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John Rock Trail Loop is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Brevard, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,082 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
4 hours ago

Great views at the lookout! Definitely a good hike that will get you huffing a little bit towards the top of the incline. Be careful on the rocks if it had rained a day before.

hiking
1 day ago

I registered 5.9 miles on my Garmin GPS watch. Anyone else notice a difference in distance?

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome hike! Solid moderate. We went clockwise - as some of the reviews suggested. Even though the trail marker had an arrow pointing counterclockwise. If you go clockwise, you go up the steeper part, and it’s a longer walk to John Rock. And then the descent is more gradual. I think that’s probably better than coming down the steep part. Of course, you could also go counterclockwise, and then come back the way you came and avoid the steep section altogether. Beautiful view from John Rock!

hiking
over grown
4 days ago

Cat gap is a really well maintained trail, but the John Rock part was a little overgrown in parts. You have to go through a couple sneaky little trails on the right at the peak to get a view of Looking Glass.

hiking
6 days ago

Our favorite so far. Beautiful look out. Says dog friendly but only if you have a big active dog. Don’t miss the look out! It’s down a little path.

The trail is beautifully maintained with many bridges for creek crossings and rocks placed where necessary. I took the wrong advice and went clockwise at the Y which basically climbed continuously up and around the long way to John Rock. If you take the Y to the right it still climbs pretty steadily but you will reach John Rock sooner. If you continue to climb beyond the rock and do the loop your descent is your reward.

hiking
bugs
13 days ago

Well-marked, uphill hike through the forest leading up to a beautiful view from the rock. Bring a sandwich to eat when you reach the top, because you’ll want to hang out there and savor the view. We went an afternoon after it rained, and though there were some muddy spots, they were mostly avoidable.

hiking
muddy
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

This is a really beautiful trail. It’s a steady climb up to the lookout point. We almost missed the viewpoint as it is sort of hidden. It was a rainy day when we hiked so we didn’t venture out onto the rock but still a great view.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful weather. Nice view from John Rock.

hiking
1 month ago

It was tough for me as I’m used to easier - moderate hikes. Very steep and lots of roots to watch out for. The view was worth it and I felt great after getting a tough workout in. We saw hawks at the top that got very close to us. Very cool!

hiking
1 month ago

Had a great time on the trail today. Almost missed the turn out to John’s Rock for the view! Going clockwise leads to a longer, more gradual gain. My preference.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail - on the easier side of moderate, a non-hiker would be able to complete it (albeit with some complaining, perhaps). The views are well worth any effort that you put in. My boyfriend and I completed John Rock and Cat Gap Loop in about 2.5 hours, with a stop at the rock for lunch and to enjoy the views. We logged in about 6 miles on our fitbits round trip.

hiking
washed out
2 months ago

Beautiful view from the top of John’s Rock.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. We started on cat gap loop and then decided to hit the John rock loop trail where they intersected. It made for a good hike, approximately 6.5 miles. The lookout at John rock loop is of the fish hatchery. The rock face is slick and steep, similar to the looking glass hike. So if your dog pulls, I wouldn’t recommend going out onto the rock face lookout.

walking
muddy
3 months ago

Go clockwise for a challenging, steep hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Trails in good shape. Few small muddy spots but nothing to worry about.

hiking
icy
4 months ago

Icy at Johns Rock outlook

4 months ago

We saw a dalmation and it was real cute.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Good trail. Nice afternoon hike with awesome view from the Johns rock.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Lots of people and pets and mud on the trail when we went. But it was all part of the adventure and we loved being out on the rock and enjoying the views. We went counter-clockwise on the loop and were happy we made that choice when we saw how steep the trail was in parts on the way back.

hiking
muddy
off trail
5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous view. The trail was also gorgeous, even in winter. Lots of moss and ferns. A few areas we had to cross a creek on rocks and there were lots of roots but overall not a difficult hike. Once we reached the top we could not go on the rock face due to water/ice on the rock. Also... we started on the cat gap trail and the John rock trail was about a mile in, we veered right (there was a sign).

hiking
flooded
muddy
5 months ago

Got there early and enjoyed a mostly empty trail. The crowds picked up quick by mid-day. Easy and enjoyable.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Beautiful, cloudless day! Highly recommended.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

This is a great trail for enjoying a little bit of everything that the area has to offer. You follow the Davidson River for a while and get to enjoy some of the connecting streams. The view included in this hike was beautiful, but not necessarily the best in the area. Great for dogs as long as you make sure to leash when you see the sign for it, that’s when slick rock is ahead. Elevation gain + overall distance of the loop gives a good workout.

hiking
6 months ago

Easy to miss the outcrop for John Rock. One of my all time favorite trails. Lots of water crossings and beautiful views. Prepare for a moderately difficult hike.

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