Trails in the Shope Creek Trailhead Area

Here is a list of all trails in the Shope Creek Trailhead area.

Each trail has its own printable page with all the information and links, including (where available):

  • directions to the starting point
  • difficulty
  • length
  • elevation change
  • a map
  • photos from along the way, and
  • a detailed description and trail directions.

For general information about the Shope Creek trailhead, see the Shope Creek Trailhead page.

Need to find trails by another method? Go back to Trails.

"Crested Iris" Trail

  • Climbs moderately along the east side of Shope Creek; a bit more steeply near the upper end. Makes a good loop with the Shope Creek and Forrest Falls trails. Wildflowers, including Dwarf Crested Iris, line the trail in spring.
  • 0.65mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

"Fairy House" Trail

  • Crosses Shope Creek at the gate, then climbs through a clearing and into the forest beside a tiny wet-weather stream. Climbs steeply at the end before reaching an old logging road/trail.
  • 0.35mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

"Forrest Falls" Trail

  • Leads from the Shope Creek trail across a tributary of Shope Creek to the top of Forrest Falls. Provides connections with "Crested Iris" and "Upper Shope", making some loop possibilities. The lower part is identified as "I" on the Shope Creek logging...
  • 0.35mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

"Lane Pinnacle" Trail

  • Climbs a tributary of Shope Creek through a beautiful cove from Wolfden Flats to a (semi-) dead-end at the head of the cove near a large, angled rock feature below Lane Pinnacle. Unofficial scratch-paths head off in several directions from there.
  • 0.2mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

"Rich Cove Loop" Trail

  • Loops around a beautiful, gently sloping cove on old logging roads in an open, young hardwood forest of mostly Tuliptree/Yellow Poplar and Black Cherry below Rich Knob. Crosses a couple of tributaries of Shope Creek in wet weather at the upper end of...
  • 0.9mi, Climbs Moderately, Few Obstacles

"Rock Payne" Trail

More Difficult
  • Climbs over Rock Knob, Paynes Knob, and another unnamed summit as it traverses the ridge at Shope Creek's eastern boundary. Very steep in places; cliff-top views in others. Nice sections of surviving Carolina Hemlock forest. Can be used to make a...
  • 2.3mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough

Shope Creek Trail

More Difficult
  • FS 220, Shope Creek Road. Logging road with a gravel/natural surface climbs beside the main stem of Shope Creek through pine and hardwood forests. Reaches a logged area on the left, where the trail hooks into a clearing and ends. This area is filled...
  • 0.75mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough

"Shope Creek Connector" Trail

  • Placeholder for a few short connector trails in the Shope Creek area.
  • mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

"Thalweg" Trail

More Difficult
  • Follows the upper reaches of Shope Creek inside a small gulch cut by the stream, above Forrest Falls. Steep in places. Crosses the creek and tributaries in a few places. The creek is small and slows to a trickle at times up here. Beautiful...
  • 0.45mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

"Twisted Vine" Trail

  • Short loop through a nice cove in the center of the Shope Creek area below Paynes Knob.
  • 1.27mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles

"Upper Shope Creek" Trail

  • Travels up along the highest reaches of Shope Creek to a pretty cove below Wolfden Knob.
  • 0.3mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles

"Warbler Cove" Trail

More Difficult
  • Easy at first as it climbs along a tributary of Shope Creek, then steepens near the end as it climbs to a gap below Rock Knob. Follows and old logging road. Several other old road beds go off from this one, but this is the most well-worn path....
  • 1.3mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles

"Wolf Branch" Trail

  • Moderate uphill hike along Wolf Branch through a couple of logged areas. Continue uphill on Wolf Branch past the last clearing to reach "Casita Falls". Unofficial names.
  • 0.65mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

"Wolfden Falls" Trail

  • Climbs from Wolfden Flats trail up to a dead-end not far below Wolfden Falls, which only flow during wet weather. The falls is located high up on a tributary draining Wolfden Knob. You may be able to see and hear the falls from the end of the road...
  • 0.15mi, Climbs Moderately, Few Obstacles

"Wolfden Flats" Trail

  • Climbs from Forrest Falls toward the upper reaches of Shope Creek along old logging roads. Enters a nearly flat area below Wolfden Knob at its upper end, which is wet with several tributaries. Identified as roads "I" and "J" on the Shope Creek...
  • 0.6mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Nearby Trails

The following trails cross into this trailhead area, but are primarily accessed from another trailhead:

Elk Pen Trail

  • Created for use in the movie "The Last of the Mohicans" and used in the opening scene. Connects with FR 74 at the Upper Corner Rock trail. Passes through large oaks and poplars.
  • 1.9mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead

Upper Corner Rock Trail


Laurel Gap Trail


Perkins Trail

Most Difficult

Walker Creek Trail

More Difficult
  • Ascends steeply on the ridge above the creek to FS 74. Travels through scenic mixed hardwood forests. The upper section is extremely rocky, and the rocks are slick when wet.
  • 1.8mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead

Mountains to Sea Section 3 Trail

Most Difficult
  • **Pisgah Inn to Black Mountain Campground** Pisgah Inn, BRP mp 408.6 to Folk Art Center, BRP mp 382: from the Pisgah Inn to the Mount Pisgah Parking Area, the trail is co-signed as the Buck Spring trail. This leads past the old Buck Spring Lodge...
  • 67.7mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Section 5 Trailhead

Douglas Falls Trail

More Difficult
  • From FS 74, the trail begins as an easy, 0.5 mile walk to its spectacular eponymous waterfall - a great family hike. The trail continues on a much more difficult, rugged, and steep course above the falls, to eventually join up with the Mountains to...
  • 2.7mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead

Big Butt Trail

More Difficult
  • Yes, this really is the trail's name. Starts at the left side (facing away from the road) of the Walker Knob Overlook in Balsam Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway, heading downhill. (The trail to the right, heading uphill, is the Mountains to Sea Trail)....
  • 5.6mi, Hilly, Very Rough
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Section 4 Trailhead

Little Andy Trail

Most Difficult
  • The trail climbs and follows a ridge above Little Andy Creek. The trail emerges on Laurel Gap Trail about 100 feet from Upper Corner Rock Trail on the left. You will pass a seemingly misplaced large granite boulder on the left. Can be made into a...
  • 0.6mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead

Bear Pen Trail

More Difficult
  • A little overgrown with weeds, this trail travels along old roadbeds from FR 74 to the Laurel Gap trail. Crosses staire branch. There's lots of stinging nettle, so be sure to wear long pants on this trail (and others in the area).
  • 1.4mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead

Staire Creek Trail

More Difficult
  • Steep climb or descent mostly on eroded old roadbeds. Follows creek near the bottom; ascends to ridge near the top where it flattens out and passes through a clearing before ending on FS 74. Passes through a nice mature hardwood forest with a...
  • 1.1mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles
  • Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary) Trailhead