Explore the most popular trails near Canton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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It took me about 50 minutes to hike up to the summit, I’m not a hiker but I’m a healthy and active person. I went slow but I only stopped a few times for less than a minute each to take pictures and catch my breath. Some parts of the trail were rocky and steep and a little slippery. I started around 7:20am and saw only one couple with their dogs ahead of me. I had the summit all to myself for a few minutes and the view was very nice, although the view from the Buck Springs Gap overlook near the trail entrance was much more spectacular than the one at the summit.

Beautiful trail. Great views along the ridge line at the top. This is a moderate hike, so prepare to be a little challenged, even though it is short.

I really enjoyed Art Loeb to Black Balsam and Tennett. Just past Tennett there is a grassy meadow valley. From there you follow Flower Gap to continue to Shining Rock. I would have been happy turning around at the cove.
The trail until then was open and airy. Great views. But it far into the Flower Gap portion it was cramped. The trail was narrow and the vegetation was dense. There were a few cool trees along the way.
I wasn’t super impressed with Shining Rock. It was a bunch of giant boulders. You can climb on them if that’s your thing but be careful to come back down the way you care. Surrounding the boulders are those curvy wavy trees/ bushes (not sure what they are called but they look like an enchanted forest) so it’s hard to get your bearings.
Ivestor back is much easier trail wise. A few great views but mostly just trudging back to your car.

Nice views. Lots of dogs and what dogs leave behind.

Well worth the short hike to the overlook. We stayed and just enjoyed the solitude and watched as the Falcons flew on the wind currents.we were actually there on August 31 but just now posting.

I fell in love with the blue ridge on the art loeb trail.

Really pretty and short - but definitely moderate (not easy) hike between the climb on the way back and the uneven surfaces. We were mostly alone mid afternoon on a Friday, but as we left we passed at least a bakers dozen of college students on their way in with (open on the trail) cheap beer, so perhaps less delightful late in the day on a Friday!

Amazing views all around

not easy. 1/2 mile but either up or down, no flat.

This is a great trail for hikers who like crossing through fields of wildflowers and high grasses. Watch out for snakes, of course, and don’t worry about the bees everywhere because they’ve got plenty to focus on other than you. The top of the hill provides nice views from flat rocks (again, snakes on warm days), so bring a camera and a snack for the summit.

hiking
16 days ago

The terrain here is beautiful, and the altitude changes nicely (but be careful about loose stones and slippery wetness). If you want to see how the different faces and altitudes of the region affect the trees and local insects (open grassy fields, hickory, berries, oak, various evergreens, bees among the rhododendrons and ragweed, flies on the bear and dog scat), this is a good trail for that purpose over just a few miles. Also, there are several crossing routes and side trails so that you can modify your hike to your needs, but remember to walk the extra mile or two to catch all of the falls.

We did the loop from Looking Glass overlook in an anticlockwise direction, and omitted Black Balsam for a total of 11 miles and 2300 ft of rise. Very nice moderate walk with a variety of scenery. The trail is quite overgrown by Ivestor Gap but not so much that you loose it. Watch out for the stream crossings on Greasy as the rocks can be slick but the water depth is usually low.

hiking
19 days ago

Review of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, and Graveyard Fields Loop, hiked with one dog, two children ages 7 and 10 who are intermediate hikers. 

I grew up hiking this trail and today I passed the torch on to my boys (7 and 10). Graveyard fields is a well known and popular hike for locals and tourists alike. During the Summer time and weekends you can expect heavy foot traffic. Being a Tuesday we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. We started off by visiting lower falls just under 1/2 mile from the parking area down several flights of stairs. This area is a popular swimming area and where we saw the most people on our trip today. If you have very young children, older dogs, or anyone in your group with difficulty getting around this will be your go to spot. This spot offers several large boulders to take a breather on or sunbathe. A small waterfall you can rock hop your way up to. There are also a couple of small swimming holes for everyone to cool off in on warmer days. Be sure to rest up and keep in mind the stairs can be tedious on the way back out. If you are looking for a more adventurous hike then head back up the stairs and to the fork you passed on your way in. Keep right to start a 1 mile hike to upper falls. Note this trail is not well marked, and underbrush often takes over the path. You will be forced to hike single file, wade through mud, rock hop across several creeks, and navigate over tree roots, rock steps, and boulders. This trail is not recommended for young children, or pups that might struggle to get around well. Several of the areas are slick from the cooler wet environment and can be challenging to navigate in areas. As you hike you will come to another main fork go left to take graveyard fields loop or veer right to continue on to upper falls. This is where the trail can become challenging, as you make your way to Upper Falls. Once you arrive at upper falls you can choose to stay where the trail meets the water or continue to hike on up either the boulders or along a small trail that will take you parallel to the water and to the top of the waterfall. There are several areas among the rocks where you can wade through the water and admire the waterfall. Be careful though as these rocks are often very slick and can be tricky to navigate. There are several trees that offer the opportunity to hang up a hammock for a nap after a nice picnic. Once you're ready to head out, back trackthe same you came in. You will once again find yourself at the fork for graveyard fields loop which will bring you out at the lower end of the parking lot or you can follow the same route you hiked in on. This hike is a great way to spend the day relaxing with friends and family with beautiful flowers, ample views of water it will feel like your own little paradise. Come prepared to get your feet wet and muddy and bring towels for your four legged family members. 

Had a blast! Getting a 13.5 year old geriatric 65 LB Catahoula to the top of Sam’s Knob was a bit more adventure than I anticipated, but well worth the view at the top! The meadows reminded me of Rocky Mountain National Park, beautiful scenery & great day for a hike!

so I have to give my daughter a shout out she is only 5years old and she hiked from Daniel Boone boys scout camp to the summit of Cold Mountain and back in one day. We hiked it as a family I carried our 2year old in a pack on my back and the wife carried all our food and water. We started at 9:15am and made it back to the truck at 7:25pm. it was tough and we had to take plenty of breaks but I don't know how many other 5year olds can say they have done it. Next time I believe we will camp though.

Great hike. Got started at PL at 0900 and up we went! Still wet from thick fog. Took our time and made it to top in 30 minutes. Too foggy to see much but still a great short hike. A definite recommend. Watch rocks they are slippery. Paved all but last few hundred feet.

I have done this three times, all going up to Old Butt and Dog Loser Knob and coming back down the creek. The ascent is very steep, do not attempt on very hot days or late in the day. I think the navigation is better in this direction but you have to pay attention on the ridge and in the area around Shining Rock. You need a GPS to attempt this hike. Last year we did this in May when the rhododendrons were out. Fabulous. This is a Wilderness area and there are no signs except one off the summit to mark the way down Shining Rock Creek. One of my favourites

Great Short Hike! It was uphill most of the way, but the view was worth it!

A great 10 mile hike. Beautiful views from the balds and from Shining Rock. The Shining Rock Wilderness is aptly named. No blazes on any of the trails and parts of the Art Loeb Trail are difficult to find and follow.

The trail up to the top is Shining Rock is hidden and overgrown. It felt like we were the first to traverse the trail in months, so we were surprised to pass other hikers. Without the AllTrails Recording function we would have gotten lost for sure, but it kept us on the trail.

We ate our fill of wild blueberries and enjoyed the wildflowers. No bear sightings, but plenty of evidence of them along the trail.

The loop back to the parking area along the Little East Fork Trail and Ivestor Gap Trail was less scenic, but a wider, easier trail.

Overall, one of my favorite hikes of the season. It was quite crowded until we got a few miles away from the trailhead, but that was no doubt due to Labor Day weekend.

This hike is more than moderate for a 72 year old! First mistake was eating breakfast at The Pisgah Inn and then immediately going on a hike we've done at least four other times. We hear of hikers doing this assent in 20 to 30 minutes but we would have died on the trail trying to do it in less than an hour! So we took it slow and caught our breath probably six times but enjoyed the scenery along the way, which a speedy run wouldn't allow.
the trail overall, is well maintained and enhanced by the platform at the top. the views are spectacular even with a tower. The descent always goes easier but caution is the word for the day as one slip and your career is over as far as hiking goes. Recommend trekking poles to steady your climb and return. I believe the rating as most have given this trail, of moderate, is based upon ones age, weight, and attitude. personally I'd rate it "Difficult". See you at the trailhead!

23 days ago

Fun little trail, very rocky as to be expected. Nice and scenic swimming area at the end. Fun but very, very crowded.

Beautiful!!! Would rate as moderate to get to top but well worth the trek!!! Beautiful panoramic views at the top!!

Very nice hike. Went to the lower falls then graveyard ridge trail.

This is a short hike in and out. There’s at least two different trails you can take to get to black balsam. One is very steep and rocky with roots sticking up everywhere, and the other is not so bad. ;). Very open and airy hike with wonderful views! Views aren’t as good in the summer because of haze though. But like all of our beautiful hikes here, it’s over crowded. You’ll have a hard time finding a parking spot on the weekends and the same goes for a camping spot. And no you can’t just make another spot somewhere. “Leave no trace” please.

hiking
27 days ago

Once again, this used to be a favorite hike for us. That was when there was no restroom and the parking lot held 5 cars but there was usually only 1 or 2 there. Now if it’s a weekend, be prepared to walk from a half mile down the road with the rest of the cars lined up along the way. This is a steep hike at the beginning and end with an easy to moderate hike the rest of the time. You have two waterfalls to choose from, the upper falls or lower falls. The upper falls is a longer harder hike, and the lower falls has a swimming hole. But be prepared to fight for space among the 30-60 other people trying to swim in that one little hole. Also please watch out for rattle snakes. They are very abundant in the fields.

walking
27 days ago

This is a pretty easy trail. Not thing special to look at, but has a cute swimming hole at the end. It is ALWAYS CROWDED. We used to go swimming here 20 years ago before it became a thing in any guide books and there really wasn’t a trail to follow. But we skip it now because it’s just not big enough for the crowds.

hiking
27 days ago

The second half of the hike is pretty strenuous to the top of Sam Knob. But it sure is beautiful up there. Best when the fall colors are out. Don’t go if it’s been raining because the trail is muddy, narrow, and drops off the side of the mountain in many places. There’s lots of rocks to climb over and many small ones in the path and it can be treacherous even when it dry. Of course like all our beautiful spots here have become in the past 10 years, it’s over crowded all the time.

First, ignore the review that a five year old did this trail! No way! It is a great ascent, but strenuous from mile two to the Art Loeb trail or another 2 Miles. Some 40% grades in the final two miles. Getting to the top is another .5 Miles, but worth it. Have AllTrails loaded and you will need it. The trail is very confusing at the bottom and especially at the top!

Also the first two mile of the descent is actually harder than the ascent! Lots of loose rocks, exposed roots, it’s Billy Goat country! This last for the first two miles of the descent and it’s very tedious, one wrong step and you twisted your ankle.

This is not a moderate hike, with 40% grades and the technical problems on the descent.. this is a tough hike.

The quartz field at the top is very cool and worth seeing, have your map or u won’t find it!

hiking
28 days ago

A nice short hike. Parking seems crowded, but as long as you park off the side of the pavement near the designated hard-top parking spaces, you’ll be fine.

The view from the top is superb, and it’s particularly great if you’re the only one up there, especially for a nap on the rocks in the sun. (But beware of snakes with similar ideas.)

Not a trail for hammocks because it’s pretty narrow most of the way, but super if you want to test a rookie’s pace and stamina with moderate hiking in less than an hour.

Very nice loop if you like a challenge! We did it without modifications. Sometimes the trails are hard to find. Two unexpected river/creek crossings. Dicey and some got wet boots. Did this August 23. Trails were completely overgrown in places and covered with grasses. It moved slow. It took us 10 hours. Our total miles were 13.8 instead of what AllTrails said. I would not have rated this hike moderate with a total of over 3000+ elevation gain. Very diverse and the river and falls were beautiful. I could not have done this without the AllTrails GPS helping me find the right trails. Many are unmarked and confusing.

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