Cat Gap Loop Trail

MODERATE 193 reviews

Cat Gap Loop Trail is a 4.6 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
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,040 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

hiking
3 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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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
5 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.

6 months ago

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

6 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.

7 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
7 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
7 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.

8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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.

8 months ago

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
8 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
9 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
9 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
9 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.

9 months ago

Nice hike but the trail needs more blazes.

hiking
9 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.

9 months ago

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
10 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
10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

hiking
Monday, October 23, 2017

Was a great walk through the woods! Got to see some fall color on the backside of the mountain, pass the Art Loeb trail blaze. Waterfall was a little disappointing because you really couldn’t see it from the trail with the leaves on the trees.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Nice hike, a bit disappointed with the fall colors and water fall.

hiking
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This is a great trail. if you cut off to the John Rock Trail about a mile or so in, you hike up a good ways onto John Rock and get an amazing view of Pilot Mountain.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New at Hiking. And I love them all, but this one is great. A good work out, and the beauty of a waterfall. My 2 favorite things! (I added 3280 trail at about the half way point to get more altitude. )

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

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
Saturday, July 08, 2017

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
Thursday, July 06, 2017

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

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