Explore the most popular walking 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
9 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
10 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
13 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
14 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.

hiking
16 days ago

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

Great little swimming hole included with scenic falls

hiking
17 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.

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.

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.

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.

A great trail with a mix of sights and terrain. We did Art Loeb to Shining Rock first, then Ivestor Gap back. Beautiful views mixed with quiet forests. We had a great time. I would recommend bringing your hiking poles, the footing can get tricky in parts, especially if your knees bother you like mine do. Also, bring a map! There are several unmarked junctions along Art Loeb.

My husband and I completed this hike yesterday with our dog Charlie. Round-trip, the hike clocked in at 8.8 miles per my husband's Garmin Fenix GPS. (It is definitely nowhere close to 12 miles, as another reviewer stated.) Although the trail is not marked, it is fairly easy to follow, with a few spots being trickier at times. Shining Creek trail was beautiful, following the creek for most of the ascent up to the rock. The views from Shining Rock are incredible and well worth the hike up! We also saw spectacular views on Old Butt Knob on our way down. The descent got extremely steep near the end, so hiking sticks would really come in handy on this trail. There are also several very nice campsites off of each trail. We completed the hike in just over 5 hours' active moving time.

This trail was perfectly fine. You have to choose which direction to take several times while signs are there to help about twice. It’s annoying, but not too bad. The upper falls were pretty, but nothing exciting. I would not recommend this because you could find better trails to use your energy on.

Tough rocky climb. Not recommended for kids under 6. Great views are the reward.

OH MAN- this trail was intense!! We started off doing Old Butt Knob to get to the top of Shining rock and then took Shining Creek trail back down the mountain. I highly recommend doing Old Butt Knob first. That trail was like the ultimate stair master and going down it after a full day on hiking would have been hard. My friend and I are both active people, but we don’t hike too often. It took us about 8 hours to hike 10 miles (the trail was closer to 9 miles but we wandered a bit and that’s why we hiked 10 miles). We just took our time getting up the mountain and had a blast. I know some reviews say this trail isn’t for amateurs, but if you are an active person, you should have no problem completing it. The only problem I had was that there were not a lot of view points along this trail. Any views of the mountain range were blocked by trees. We actually hopped on the Art Loeb Trail for about a mile to get some better views and ended up hanging out at the top of one of the mountains for an hour or so. Also, make sure you bring a trail map and compass. There were no blazes on any of the trails. There were, however, distinctive paths through the forest that were easy to follow. If you are going to venture off on another trail, make sure you know how to get back! Also, if you are looking to camp overnight, there are plenty of campsites along both trails. There were these little paths that we followed off of the main trail and they always lead to a campsite. I think we stumbled upon 4 or 5. Overall, it was a good hike, but I felt it was more for the exercise rather than the views.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did this as a 2 night backpacking trip. Well established trail but NOT marked. Tough, rocky terrain that can be slippery after rain but elevation gain isn’t bad. We had intended to continue on to Greasy Cove Trail and loop around Shining Creek Path back to the trailhead but we could not find the trail after 2 hours so we made an out and back of Big East Fork.

All in all a good first time trip for this novice backpacker. Campsites were nice and flat with easy access to the creek for water.

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