Cat Gap Loop Trail

MODERATE 133 reviews

Cat Gap Loop Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
859 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

mountain biking
14 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

We did this hike clockwise, starting on the left side of the parking lot (if looking into the woods). The trail starts along the Davidson and is relatively flat to begin with. Midway through the hike is pretty uphill. On the descent you can start to see various falls and little water pools. To see these you must take the little side trails off the main trail to the right. These occur with roughly 1.5 miles - 1 mile left in the hike. Therefore if you want a short hike to the falls start at the entrance on the right hand side of the parking lot (if looking into the woods) and take the side trails on your left about 1-1.5miles in.

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Seemed like a nice alternative after a lengthy stretch of the AP. Side trip to John Rock was a good climb but really muddy. We also ran into a black bear near the top, so the trip was truncated without the views (or bodily harm, thank goodness). A torrential downpour ended the Cat Loop portion but that's the beauty of getting away from it all -- although there were a few more people around than anticipated. Maybe next time it'll get 5 stars.

backpacking
1 month ago

came up with 2 friends, one of which had previously hiked the trail last year, for 2 nights and 2 days. we came on the easy side (parking lot) the first night (11pm and raining) and hiked in roughly a mile to set up camp for the night. the folllowing morning we packed our gear and came back down to refill water before heading up the harder side next to the fish hatchery. we posted camp at the picklesimer fields around noon and ate lunch. hike to John's Rock was good and challenging; we were able to complete the hike with various breaks and a 30 minute stop at the top in about 4 hours. we made it back to the field around 5 and made dinner. this place turned out to be a nice place to find with a good challenging hike that's not too long with an incredible view that is very rewarding. we plan on returning soon and possibly adding the butter gap trail to the trip

hiking
1 month ago

a strong 3 1/2 stars. I wish we knew John rock trail going to further up and offering views. a few steep areas but a fairly easy and beautiful day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

I would do this trail earlier in the spring or in the fall. Today it is humid and hot. I loved the trail but the kids I had with me, aged 11, 10, and 7, were not that impressed . It took us 3.5 hours with a lunch stop at the junction with the John Rock trail. If I had researched more, I would have taken half the cat gap loop, the cat loop bypass, and the John Rock trail. I think it would have been a little harder /longer but would have had a good payoff in the views...

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Great hike. Not too busy. Definitely a moderate climb, but the descent down wasn't bad. We went clockwise.

Couldn't find the waterfalls though...

hiking
1 month ago

love feeling submerged in the forest! the trail has some good hills and follows a beautiful river!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

If you're not used to hiking or have achy knees there may be some challenging sections but nothing that cause true concern. We did the Cat Gap Loop along with the John Rock trail. This combo offers amazing views (you can see Looking Glass and surrounding horizon) but also has fun crossings and a couple of smaller waterfalls. We took lunch and ate at the lookout. The trout hatchery is also fun for the kiddos. My nine year old completed this hike.

1 month ago

2 months ago

I must have missed the waterfall climbing up to John Rock, but this is a fun, easy trail. I would imagine it gets pretty busy in the summer though, so plan accordingly. Hiking up to John rock is easy, coming down was a little tough on the knees. John rock opens up to a great view of Looking Glass Rock.

hiking
2 months ago