Art Loeb Trail is a 30 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length30.0 miElevation gain8,257 ftRoute typePoint to point
dog friendlyBackpackingCampingHikingForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScramble
Description
Waypoints (23)
Facilities

The Art Loeb Trail is one of the longer and more difficult trails in the state, and it's also one of the more popular. The trail serves as a memorial to Art Loeb, a former industrialist and activist from the Carolina Mountain Club, and a man who "deeply loved these mountains." Traveling mainly along peaks and ridges rather than in the valleys, the trail offers many views along the way to its lofty high points. It skirts along the southwestern rim of the Davidson River valley, then skips across some of the highest peaks in the Black Balsam area before descending Cold Mountain to the Daniel Boone Scout Camp. It takes the hiker to some of the finest scenery to be found in Pisgah, and you'll view or cross many of the landmark mountains in the region. Many folks use this trail for an extended backpacking trip (at least 3-4 days) and plenty of campsites along the trail will facilitate that kind of trip. Others use shorter sections of the trail for day hikes, or use connecting trails to form loops.

There are two shelters, one at Butter Gap (8.6 mi) and the other at Deep Gap (15.1 mi). Restrooms are located at the parking area for Black Balsam Knob and at Davidson River Campground at the southern trail-head. Parking is available at both trail-heads.

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Reviews (241)
Photos (2,644)
Recordings (169)
Completed (453)
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Matthew Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 24, 2021
Hiking

Well maintained.

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Sherree Turcott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 11, 2021
WalkingGreat!IcyMuddySnow

I mistakenly took my family to this end of the Art Loeb trailhead. I was trying to take us to “Black Balsam via Art Loeb” but when I clicked on the map here in All Trails to said 2.5 hour drive (from Asheville). So to double check, I typed “Art Loeb Trailhead” into my maps app, and it said 40 mins. So we followed my map, and it took us down to Brevard, at the end of the Art Loeb trail. It was a mistake but it was a beautiful one. We walked along the River and there was a nice space where you could get in. My 3 year old played in the River and with the rocks and sand. There’s some fallen logs to sit on and watch the water and fly fisherman. We followed the trail across two small bridges and then started UP. When we were on the incline, the path was more narrow. We walked about 1.25 miles out, and had to turn around and head back to the car because our 3 year old was ready for a nap. We had our dog and he did great. Our daughter was walking and running up the incline, even though we were all out of breath it was doable. Coming back down was much faster. There was some unmelted snow on the ground and a few patches of ice and mud. Beautiful trees and I’m sure better views if you could walk further to find a lookout. But as far as we got, it was mostly just shaded by trees.

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Rico Bee60
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Hiking
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Josh Ready
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Hiking

Great day. Wonderful hike. Thank you for keeping trails clear. Awesome time.

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bhushan suresh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 29, 2020
RunningGreat!Icy

Did this in a day. Getting up pilot mountain was rough. Above 5900 ft, trail is icy. Micro-spikes would be useful! Overall a great trail!

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Vance Ferrigno
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Hiking
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Kevin Hodge
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HikingIcy

Did this trail over 3 days from December 28 through December 30, 2020 (South to North) This was one of the toughest 3 day backpacking adventures that I had been on. The trail was very icy from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Shining Rock. Due to the ice, we bypassed Black Balsam Knob and Tennet Mountain by taking the Ivestor Gap Trail. However the Ivestor Gap Trail was just as icy if not more. Camped near Chestnut Mountain on Night 1 and the conifer forest near BBK on Night 2. Day 3 was slow-moving due to the ice and the climb up Pilot Mountain (on Day 2) was a slog, however the view was amazing.

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Chris Beasley
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Hiking
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Elsa Wade
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HikingBlowdownGreat!MuddyOver grownRockyScramble
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jessie st
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020

Hiked this trail in May '15 and a 7 mile section again in '16 as part of a group 24 hr event. Started at Daniel Boone Campground before dawn and took a full 17 hrs to complete. The trail was tough, but the views were so rewarding. We had good weather both trips, and stayed at the Hampton Inn and had a beer at The Hub...both relatively close to the trail (2-3 mi). if i were to do this again I would definitely not do it in a day, and instead spend a few days really enjoying the beauty of the hike.

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Wessley Thompson
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BackpackingGreat!Rocky

Absolutely amazing trail filled with views and challenging mileage. I highly advise you take a few days and enjoy this truly beautiful trail!

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Harrison Perusek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 26, 2020
HikingGreat!

Thru hiked during the weekend (11/21-11/23) going north and did Davidson River to Butter Gap (8 miles). Went to Flower Knob next day (13.5 miles). Finished at Daniel Boone next day (7 miles). Going north from Pilot to the BRP is a real doozy. Trail easy to follow except a few parts in Shining Rock (exiting Black Balsam and just before The Narrows ridgeline). Shining Rock Wilderness gets cold and windy. Late fall views are well worth the uphill battles. AWESOME stars.

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Travis Hansen
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Hiking
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Sarah White
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CampingGreat!RockyScramble

Hiked north to south (opposite of AllTrails) in mid October 2020. We took 4 days - 4 mi, 12 mi, 9 mi, 7 mi - for 32 mi total. I often rely on AllTrails’ waypoints for water and shelter planning while on the trail, but cell service was scarce enough that that proved difficult. By day 3 we had learned to load up water at every opportunity, because sometimes we’d go 6+ miles without seeing any. Lots of people in the stretch around Black Balsam, but on the rest of the trail we saw just enough folks to feel like we weren’t totally isolated. Going north to south seems to be slightly easier because your starting elevation is a bit higher, but this trail is challenging no matter what. It’s true that you can get to the views like Black Balsam and Tennent Mtn by easier and shorter routes via Blue Ridge Parkway. Doing that, you miss the overall experience of the Art Loeb, which is a highly memorable and fulfilling mix of hiking, rock scrambling, and overall survivalism.

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Allie Bynum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
BackpackingRocky

https://www.adventurepickle.com/articles/the-dirty-30-backpacking-the-art-loeb-trail-with-my-best-friend Amazing, worth the ups & downs. Backpacked South to North in September ~ mostly wooded until crossing over the BRPKWY then WOW so many wonderful landscape changes after crossing over. Both forest & wilderness are full of marvel, and though we had nearly 3/4 days of rain... I’d do it all again.

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Israel Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 6, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Hiked this trail North to South over 3 days and 2 nights. It's a pretty and challenging hike with a great payoff views from the Shining Rock area to Black Balsam Knob area. Carrying water made for heavier packs, but definitely necessary because springs and water sources, right off the trail, get few and far between right before Tenant Mountain until you get to Deep Gap Shelter. Between Deep gap and Butter Gap, water was scarce as well. Be aware that if you plan on hammock camping on Tenant Mountain or Black Balsam Knob, you won't find any trees to hang a hammock on top. Deep Gap Shelter and Butter Gap shelter are nice alternatives to setting up a tent. Great hike and a great workout!

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Michael Murphy
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Hiking
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Daria Pushkareva
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Road biking
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