Cat Gap Trail to John Rock Loop

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Davidson River Recreational Area

Cat Gap Trail to John Rock Loop is a 6.9 mile heavily 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 best used from March until November.

Distance: 6.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,154 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

river

views

waterfall

hiking
9 days ago

Awesome trail with great views

hiking
closed
rocky
22 days ago

Great hike! Trail head is closed but we just parked outside and walked in.

Beautiful view from the top of John Rock! Wish we would have hiked counterclockwise so we could have eaten lunch with a view, but overall easy breezy trail!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Good one! My recorded distance was closer to 6 mi, despite taking the full cat gap loop and skipping the bypass. Regardless, relatively mellow trail thru the woods with decent view at johns rock.

hiking
2 months ago

Good view lots of water Pisgah Repeat

2 months ago

great hike, not a good place to go in the summer though.

hiking
2 months ago

Walked the trail anti clockwise on a beautiful March morning. Strenuous climb over a few streams. Make sure you don’t take the bypass and go uphill following the orange markers. John’s rock still a little icy but views excellent. Nice steady descent down to the trout hatchery. Overall a nice 3 hour hike for the 7 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely, varied hike with steep sections to get your blood pumping, along with cruisier ones to enjoy the view. Still icy out on the rock, which given my fear of heights and fearless (leashed) dog, limited the amount of time I wanted to spend at the top. Some tricky footing and a couple short scrambles on the way back down, but totally doable for most people. Lots of great campsites to choose from make me want to come back and spend the night!

Beautiful view of the bald from the top, water crossings and trail are well maintained, totally worth it.

Beautiful hike, well maintained trails, pretty views of Looking Glass.

hiking
3 months ago

I loved everything about this hike. Beautiful waterfalls and awesome views. I sit on Johns rock for a long time just admiring the view of Looking Glass Rock. Not a place to play. 15 ft. and your over the edge. Keep your dogs close.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Nice moderate trail that I completed solo in less than 3 hours. Trail was somewhat muddy but it snowed 2 days before. Lots of streams to cross but even where there is no bridge you won’t have to get your feet wet because there are lots of rocks. Overall, really enjoyed it with a beautiful lookout.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Uphill is fairly long but not too steep for experienced hikers. Felt great to get to John’s Rock. Good views.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

Nice flat trail to start with a steady climb about half way to johns rock. Have to cross water a few times and there are some muddy spots along the way. Great view of looking glass rock.

hiking
6 months ago

We arrived mid morning on a Saturday and the parking lot was full. There are nice restrooms at the parking lot and you can begin in either direction. Their are a few steep sections, but overall a not too strenuous hike. Allow time to hang out at John’s Rock and enjoy the view.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing View of Looking Glass. Be on the lookout for ground wasps and rattlesnakes.

hiking
8 months ago

Great workout hike! The view from John Rock is definitely worth the climb. Lots of roots and other tripping hazards. Also a few nasty yellow jacket nests on the Cat Gap Trail after the John Rock bypass. Watch out for them if you’re going to do this Trail in the summer or early Fall.

Great hike- Tim’s favorite so far. Done 15 September 2019. Start at 950 and finished at 1 pm

Great trail! Lots of roots so bring good shoes. John rock portion was tough with a cliff over looking valley. Be careful! Beautiful forest hike. Loved it.

Good trail. Pretty crowded til you get to the John trail with campers and kids. Only 5.7 miles including walking in the parking lot, not sure how they got almost 7 miles. Some hills, but overall an easy hike. Really great overlook and rock to chill on. I would do again. Well maintained. A little muddy, but it’s nature!

Very good loop. Cat gap to John rock to cat gap by pass and cat gap loop return.

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

Amazing views at the top. Trail was moderate. Muddy in a few spots but not bad. Great family hike with our 10 and 12 year old daughters (and 3 year old vizsla!)

hiking
11 months ago

Good hike, never very steep. Wished for better views at the top of John Rock

hiking
11 months ago

My fiancée and I picked this trail off a suggestion from the ranger station. This trail got us addicted to hiking and now we go almost every weekend! Trail conditions were great and the hike was pretty easy until the TH for John Rock (little steep and rocky). Once you get to the top it’s pretty easy and well rewarding. I often look down from the blue ridge parkway at John Rock and remember the good times climbing up to see the view. Once you park at the fish hatchery you can start the trail to the left (where the sign is) or the right (across a bridge). We went to the right across the bridge and you will see the TH once you cross the bridge on the right. Don’t forget to check out the waterfall on the way up! Note: We did see a timber rattlesnake on the trail so be careful.

backpacking
Fri May 31 2019

Nice trail will some elevation change. It has a small waterfall and overlook. Plenty of campsites near the beginning and end, but on John Rock trail there’s only a couple small sites.

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