Shinny Creek Loop Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Connelly Springs, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,332 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

over grown

washed out

Nice woodland walk, diversity of Shinny Trail, wonderful creek This is a great hike to experience the diversity found in the park! You'll start down low on old logging roads, then explore a dry mountain ridge, and eventually return to a riparian area next to Shinny Creek. (It's pronounced Shiny.) First, pick up a map at the ranger station. Follow HQ trail away from the parking area. When you come to Shinny Creek Picnic Area You'll continue to the right up the old roadbed. Ascend HQ trail past Shinny Creek campsites and the lower end of Shinny Trail until you intersect with Upper Falls trail at the top of the ridge. If you want a challenge, turn right onto Shinny Trail at the campsites. For the easier walk, at the top of the ridge continue right on HQ trail. After approximately 1 mile, turn right on Shinny Trail. Descend down Shinny Trail until you return to the Shinny Creek campsites and HQ trail. Turn left on HQ trail and return to the parking area.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
over grown
19 days ago

Did this today and I'm honestly not sure how to rate it! This would easily be a 4* hike for me except for a mile and a half or so. A good amount of elevation gain, but totally manageable for me and an enjoyable workout on a cool day. The HQ and Upper Falls trails were great, which made the change when turning onto Shinny Creek Trail all the more dramatic. Honestly I wondered if I missed a "trail closed" sign. The top section is a recovering burn area, and there are tons of blowdowns of burned trees- some of which require leaving the trail and bushwhacking around. In other spots, the trail is pretty overgrown, including with what looks like poison ivy in a few spots. The lower section of Shinny Creek Trail, once I was through the burn area, was absolutely worth hiking- but I'll probably skip the top section until it is cleared! (It is interesting to see all the saplings springing up though). Just a heads up that there are a few water crossings which, when the water is high like it was today, mean a high likelihood of getting your feet wet.

hiking
Sun Mar 10 2019

This is a great trail with a couple of water crossings included. I took my 3-year-old lab mix and she loved it. It was one of the longer trails she has done with me and she did great but I could tell she was getting tired towards the end. Only saw two people the entire time I was on the trail (excluding the entrance from parking which is very busy). This is my favorite trail in South Mountains State Park and I highly recommend it to everyone.

hiking
Wed Jul 04 2018

My wife and I hiked up Shinny Trail with our 4 month Aussie dog. We started on HQ Trail and looped around to Upper Falls Trail back to HQ. It was about 5 miles and only passed 1 couple. Keep in mind that it’s a mile walk to Shinny trail head from the parking lot. We hung out at the waterfalls and enjoyed the sun. Watch out at the top of Shinny Trail along the ridge. We ran across a timber rattle snake (black). No worries, there not aggressive. We simply just walked around it. That said, hiking up the ridge was tough but the rest of the hike was easy. I’ll be going back to take the longer loop via Horse Ridge to Possum Trail back to Shinny to train for a 10 day hike on the John Muir Trail.

Sun Jan 21 2018

Very nice trail! WARNING: you do have to take a strenuous trail to connect to this so the deginning is tough and then we had to cross the creek which if you’re not a good jumper can lead to wet feet! Very scenic though! Good place to bring dogs too. Enjoy!

hiking
Sat Jan 20 2018

Great hike. We were the only ones on the trail all day. Some areas I would rate higher than a moderate trail. It should be noted that it is a 1.2 walk to get to trailhead and then 1.2 back out so it ends up being closer to 9 miles. Will do it again!

hiking
Tue Oct 11 2016

South Mountains State Park has one of the best trail systems out there -- great work out, not a lot to see but forest; however, its a great way to spend the day. You can go short or long, your choice with all the trails clearly marked for easy navigation.

hiking
Fri Oct 07 2016

Definitely strenuous and not a lot of views but a great workout!

Mon Feb 09 2015

Completed this trail today. While the entrance is crowded, once you begin the loop about 1 mike in, it becomes peaceful and beautiful. One of my all time favorite trails. My dogs love to race up the elevations and splash in the shinney creek. The entire state park is amazing.

hiking
Mon Nov 10 2014

I went a few years ago w/Hans,my late beloved German Shepard,a good 7 or 8 miles or so!Parts of the trail going back down weren't well marked!Nobody else was on it and it was real sqwatchy back there,good thing I had my dog w/me!

Sat Sep 07 2013

Definitely my favorite trail at South Mountain. The beginning of the trail is essentially a water hike as you follow Shinning Creek for the first mile-ish. Once you turn away from the creek and begin to ascend the mountain you're in for a steep two mile climb. Once you level off around 2200 ft elevation you'll intersect with Upper Falls Trail. I recommend cutting this loop in half and turn north off the loop for a quick and easy walk to Jacob Branch Campsites. Here you can find a water source (if you brought a filter) and some picnic tables and outhouse. Rest up then head south on Upper Falls Trail to rejoin the loop; the rest of the loop is downhill. You can choose to complete the loop via H.Q. Trail or keep south to High Shoals at which point you have another choice to traverse the top of High Shoals or head to the southern High Shoals loop to see the falls - you're approach 8 total miles if you choose the south loop of High Shoals.

hiking
Tue Jun 18 2013

Probably the prettiest scenery of all the trails at South Mountain. Strenuous 2 miles up to Upper Falls Trail, then all downhill on HQ trail to complete the loop. Several stream crossings, lots of rhododendron and mountain laurel. ,

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
Sun Apr 14 2019

hiking
Wed Mar 27 2019

hiking
Wed Jul 04 2018

Sun Mar 11 2018

hiking
Fri Dec 29 2017

hiking
Fri Nov 24 2017

Mon Sep 04 2017

hiking
Sat Sep 10 2016