Shining Rock Loop from Black Balsam Road

MODERATE 6 reviews

Shining Rock Loop from Black Balsam Road is a 18.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Big East Fork, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

18.2 miles
4281 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers

11 days ago

Great trail as said before. The weather changes fast. We got caught in a bad hail storm. Despite that there are numerous of places to camp. I went counter clockwise and that was very challenging although it left some great views for the second day (black balsam, shining rock etc.). If you go counter clockwise and plan to go up old butt knob be sure to have at least 2:30 hours from East Fork and at least 2.5 L of water filled up from the river. It is a very steep section and the first campsite takes quite some hiking to get to. If not shining creek path is a much easier alternative. Old Butt Trail gets a little confusing near shining rock as well. We had to bushwhack through about a quarter mile to remain on the trail. If you are inexperienced and new to the shining rock area consider downloading and viewing this map in real-time, it helps a lot.

28 days ago

Love this hike. Done it a couple times now. Has a great variation of landscapes and views. Be careful of storms moving in fast. Weathered my worst camp storm ever while here. Ran down Black Balsam knob just in time before the storm hit.

1 month ago

I loved this trail. Hiked it counter clock wise. The trail provides a variety of forests and IMO is the best area for hiking in Southern North Carolina. Black Balsam provides great views and waterfalls are plenty. Dozens of prime campsites along the way.

9 months ago

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!

1 month ago