Looking for a great trail in Davidson River Recreational Area, North Carolina? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, forest trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 4 moderate trails in Davidson River Recreational Area ranging from 4.6 to 6.9 miles and from 2,165 to 3,362 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!



nature trips



Definitely one of my top go to hikes! Water features, a bit of a work out and wonderful views from John Rock. It’s a great day spender! And, all year round!

Beautiful 3.25 hour hike around the loop. Nice views from John Rock. Wasn’t too cold either. Muddy in parts and some river crossings where you might get a wet foot. Check water levels in rivers before starting out. Recommended!

Loop was closed. Took twice as long.

Great off season winter hike. much less traffic. very moderate fun hike.

1 month ago

I've done this trail many times. It's a great 4ish mile loop if you use the bypass. Today (1/6/19) we hiked it counter-clockwise. There were quite a few downed limbs and trees at the beginning and end of the trail, but overall it was not in bad shape although muddy throughout.

Great trail for an unexpectedly warm (70 degree) December day. I went counterclockwise (steeper uphill) to avoid slipping on wet leaves/mud and somehow ended up on the same wrong spur both coming and going on the stick part of the lollipop. When the trail is going past the campground, there is a sign with the blue blaze going into the woods. Don’t go that way. Fight it and take the trail along the campground for a minute, it will go into the woods on the right trail. Even with only 0.75 or so miles on the wrong trail, my Apple Watch clocked this one in at 7.08 miles including the spur down to Cove Creek falls, so plan for a six mile hike if you want to see everything.

This trail is a nice relaxing scenic walk. What I love about Davidson River Campground is that there are so many trails you can access without driving anywhere. There are very easy ones, to some very steep ones like the Art Lobe trail. I can invite friends of all fitness levels and spend time hiking and enjoy campsite activities after.

2 months ago

Decent small hike to take an inexperienced hiker or children on. The wooden trails have metal netting on them to help prevent slipping. There is also a cool little rope bridge you cross. Not the most scenic hike. Did this with a 3 and 6 year old no issues.

We did the the North Slope trail. It was a nice walk. Wet with recent rain but a great fall walk.

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

4 months 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.

5 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.

7 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.

8 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

8 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!

9 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.

9 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.

9 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.

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