hiking

forest

nature trips

walking

views

hiking
15 days 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

21 days 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!

1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.

Nice hike but the trail needs more blazes.

This hike was easy for the most part. There were areas that you had a little climb if you wanted to go to the top of the lager fall. There was some really pretty creek areas however alot of the trees were down and did blocked lots of the other falls. I did walk/climb around amd over a lot of the trees to get a better view of a couple of falls but you still are not able to see them well. The large fall is really pretty and worth seeing it.

hiking
3 months ago

You have to navigate a few creek crossings. Some a little more sketchy than others. The trail does have a few points where you wonder which way to go but my son (5) and I didn't have too much trouble. There are two places that comes to mind. One being towards the beginning and one later on when it opens up into a cleared out area with no undergrowth. There are plenty of places to camp and, for the most part, only a few other hikers. Go early because the parking lot was ridiculous when we left at about 1:30. There are other trails that are accessed from the parking lot.

The only reason I didn't give it a five star rating is because it can use some more markings. A few trees cover the trails but nothing impassible. A little confusing at times but nothing we couldn't figure out. The view from the rock is really good and deserves a five star rating. The trails are littered with tree roots so you have to watch your step in places. It's not the worse I have seen but my son (5) had to be really careful in places. He was really tired when we finished though but was amazed by the view. He wants to do Looking Glass next but I don't like redoing trails but I guess I will oblige at some point. You can see Looking Glass really well at the rock lookout. Go early because the parking lot fills up quickly.

Best hike in WNC by far if you want great views AND waterfalls... some real hidden gems on this circuit. Also not heavily trafficked.

Decent hike. It had been raining earlier that day, but the trail wasn’t muddy. A little swampy in some parts but not very muddy because the ground was somewhat sandy. Part of the trail goes along a creek and there was a few spots where you cross it. Somehow miraculously made it across without getting my socks wet. I didn’t see the big waterfall that is the main picture for this trail so I guess you have to take one of the side trails to get to it. Will have to go back again when I have more time to wander around and find it.

hiking
4 months ago

Good trail, tough in a few spots. Didn't see the view points that the pictures showed, so I was a little disappointed with that. otherwise it was a great workout!

hiking
4 months ago

pretty views, good day hike, few challenging areas, trail runs next to water for a good bit

start at the hatchery! not the river.. maybe im out of shape but went uphill most of the hike until the john rock intersection, kicked my tail. very very muddy due to recent snow melt. nice hike on the way down toward the hatchery again just not on a wet day, lots of nice streams.

Moderate difficulty with great views from John Rock. However, the trail is poorly marked.

nice, easy, pretty trail with good campsites nearby

Outstanding hike!

Great Ling hike - moderately aggressive. Fantastic view from John Rock! Nice waterfalls and streams along the way

nice day hike, look forward to hiking the rest of the Art Loeb

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