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A 12 mile loop around Shining Rock plus jumping in swimming holes along the way!


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Map Key

13.3

Miles

21.4

KM

Loop

5,974' 1,821 m

High

3,365' 1,026 m

Low

3,106' 947 m

Up

3,101' 945 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

69%

Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Leashed

Overview

A intermediate to difficult hike with some excellent water crossing and falls. Route: Head up Old Butt to Shining Rock Gap, down to Ivestor Gap on the Art Loeb Trail, pick up Grassy Cove to Big East Fork back to the parking lot. This is a difficult, but doable, hike typical of the Pisgah National Forest.

Description

Begin this route on Shining Creek Path for the first 0.75 miles. You'll follow the trail along Shining Creek until you reach a junction with Old Butt Knob Trail #100. Both Shining Creek Path and Old Butt Knob Trail will intersect the Art Loeb Trail, but the Old Butt Knob Trail climbs more gently.

Old Butt Knob Trail #100 is a steady climb for the first couple of miles to get up to the ridgeline. If you do this trail in the winter, expect to have good views the whole way, but in summer or fall, they're bound to be obscured by the foliage. Once you have reached the ridgeline, the trail will level out and the hiking will be much easier. You'll go over a few knobs, where the forest opens up, before eventually reaching the access trail to Shining Rock (a very large quartz outcropping) that makes a great lunch spot with expansive views. After enjoying Shining Rock, head back to the trail and continue right (west) to find the trail's end in a junction with the Art Loeb Trail.

Follow the Art Loeb Trail south for a little under 2 miles. Then you'll intersect with Greasy Cove Trail which is a great trail for hiking and—though it can be steep at times—it stays relatively dry. There are some beautiful view towards the top. Descend to the Big East Fork Trail and head north, following the trail all the way back to the trailhead.

History & Background

This route was set up years ago as a birthday run for the Ginge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Craig Marshall

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3779

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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50%
3 Star
25%
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#157

in North Carolina

#3,779

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1,995 Since May 23, 2019
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Photos

Keep heading down to the left as you pass the giant quartz rocks
Jul 5, 2019 near West Ca…, NC
Turn right to go up Old Butt Knob (staying straight keeps you on Shining Creek trail)
Jul 5, 2019 near Canton, NC
Viewpoint off Old Butt Knob Trail
Apr 30, 2018 near Canton, NC
Head right to go up to Shining Rock, left to keep heading down towards Art Loeb/giant quartz rocks
Jul 5, 2019 near West Ca…, NC
Expansive views across the Smoky Mountains from along the Art Loeb Trail
Nov 6, 2017 near West Ca…, NC
Trail conditions, bring that map and gps
Feb 17, 2018 near Canton, NC

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Bad / Closed 90 days ago
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Check-Ins

Apr 4, 2024
Jake Maranzatto
ticking this off for the weekend hike 2 weeks ago 13.3mi — 9h 10m
Apr 19, 2022
John Peterson
Several difficult sections on Big East Trail due to Tropical Storm Fred damage.
Oct 7, 2019
Christian Hunt
Beautiful hike with views of rivers and mountain ridge lines. 13.3mi
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