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.

hiking
3 days ago

A quick simple hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway (park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook and access is right across the road). Pathway was easy to navigate with stone steps on the hilly portions. An easy hike with the reward of a very beautiful natural waterfall and swimming hole. I went late morning mid-week and met only one other couple. Explore the banks downstream and you can easily find a quiet area to have a picnic and enjoy the sound of the water.

hiking
5 days ago

great short hike to a beautiful series of falls and pools. very refreshing and very cool water after you work up a sweat.

only downside were way too many dogs on the trail and there skat.

love dogs, but really? not the place...

the trail was great and the falls were great

Great hike! Short and sweet, has a really great waterfall and pools. Has rocks and steps so going can be slick in the rain.

hiking
7 days ago

Perfect short hike. Typically I'll do this one early morning when fewer crowds and before breakfast. There are some steep areas that are unconsolidated large rocks, but the trail is well maintained. Trailhead is at the end of the parking lot, don't be tricked by the small trail near the overlook at the front of the parking lot

Take this COUNTER-clockwise to minimize trail loss on the infuriatingly vague relentless Southern ascent, the crazy labyrinth of squirrel runs trying to find Shiny Rock, and the super slippy descent through Hobbit sized openings in the brush.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful, well-maintained trail with many wild flowers along the way to a worthy summit view - albeit next to a huge broadcast tower. Difficulty level is so subjective, but I’d say this is more of an easy than moderate trail, mainly because it’s just so short. The last bit is a bit steep but no more than being on a stair master for 15 or 20 mins. The rest of the hike is pretty mellow. Took a little over an hour for me and I’m pretty slow.

this one can be quite difficult depending on the path you choose. part of it is very narrow once you get up the first summit. beautiful views though. keep notice of where you are so you know when you turn back to loop back

hiking
10 days ago

Good trail not marked at all and a lot of side trails

Good hike with varied scenery. Spectacular views on the ridge.
Heavy traffic along the bald around Black Balsam and around the falls in the valley (due to parking areas).
Lots of areas to camp past the falls just before you go back into the Wilderness Area.
The river is spectacular. Lots of places to swim.

Recommendations:
Replenish water just before the Shining Creek Path ends (When you get into the pine trees after about 4.5 miles look for water. It is shown on the map). Very little water on ridge line (there is some). Plenty of places to get water from Black Balsam onwards. There were no bugs in Apr/May.
Loop the direction of the Shining Creek Path being the first day. A little strenuous but better than going the opposite way. A good two night trip if you want to take your time. Can easily be an overnight trip.
Detour up to Shining rock - the view is worth it.

I would consider this a relatively well used trail. Definitely saw a fair amount of people hiking and camping even though the weather called for an overnight storm.

Great little swimming hole included with scenic falls

hiking
12 days ago

Nice hike at the higher elevations and going along some nice waterfalls.

Bushwhacked to the top of the upper falls for a stunning view!

Beautiful and well maintained. Went on an overcast day so the view was nothing but white clouds and a little bit of precipitation was to be felt. Still it was a nice hike. Will be back and look forward to the view.

Always love graveyard fields and specifically love this section of the parkway. The Upper Falls are beautiful if you visit them before the leaves fill the trees (spring) and block the view. The best way to use the Upper Falls Loop Trail is to begin the hike at the stairs on the SOUTH end of the parking lot - not the main stairs closer to the building. Follow the trail signs. The trail veers of once in while for the campsites and fly fishing peeps - just stay on the main trail. When you reach the intersection for lower falls & upper Falls - continue to upper Falls ... the last 1/2 mike gets a little rocky, but not difficult. You’ll reach a section to walk out on the rocks to see to Falls - or continue to the top. It’s worth the final climb! When you walk back down, take a left at the loop intersection, to walk back towards lower falls. This will take back to the main staircase UP and back to the parking lot. About 4 miles in all!

Flat and rocky. Many other better alternatives nearby to the same locations, but can be relaxing. If it has rained within the week expect parts of the trail to be completely covered by puddles with plenty of dense mud

Easy hike to the waterfall. Never did find the upper falls because the trails are not well marked- there’s offshoots everywhere and very confusing! I wandered around with my dogs for a while and they liked the river but otherwise do not feel compelled to hike here again.

Really enjoyed this trail! Initial climb, but moderate with some places to stop and check the view. Once you reach the top gorgeous 360 degree views. You can continue on the Loeb trail if you like. Highly recommend.

We did this trail backwards and started at old butt knob, we took the first right in the trail instead of the one 4 miles in. I will say, I think the climb and elevation gain this way was much more difficult than heading to shining rock first. Nonetheless, the Old Butt Knob trail was in really good shape (the weather was cruddy otherwise I think the views would have been amazing too). When we finally made it to Shining Rock, we were both relieved since it was flatter and also astounded by the place. I will say the way back down through the woods and creeks was really nice although the waterfalles were behind us rather than us walking up to then which was somewhat disappointing. All together, I still think I would prefer going down hill that way than down Old Butt as that was much steeper and muddier. I would do this again though!

Amazing hike. I’ve hiked it year round. Especially love the fall. Blueberry bushes abound.

Quick and easy with great views

Signs or trail markers would have been super helpful as there are multiple forks. It was pretty though!

Start to finish
One day hike. Is rough

The Devil's Courthouse is a pinnacle rock outcropping at MP 422 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the summit you can see Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I recommend parking in the lot to take a view/photo up toward the outcropping to get a feel for your destination. From the parking lot you'll walk uphill along the road on an asphalt path that then turns right into the woods and ascends very steeply up the mountain. Eventually the asphalt ends at a rocky gully that you'll follow to the top. The viewing area has a rock barricade so it's safe for children. From the highest rocks within the viewing area you can get a pretty nice nearly 360* panorama. Due to the short hike leading to an excellent view that is safe for the family this is a "must do" excursion for those driving the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Nice, easy path to the top. But super crowded even on the chilly, windy day that I went. Other than the crowds, the views are fantastic! Definitely worth going.

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes. So many trails to go on in one area, and kid friendly. The views are amazing! I could stay here forever...

I attempted this trail once before but started too late and took the way to the right and realized i would not make t before dark. It’s not safe to do this in the dark as some areas require a bit of rock climbing. We did this hike again in the winter, one of the warmer days. It’s was a difficult hike but fun. I didn’t do a loop and came down the same way I came up. My nephew as cousin took the way to the right and did the loop. The trail is not well marked or always seen so got lost a few time. It was fun but probably will not do it again.

We did this loop over 4 days 3 nights it was a nice easy rewarding trip. Hitting some of the best sections of the art loeb. Navigating was not to difficult, some sections are not marked at all. MTS section of course was well marked. Graveyard fields were closed to camping due to bear activity. So we avoided staying near that area. Bear canister is required and spray is recommended.

Love this trail! Hiked here 4/2/18, perfect weather, even got a small sunburn. the views and diversity of this trail is amazing.

I went on this hike with my wife and two younger daughters. We intended to take the trail to the upper falls but strayed right and had to come back after we figured we had gone the wrong way. We eventually made it to the upper falls. I have to say I’m disappointed with this hike as it wasn’t worth the view at the falls. Just our opinion. However, we did the lower falls a few days ago and that one is well worth it. Only .3 miles and the water is much better suited for kids. I’d recommend the lower falls all day any day and will definitely go back during warmer weather with my kids.

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