Explore possibilities - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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My wife and I hiked the trail this morning. Easy hike with lots of nice views and wildflowers. Lots of history with the Lodge and it must have been spectacular to stay there in the early 1900’s. Trail is kept up nicely. We will definitely be coming back for a fall hike. Had a great lunch in Weaverville.

I love this trail! I used to hike it as a kid and remember enjoying all of the water areas to play in along the way up the mountain. It's definitely a workout, but such an incredible view at the top. So worth it!!

hiking
3 days ago

Well worth the effort. Only a few other people on the trail and had the falls all to myself.

hiking
4 days ago

I hiked this trail last year and the hike is short but the end with the views are beautiful.

Gravel and rock trail that is, for the most part, and easy walk. Not a lot to see along the trail except for the wildflowers and butterflies, which my girlfriend's daughter found quite attractive. The view from the tower is great, even on a cloudy day. The tower platform is still locked but you can ascend to the landing just below, which offers grand views. I wouldn't call this a destination trail. But if you're in the area it's worth a little time.

Beautiful views on the way up to the blue trail loop.
We chose to go left and it was decently steep. My heart rate was up until we reached the top, where a natural spring was coming out of a rock.
I use trekking poles while hiking to protect my knees and was thankful to have them once we were half way up the blue trail.
We didn’t see any wildlife while we were out, but I imagine 2 people and 2 dogs make a lot of noise to scare animals out of our path.

Great trail, well maintained and ability to see 4 falls if you know where to look!

Old Butt Knob? More like Old Ass Knob. Literally and figuratively. All the little whoas saying this trail was great literally need to go to the doctor because they are still delusional from the exhaustion this trail induced. This trail is actually utter ass and disappointment, with 2 miles of the most grueling ascent I’ve ever seen and no payoff for it what so ever. Just my opinion tho, this was day 3 of a 40 mile hike and was quite possibly the worst thing to come across after the exhaustion I was already under. Old Ass Knob, you will not be missed, This is a warning to anyone that has any sense at all, except the trail joggers, by all means trip and fall

backpacking
20 days ago

When you enter the Fish Hatchery park immediately to your left in the large parking lot. The trailhead begins there to the far left if you want to do Cat Gap Loop Trail clock-wise. The Trail is very narrow in the beginning but opens up somewhat. Lots of roots and rocks, streams and mud so this is definitely a Moderate Trail. Blaze signage is sorely lacking and I only saw it for the first few trees at the beginning then nothing! Eventually you will reach the right branch to John Rock Loop which is pretty darned steep and long but like everyone else says the view is worth it. The pics you take will not even come close to looking like the real thing. It’s a 10/10 awesomeness. It took us about 90 mins to get to the top and 60 back - we retraced our path as we didn’t have enough energy to complete the entire Cat Gap Loop this time around.

The view at Haw Creek is worth it! It’s beautiful. Nice hike, I will say the first half is uphill. But it’s great. The highway is buzzing through most of it but I just put in my iPod and thought.

hiking
21 days ago

Favorite trail in pisgah! We hike this one every visit. Lots of little creek crossings and just a cool environment. Lightly traveled, we usually only come across just a few people. Dog loves it. We typically start from the Buckhorn Gap trailhead.

hiking
26 days ago

Do the loop Clockwise for sure. This is an aerobic hike. John's rock view is impressive, but easy to miss the turn off for it. Trail can be muddy and challenging when it rains. Best time to do it is like others have stated in the fall. Some real nice camping spots along the way.

(from kid's point of view) We didn't do the whole trail, but not our favorite. a road crossing and walking alongside the BRP - kind of nervewracking with 2 dogs and 3 young kids. Road noise and lots of invasive plants (English Ivy, Wisteria) which might improve as you got further in.

1 month ago

A moderate hike but still a nice place to stretch my paws.   

We've had a lot of rain this spring and summer.   Consequently the trail was a little muddy and slightly overgrown.  Still a nice walk to a panoramic view at the top with cell service.  For my two legged friends who don't live in these parts, cell service should never be taken for granted.  Download before you go.

My nose must have been off on Tuesday, I couldn't find a waterfall.   Is it on a connecting trail?

Four woofs for the view.  

Decent elevation, dog friendly, lots of nettles and the path is thin at times, which made it harder for the kids.

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.

I thought this hike was pretty hard. Lots of steep incline but wow so beautiful!!!! You really are IN the mountains with this view. Pretty surreal. Great workout’

I took my four year old with me on this hike. It was perfect for her. We went on a rainy Sunday and passed multiple people. The top was a nice view but I’m not sure I would go back. Also the watch tower is closed, however you can climb it to the closed stairs door. It was great for a rainy day adventure.

Very beautiful with lots of wildlife and flowers. Watch out for bears, I got attacked on the trail 3 days ago by a black bear with cubs. (We startled each other.) luckily I’m pretty tall and she decided to stop in front of me and back up.

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy hike. I added the loop for the blue trail. the pace I was doing made it easy. On a harder day the blue climb would have got the heart rate up.

trail running
1 month ago

I only did 6 miles (RT). I started at the Walker Knob overlook, off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take path to the Left that points in the direction of Big Butt. You will be on Big Butt Trail. In 6 miles (RT), you can ascend and descend Pt. Misery (no view), and climb to Little Butt Overlook. There is a rock outcropping with a view here. I kept going pass Little Butt overlook for another half-mile. The trail is a bit less well-maintained after Little Butt, but still very obvious for the additional half-mile that I took. When I got to 3 miles, I turned around and returned to parking lot. Nice trail. Enjoyed the hike. Ran for much of it. Do this is you want a great walk in the woods. Trail has lots of steps--see photos.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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.

Beautiful green hike, great to do in the a.m. Lots of side trails to explore as well. Will be doing again regularly

really excited about the hike but could not figure out the loop for anything. I'll try again with a map. trail not blazed well.

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.

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