Explore the most popular forest 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.

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
2 days 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

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

I went in October with a group of friends. First trail I did after breaking my ankle and it was amazing

I went in October with a group of friends. First trail I did after breaking my ankle and it was amazing

hiking
5 days ago

Shady trail and nice enough but no great views as you go along. Agree it’s is easy for anyone that can go up and down hills. The real attraction is the falls at the end. Very pretty. The swimming hole is family-friendly and crowded at midday.

Beautiful falls and great time playing in the river.

hiking
6 days 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.

hiking
6 days ago

Short hike. Again fair amount of people there on a hot day... but definitely not crowded. Bring some water shoes and don’t be afraid to get wet.

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!

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!

Took the huskies. Got dirty. Beautiful views.

Super easy hike to awesome (small) waterfall and swimming hole. It is extremely busy on nice weekends so get there early to beat the crowds!

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.

Only had time to go to the lower falls where we soaked our feet after a long day of hiking.

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.

Strenuous climb. View was a little disappointing for all that work. Good workout though.

We just did the lower falls trail this time. Beautiful falls and swimming holes. Crowded at midday. This section of trail was mostly paved and steps. Fun short hike. Kinda like a walk in the park, only steep. Would like to do the loop when I’ve got some more time.

Great trail with spectacular 360 views!

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful falls with a lot of swim holes on up the falls if you want to do a little climbing to find them. We got there about 9:30 (Mon 7/2/18) and it wasn’t crowded, but it was getting pretty packed by the time we left. The water was definitely refreshing!! Great short hike off the parkway.

Good hike, dog friendly, but with an ok view at the top. Could be better.

hiking
19 days ago

Tough trail for fat guys as the climbing is constant and steep. The view at the top on the observation deck is spectacular, although it would be nice to have some benches there. No entrance fee, no restrooms at the trailhead, and plenty of parking. If you have physical limitations or cardio issues, I would advise against this trail. Otherwise be ready to take plenty of pictures.

hiking
19 days ago

Was a nice little hike. We went late morning when it was not crowded. We took our senior dog, but the trail consisted of too many steps for her to be comfortable. The falls and swimming hole were very scenic. Parking at the outlook across the road made it simple. Had a great simple hike, we recommend going!

Load More