trail to west of the main trail. It looked more traveled, so we took it. It lead through a rich white quartz forest. Huge boulders of quartz and large rocks to hike through, absolutely beautiful. There are no trail blazes on any portion of these trails and we lost the trail in the quartz formations, so be cautious. After 15 minutes of using the Alltrails app to guide us back to the trail, we did locate it and continue on our way. The return along Shinning Creek Path is 3.4 miles of relentless downhill, filled with many obstacles, fallen trees, small creek beds, and leaves that were as much as a foot deep, making footing a guessing game. Once again no trail blazes so there were times the trail was difficult to follow, we looked for evidence of fallen trees cut by chain saws, small patches gravel not indigenous to the area, or well worn roots to help. Overall a good hike with plenty of adventure.

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

Hike the creek side first. The return up Old Butt Knob is steep but better going up then down. Suggest doing this as a day hike. Fully loaded pack up Old Butt Knob will be challenging.

hiking
8 months ago

Hard trail... Very strenuous the first part... Good training for a longer hike (AT). Started at 10am and ended at 4pm , not a lot of breaks... The top of the mountain is overgrown in some sections and a little confusing. Good adventure but not recommend for the casual hiker.

hiking
8 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

awesome memory . Quite a challenge

hiking
10 months ago

Went up Old Butt Knob, up Art Loeb and back down to parking area by the shining creek path. Started right before 9am and got back at 4pm - covering ~16.5 miles in total (per my watch). A few thoughts:
(1) the climb up old butt knob is fairly strenuous, as has been discussed, but I can confirm (2) once off the trailhead, going up old butt knob, I saw zero water sources until I was back on shining creek path. Maybe I didn't know where to look, but I took two liters of water with me on a fairly warm June day and I would not have known where to find water up on the Art Loeb section of my walk. If you area headed up that way to camp, probably best to bring it with you. (3) the old butt knob side of this trail had multiple points where the brush was chest high. It never felt like I lost the trail, but this definitely doesn't seem highly trafficked. (4) I saw one group of hikers all day, which was nice because I don't come to the woods for crowds.

Overall, better than a day at the office. I would hesitate to offer advice on campsites at the top of the loop or up Art Loeb because I don't know of water sources.

camping
11 months ago

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

hiking
Saturday, March 19, 2016

camping
Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, November 05, 2015