Explore the most popular birding 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.

On 8/15/2018 at 1700hrs my wife and I saw an adult black bear on the Art Loeb Trail just below Shining Rock.

Someone had left a day pack on the ground there between the junction for the Cold Mountain trail and Shining Rock.

The bear WAS NOT scared away easily.

Also the blueberries and blackberries are now mature and we saw bear scat on the trail in multiple places.

Exercise caution between Grassy Cove Top and Shining Rock as the crowds fall off and it seems people are being reckless with their food.

Other than the bear this hike is great.

Also be careful to avoid the side trails around Shining Rock. It’s really easy to get lost up there!

Amazing views, multiple peaks, and an easy to follow trail. Highly recommended.

hiking
2 days ago

I hiked this trail last year and the hike is short but the end with the views are beautiful.

Awesome trail. Trails aren’t marked but easy to navigate and all trails was spot on. Did this hike after a few days of heavy rain. Art Loeb was wet but easy to avoid dunking your feet. Investor Gap was a creek as others reviewed. Felt longer than 3.9 miles, but maybe due to the extra steps over the rain runoff. A great variety of terrain and views were amazing; will do this again for sure.

The first half of this hike was amazing. However, then the trail becomes incredibly overgrown and at some point the trail didn’t seem to follow this at all? We are experienced hikers and it took us longer than we expected. So, go at your own risk.

Hiked this with family in November 2017. It remains my favorite hike. The views at the top are amazing. So clear views for a long ways away. Great photo ops. Can’t wait to return.

hiking
9 days ago

First mile of the trail was very wet, but luckily more rocky than muddy. Views are spectacular as you reach the first intersection with the Art Loeb trail. Saw a three-foot long timber rattler as we were leaving, near the Art Loeb trailhead!

The only downside was the rapid influx of obscuring clouds once we reached the top....after a few minutes, the Parker my lot was not visible, along with everything else. But what a view we had before the clouds engulfed us! Loved this!

This was one of several hikes I’ve taken during two consecutive summers of visiting these mountains and this trail is by far my favorite! The trail is relatively flat until the last 3/4 of a mile, but even the steepest parts were manageable. The whole trail offers beautiful views or surrounding peaks, with the best views coming from the top of shining rock itself. I’m an extreme novice hiker and not at all in great shape but I loved this hike and did not consider to be difficult.

Completed a backpacking trip on this trail in late July - trail was diverse, views were amazing, but the reviews that mention the lack of markings are definitely not lying. Downloaded the AllTrails map but would not recommend trying to tackle Shining Rock without a paper map of Pisgah. Footing tricky in places but overall a moderate trail that delivers in all the important ways.

camping
16 days ago

A great gradual hike traversing through forests and along streams. Had a hard time finding it- the turn creeps up on you from the Mountains To Sea Trail! The summit can only be defined as picturesque coupled with a feeling of peaceful solitude.

Felt like coming home

Old Butt Knob? More like Old Ass Knob. Literally and figuratively. All the little whoas saying this trail was great literally need to go to the doctor because they are still delusional from the exhaustion this trail induced. This trail is actually utter ass and disappointment, with 2 miles of the most grueling ascent I’ve ever seen and no payoff for it what so ever. Just my opinion tho, this was day 3 of a 40 mile hike and was quite possibly the worst thing to come across after the exhaustion I was already under. Old Ass Knob, you will not be missed, This is a warning to anyone that has any sense at all, except the trail joggers, by all means trip and fall

Beautiful 360 view of the Blue Ridge, wow!

360 degree panoramic views, butterflies, blueberries-great hike.

18 days ago

Easy. Nice clear water swimming hole

Nice trail. The waterfalls are gorgeous but the trail to the upper isn’t well marked. Never saw a blaze and went off the path for a little bit. Fortunately there are a ton of people who you will run into at some point to redirect.

Upper falls is worth it despite wet trail and many offshoots.

Easy and mostly flat.

hiking
23 days ago

Oh my gosh of my favorite falls thus far. So gorgeous. Hike isn’t bad.

hiking
25 days ago

Loved the water fall. Was so much fun!!

Beautiful hike, moderate difficulty, amazing ridge top views. There are latrines in the parking area, but you don’t want to use them. Combine with Art Loeb trail to make a nice 5 mile loop.

29 days ago

A moderate hike but still a nice place to stretch my paws.   

We've had a lot of rain this spring and summer.   Consequently the trail was a little muddy and slightly overgrown.  Still a nice walk to a panoramic view at the top with cell service.  For my two legged friends who don't live in these parts, cell service should never be taken for granted.  Download before you go.

My nose must have been off on Tuesday, I couldn't find a waterfall.   Is it on a connecting trail?

Four woofs for the view.  

Swimming hole!   Bring a towel and get your paws wet.  

This is a must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Get there early!   The parking lot fills up early.

Theres a fair amount of elevation change.  Fortunately there are stairs at the top, stairs in the middle and stairs at the bottom.  Lots of well maintained stairs plus a bridge and a bordwalk with an asphalt trail in between.   There's really not much of a trail to get your paws dirty.   Thanks USFS!  A great trail for older owners or owners with younger children. 

Four rest rooms in the parking lot if you need to do a quick change into dry fur before resuming your journey.   They're pit toliets but they're clean and well maintained if you need to do your business and can't sniff and pee along the trail like I can. 

Remember to practice safe waterfalling.  Stay at the bottom.  No climbing.  Finally, remember to always keep your owners on a leash so they don't get lost. 

Five woofs.

Swiming hole!!! Much more private than Graveyard Fields just up the road.

An easy hike over a well maintained trail. Easy parking. A must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Despite the name, wear your fur. Otherwise there might be pointing, giggling, and shrinkage.

Five woofs!

Easy access. Easy parking. Paved trail. A little step but not very long. Spectular views. Its a must stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dog friendly.

Five woofs!

Wow! What a hike. Definitely take a good map and a compass. We took Old Butt trail to Shining Rock and then back down Shining Creek. We went in mid July and there was so much vegetation the trail was almost unrecognizable in places. Old Butt trail is no joke and this is no easy stroll.

Don’t be fooled by the number of cars parked along the road at trailhead. Many people are just there to camp. Not exactly easy trail as many parts have rocks to scurry up or step through. Meadow at the top with a hum of bumblebees on the many wildflowers. Amazing views in every direction. We’ve done it twice this trip.

fishing
1 month ago

Good fishing. Rough trail not marked well but won’t get you lost.

beautiful trail and views it's a little steep but worth the effort

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