hiking

forest

nature trips

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One of my ALL TIME FAVORITE hikes in the Asheville area! There is so much diversity in the terrain, elevation, and difficulty that it never gets boring! And the view from the rock is magical! Yesterday we had the entire trail and rock to ourselves - and it’s OCTOBER! Not as busy as I assumed it would be. Start the trail behind the visitor center - that is by far the BEST route. The trail markings get a little confusing in some areas - when you reach the line forest, make an immediate left. When you next cross the stream, make an immediate right. If you want detailed directions, check out “Romantic Asheville” write up in this hike - it’s awesome!

on Andy Cove Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great lil trail off of Hwy 276, just behind the visitor center. It feels like your walking in a tree house and the suspension bridge is pretty cool too. Wish the trail was longer... I did a few loops to to lengthen up though.

One of my favorite when camping at Davidson River.

An ok trail to hike especially if you are camping at Davidson River. Nothing really stood out.

It is a hard trail very rewarding.

hiking
2 months ago

Very scenic trail. Fairly well marked but you do have to pay attention at some parts of the trail--however, the trail is well defined. A few parts where you had to cross some creeks but very passable and manageable without getting wet. If you start at the far end of the parking lot and you will have about a .6 mile tough stretch a mile into your hike. Lots of roots and some areas with loose rock. There is a side trail that loops down to a waterfall--that is very steep and the trail is not well defined. Very nice hike.

Great trail. With all the rain I would definitely have some shoes that handle mud and water really well. A lot of the trail is shaded so it was very wet. I loved it though.

Take this trail which connects with the John Rock loop trail for some spectacular views! Much less crowded than the Looking Glass Rock trail and still with beautiful scenery. Park at the Pisgah Wildlife Education center and pick up a trail map- very well marked and maintained.

A lack of visible signage led to a wasted trip.

Very peaceful and well shaded hike. There are not any views from this trail however you can easily go to the John Rock trail around the half way point and find some.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty positive these pictures of the view are from the John Rock loop, which is part of this one but eventually you have to go on a different trail. Cat gap has no/limited views, and is the same distance.

nice hike. got off on some paths that ended up not being part of the trail. ended up making my hike more like 7 miles. a couple down trees on the trail. but easy enough to get over.

Great climb and well maintained!

Very easy hike, takes less than an hour & a half to complete. Best to park at the visitor center and use Exercise Trail. Nice raised walkway and cool suspension bridge. Trail follows alongside the river and campground where there’s a nice swimming spot. Dog and bike friendly.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a nice short trail with some interesting features. You climb some stairs and there’s some curved bridges around ridges. Fairly early on there is a bouncy suspension bridge the kids loved. It’s an easy and interesting trail with lots of mushrooms and a few changes in elevation so it never gets boring. Park at ranger station and cross the street and it’s right there!

Loved this Trail, beautiful scenery. Not hard at all!

on Cat Gap Loop Trail

5 months ago

A great hike through sun-dappled woodlands full of wild flowers. Going clockwise is your best bet as you get the elevation over quicker. Start to the far left of car park as you face the mountain. Cat Gap Trail has red markers on trees. Also, add the John Rock extension (turning off red marked trail onto a yellow marked one), or you get limited views. The only really impressive view in summer is the expanse of slick-rock, half way along the John Rock extension. Don’t miss it, as it is a 20’ spur off the main (yellow marked) trail. But both the Cat Gap and John Rock trails combined make a lovely day hike. Be prepared to get your feet wet as there are a few stream crossings.

Nice loop hike. By going clockwise, the incline is moderate, and the final 2 miles are generally down but a bit of a challenge. Quite a few stream crossing, and the sound of the two creeks are audible even when the water is not in view. A perfect moderate hike!

6 months ago

this trail was suggested by the park ranger as one of her favorite. I would certainly agree. We went counterclockwise. The trail has a wide variety of habitats. These included woodland forest, evergreen forest, laurel and rhododendron coves, blueberry fields, stream crossings and waterfalls. I would certainly suggest taking the John Rock Trail and having lunch on the rock face with the beautiful views. once complete are short stroll through the hatchery and exhibit area completed a very enjoyable hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail with good variety from streams, forests, nice long range views. We added the John Rock loop which made it more challenging (for a 60+ yo) but we kept a good pace of about 2.5. I agree with the comments below about too few blazes and some spots we pulled the map out to confirm.
We will do it again.

hiking
6 months ago

As of April 21, the trilium is out in great numbers. Solomon seal should start blooming in the next day or two. Iris, wild geranium, wild yam are all out in abundance. Do the trail starting at the left trailhead, away from the fish hatchery, going clockwise. On the downhill stretch, you definitely need to pay attention to avoid losing the trail.

If you staying at the campground and just start walking around to visit the Ranger Station or see the Church, all you have to do is walk/bike the front of the northslope and you will finish it all. Didn't realize that I had completed it all in couple of walkabouts while staying there. Nice walk, take the dog or bike see lots of others just doing the same.

really fun trail, our 6 year old had a pretty easy time. kid friendly!

Loved the hike, went from the campsite out to the connector and back into the trailhead. The connector was tougher than expected but I saw a big buck run across an opposite ridge. Well shaded, with only small areas to get a vista view. Nice walk in the woods for four hours

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail! I would strongly recommend to go clockwise and to do the John Rock side trail. The best views come from here.

I love this trail. It has lots of pretty streams with little bridges over them. Those were slightly challenging for our dogs, but definitely doable. There are clean bathrooms at the entrance. The forest is beautiful and this trail doesn’t seem as crowded as some others in the area. The view at the top was pretty.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike, wish there were more blazes, but luckily I had a map! John Rock has a really cool overlook should touch follow that trail!

hiking
8 months ago

loved this trail! we had a great time despite it being overcast and rainy. It's definitely a moderate hike, we went uphill for 2 miles. Not crazy steep but we were still huffing by the end.

hiking
8 months ago

Very good hike, trail was muddy in spots but otherwise well kept. Crossed over a lot of water but didn’t see any waterfalls.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this trail on a cool early March afternoon. The temp peaked at 42. Even thought there was lots of rain recently, the trail was mostly dry, views were excellent (through the trees), and we were sheltered from the early March winds. There's a bit of elevation change, slow and steady, nothing crazy. Our dogs had a great time too.

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