Shut-In Trail is a 15.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Candler, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length15.7 miElevation gain2,237 ftRoute typePoint to point
HikingRunningDog friendlyForestRiver
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

North Carolina Div. Of Travel and Tourism, 301 N. Wilmington Street , Raleigh, NC, 27601, Phone: 919-733-4171

Directions from Hot Springs, NC: Travel south on SR 209 to the Bluff community. Take SR 1173 to the right and continue to the parking area at the end of the road. The Appalachian Trail crosses Garenflo Gap here. Shut-In Trail begins on the right side of the road, just below the parking lot. OR travel south on US 25 / 70 to SR 1183 on the left. Follow SR 1183 approximately 3 miles. The trailhead is on the left just before crossing the Jones Branch bridge.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (109)
Photos (526)
Recordings (87)
Completed (214)
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Kelly Westropp
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Hiking
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Curtis & Dani Waters
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Hiking
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Mark Davis
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Hiking

Great 10-miler!! Lots of up/down and great vista views!!

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Rachael Rourke
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Hiking
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Cassandra Cantrell
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HikingGreat!
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Jackie Cutler
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Hiking

Great workout! Beautiful trail

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Team Infiniti
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Hiking

This trail is extremely difficult for a thru hiker on the MST (WB). There are few water points the closer you get to Pisgah Inn, I went without a water refill for the last 9 miles. Camping options are few and almost non existent, thick under brush covered most of the Forrest floor and what places were decent were inside the BRP boundary. Some sections of the trail were nearly over grown with brush. Section hiking or day hiking would be ok since you could plan your water requirement based on your distance. If you are a thru hiker (WB) plan accordingly for rest and water. I ended up forcing my hike all the way from the French River to Pisgah inn (17.5 mi) because of the lack of water and acceptable camp areas.

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Rebel Vitale
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Hiking

This trail is beautiful!!!

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Dan Hester
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Hiking

I created my own 6 mile loop. Beaver dam Gap parking, Trace Ridge to Spencer Gap to Wash Ck. Rd. to Shut In Trail. Great winter views. Some steep climbs, but not too long at any one time. Spencer Gap seems popular with bikes.

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James Shakour
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Hiking

Good chance you’ll see bears in the late spring and summer! I often loop it with a trail in the Bent Creek Recreational Area.

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Kim Webb
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Hiking

Just found out about this trail after living around here all my life. hiked it about half way up from the 191 end and had to turn back due to time. I am smitten with this trail. it's in great shape with not a lot of rocks and roots to scramble over. I plan on hiking the whole thing soon. Tried again yesterday. Made it from 191 trail head to beaverdam overlook. started running out of water. I reckon that was about 9 miles. will try again.

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Joey Calsada
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Running

This is by far my favorite but the most dangerous trail to run on. It gets super narrow at many points! I love it!

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George B
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Hiking

First hike of the year, uphill to Little Pisgah. 151 & Pwky

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J West
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Hiking

Lightly traveled trail on the day I was there. Not a trail for sight seeing of vistas but the beauty of the trail and tree canopy is fantastic.

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Adam Runner
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Fairly heavy traffic when I was out, so don't plan on escaping into natural solitary. Overall a fun hike on the strenuous end of moderate thanks to some steep climbs and scrabbling. I would recommend proper footwear for maximum enjoyment and safety, on a wet day like today I was grateful for the tread.

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Anthony Anderson
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Hiking

This is a go-to when I want to take my pooch for a hike near where we live. I’ve been three times, and there’s been very little traffic any time. Nothing much as far as views (at least in the section from Arboretum to intersection at Blue Ridge Parkway). But if you like an uncrowded hike where you can let your dog off leash, this is very solid.

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Curtis & Dani Waters
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Hiking

The Shut-In Trail is actually about 17 miles long. It runs from the trail head shown on the map near the Arboretum by Bent Creek to the Mt. Pisgah parking lot. Today we did an out and back starting at the Mt. Pisgah end going about 5 miles before returning. We had over 2,500 feet of elevation change just in this section. It definitely has some steep and rocky parts but is a great hike. There are great views this time of year without the leaves on the trees and not as much traffic as earlier in the year. If you are looking for a heart pumper this is a good choice.

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Mary Muhlig
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Hiking

tough hike but a great one..we live here and love going on this hike with our trail hound!

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Steve Roser
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Nice trail. GPS didn't take us to trail head so took some time to find. Only 400 yards away but once we found it the trail was fun.

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Megan Martell
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This is a fine running trail, but definitely does not feature the river. If you're looking, in winter, you can see it far away through the trees. Can be a bit buggy in summer.

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Dale Cooper
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Walking

Got real thirsty on this one. Passed a group with their leader (who had dreads) and asked for a drink of water or some pop. They had some water, and I was appreciative. Thanks guys, if you are reading this. Other than that, trail was sloppy and ill-kempt.

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Heidi Grappendorf
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First mile is tough uphill. Nice trail. Views are not abundant.

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Erica Fetterman
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Trail run from the back of Bent Creek lot. Its tough!

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Eric Elliott
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Hiking

I love the history of this trail. Only had enough time to cover four miles before I had to turn around. I would rate it as moderate but definitely broke a sweat on a cool day. Not a lot of views because of trees but I want to go back in the spring when the mountain laurel are in full bloom!

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Dusty Cowell
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Hiking

I started hiking near the NC Arboretum and hiked for a few hours before returning to the car. The trail followed the road. The first few miles were a test of my conditioning. Very enjoyable half day hike.

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Antonio Salazar
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I love this place

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Alfredo Hogfat
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Hiking

Hike was somewhat dampened by the weather and company, but definitely a spot worth checking out.

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Kevin Kehres
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Hiking

The Shut-In trail is actually a much-longer trail than noted in the description. It starts at the entrance to the North Carolina Arboretum and pretty much parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the Pisgah Inn. That's about 12 or so miles total. There are trail heads pretty much at every overlook on the parkway so you can bite off as much or as little of it as you wish. I completed the entire length in a half-dozen out-and-backs. Some of the sections are pretty easy...others are strenuous. The most-strenuous sections are right at the beginning and right at the end. In addition, the section that includes Ferrin Knob is a haul. But the trail condition is good-to-excellent throughout. And it's really tough to get lost, because every couple of miles you'll reach another overlook on the Parkway. My most-favorite section of this trail is from Big Ridge Overlook heading west toward the Pisgah Inn (away from Asheville). Turn back when you reach the parkway...the trail crosses the road and then goes UP Little Pisgah Mountain. That's a killer -- truly a streuous section. But until then, it's absolutely gorgeous and a nice leg-stretcher. And I'm thinking it's probably the number one winter hike in the area -- I'll let you know.

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Shirley Tharp
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Hiking

Great winter views. Hiked to Sleepy Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway after an unintended extra mile or so of a forest service road/bike trail. Backtracked to the MTS/Shut In trail after realizing my error. On the way back to the Bent Creek area parking, I saw unexpected long range views of Biltmore Estate. Trail is maintained well too. Great local hiking for me and I will hike it again soon.

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Jordan & Marina Franklin
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Hiking

We went for about 2.5 miles or so before we decided to turn around.. The dogs loved it. It was snowing so all of our views were pretty obstructed but all on all it's a nice little nature walk. When you enter the trail you are on the arboretums property but after about a half mile you end up on some old logging roads. It's worth the trip.

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