Explore the most popular camping 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
4 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.

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
12 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!

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
19 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.

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.

1 month 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.  

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 views. Lots of wildflowers. A nice, enjoyable outing.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this today with our 2 teenage sons. The hike to the top is rocky and steep in some spots. While not a terribly long hike, it can be challenging. We enjoyed the scenery though. The view from the top was okay. The tower puts a damper on it a bit. The foliage was rather high so the views were obscured a bit. I would do it again as it was fun and presented a nice short hike that was still challenging.

backpacking
1 month ago

6/30/18-7/1/18 WOW! This was our first backpacking trip. Amazing hike! Loved how the first 5 miles and last 5 miles were along rivers! We loved it...and so did our white German Shepherd pup! Even though the weather called for some storms, it only rained at night while in our tent. It was very cloudy in some areas, but do not be fooled! Those foggy clouds move quickly! What looked to be a cloud covered evening turned into a beautiful sunset and sunrise the next morning! Same up by Tennent Mountain...cloudy but within 5 minutes it cleared! Before I get to my tips and tricks, I just want to say I’d do this exact same route again someday. Loved it and worth it!

Tips:
*download this app so you can track where you are while offline! Not all the trails are clearly marked. We added a couple miles after going the wrong way. And we ended up veering off Mountain To Sea Trail onto the graveyard trail ... which ended up meeting back up with mountain to sea eventually, but that part was very confusing. If you have this app and look at where you are shortly after each fork, you will be fine...we happened not to look early enough on this turn.
(Grab a trail map at the very least! There is a Pisgah National Forest Ranger station you can go to prior to getting to the hiking place...google map it)
*keep phone in airplane mode and bring an extra battery pack and the correct cord hookup for your phone-we took pictures and ran out of battery at the last 5 miles where the pigeon river is so amazing! (Plus Bridges Camp Gap Trail can be tricky)
*Bring hiking poles. Our $20 amazon ones worked great! We are athletic people and couldn’t imagine doing this without poles. So much better on your joints
*bear canisters required-rented one at Pura Vida Adventures Pisgah Forest NC. Keep it in some brush ~100 yards from tent...eat there too
*Want to see black bears? Keep very quiet. Don’t want to see black bears? Clank poles together here and there and sing a song. We saw none (I didn’t want to see any our first trip! But people along the trails did see them. Don’t eat by or in your tent, don’t feed bears, bury your poop, because even if you don’t see a bear, don’t let there be a chance your area attracts bears for the next people. I also carried some bear spray.
*Don’t watch the Netflix movie “Backcountry” before going. ;)

*Start on Shining Creek path and end on Big East Fork. Wouldn’t want to go the other way -easier to climb up fast than the other way around!
*Watch your river-fill up before the ridge (around 4 miles in! Water is scarce till getting past the ridge. On map it looks like you cross the water a few times at the end of Shining Creek but those water sources are much less ... it’s not a true river site.
*we used Sawyer filters off amazon-took 6 normal plastic water bottles plus the 2 pouches that cane with our two sawyer filters. (Keep a couple designated clean bottles and just keep pouring the bottles into the pouches and squeezing them into the clean ones.
*at 6.2 miles you’ll see the Shining Rock Wilderness sign by a meadow. Many camp areas up that way ... some not covered, some up by the woods. There were 5 other couples up that way. Beautiful sunset and sunrise there! We stayed by the trees because we heard the wind and rain can get crazy if rain is called for up there-and it was, but the couple in the meadow were alright.
*we left late but wanted to make it to 8miles...there was another place to camp by there but not a bunch of options like at 6.2miles.
*We went on the wrong trail for about a mile and turned around to go on the correct trail up to black balsam...if you aren’t going up for a while check where you are!
*off the ridge, where Mountain To Sea Trail starts, there was a forest with big White Dots on some trees or rocks helping you keep course.
*Like I said we someone ended up on the graveyard trail which met up with Mountain To Sea so it was ok, but that was very confusing.
*after Mountain To Sea comes Bridges Gap Trail. Our phones died and this trail leads you right down to a large boulder on the river! That must be the Gap ha! You have to walk down the boulder (for us a large tree trunk was sticking out where the trail continued) but you have to walk to the boulder a ways to see where the trail continues (it’s on the same side of the river)
*THEN you ARE ON BIG EAST FORK. We saw no sign that said we were suddenly on Big East Fork! It was a beautiful hike by the Pigeon River! Places to camp and swim here as well.

I think we were somehow at Skinny Dip Falls (not sure) where there were a lot of people swimming. There’s a bridge you cross that us pretty high up..watch your dog.

Hope this helps and does not deter!! It truly is SPECTACULAR!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellently maintained trail. Mostly rock-steps. Fairly steep ascent. Took 27 minutes to go up at a fairly steady, brisk pace. Went on Monday late afternoon and there was little traffic--saw less than 20 people round-trip. The view was meh. Don't go up because you think you're getting an awesome view. You will be disappointed. Go up because you want a nice 1.1 mile hike up a mountain on a rocky trail.

Very crowded trail if you go on a weekend day. Somewhat moderately strenuous uphill to a overlook. The views are nice but really are marred by the news tower at the same location. There are better hikes to go on in the area to be honest. Not a top pick to take visitors to.

Absolutely beautiful views. Great hike! Maybe, a little tricky for older folks with knee issues. Good shoes will make navigating the rocks easier. This hike should not be missed. Also, so many other places to see: Devil’s Courthouse, Skinny Dip Falls, Looking Glass Falls, Graveyard Fields. Make a day of it!

Beautiful views reward you after a pretty steep incline to the top of the summit. The trails at the top are not very well marked so have your AllTrails map out and ready. We accidentally took the art loeb trail back halfway before we realized we were headed the wrong direction. Still, despite incoming rain, we got gorgeous views and only a little bit wet. Will def come back here.

Beautiful green hike, great to do in the a.m. Lots of side trails to explore as well. Will be doing again regularly

Outstanding views and rock formations.

This is a great, short distance hike with exceptional scenery of the surroundings mountains. I went on an overcast Thursday morning and was surprised at the number of cars in the parking area. I was afraid there was going to be a crowd at the top but I only encountered a few people. Despite the overcast conditions the sun poked through several times for great 360 degree views. This will be a great hike on a cool Fall day and I will definitely be going back.

Good short hike. Rock "staircase" for most of the ascent which is helpful - it does get fairly steep as you get closer to the top. Nice nearly 360 degree views from the deck on top except for where the tower is - today was a bit hazy. Buggy on top which shortened the stay. Overall very nice.

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