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Shining Rock Wilderness Camping

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No campfires and no groups above 10

As long as you are not camping on the access road, you may camp at will. Below, is a list of suggested camp sites. Some are accessible by auto and some are within the wilderness area. The usual rules apply. No camping within 150 feet of a water supply, no camping within 100 feet of a trail, no campfires and no groups above 10.

The Big East Fork and Shining Creek Trail - Trailheads have a lot of creek-side campsites. Heavily traveled and used, it is still possible to find a great site just a short walk from you car. The Big East Fork Trail (#357) and The Shining Creek Trail (#363) can be found on either side of the Big East Fork. The parking areas are usually full, overflow parking is a across the road.

Black Balsam Knob Road

Park on Black Balsam Knob Rd. (F.S. 816). About one half of a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway you will notice a small parking area that is on the right side of the road. The group of balsam fir trees adjacent to the parking pull-off have a number of great sites. The sites straddle the Art Loeb Trail and are a stones throw from your parked vehicle.

Black Balsam Knob

Park at the parking area mentioned above. Follow the Art Loeb Trail to Black Balsam Knob. A short hike of one half of a mile and you can camp at will. Great views on clear days, beautiful starry nights and wonderful misty mornings. I like to camp here on Friday nights. After a drive from the Piedmont, the short walk to a site with such great views is very appealing.

Shining Rock Gap

A trail junction with surrounding level sites. This area is over used but deserves mention. I recommend camping further up the Art Loeb Trail to lessen the impact. There are plenty of wooded areas nearby that have more privacy and level ground.

Graveyard Fields

Milepost 296 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this popular short hike has some great camping spots as well. You can camp at will here but be sure to stay at least 150 feet from the creek or any other water source. The better camp sites are up the hill, you can have a little more privacy there.You can spend hours wandering around the stream bed and small trails here. A great spot if you need to find a place to set up camp quickly.

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