Explore the most popular waterfall trails near Brevard with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day 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.

My son (age 4.5), husband, and I did this trail with one modification in June. It was a great backpacking loop for us. The first day we hiked in about 1.5 miles and started to look for a campsite, which we found 0.6 miles off the loop at the intersection of cat gap bypass and cat gat loop. Not liking to back track, we hiked around cat gat loop to get back to the planned route, which we then finished as defined here. The waterfall on this trail was pretty spectacular-- when you are right up close to it to view, it is REALLY LOUD. The trail is pretty, lush, and varied, lovely for a warm weekend with a child in tow. There are no scenic views on this trail. All in all, a trip worth doing but probably not one to do multiple times unless you live close by. On the second day we hiked from 8 am to 3 pm with plenty of breaks for water play as necessary by a 4.5 year old-- his longest day yet at 7.3 miles, but that just goes to show how easy the trail is.
Trail Rating: * Miserable ** Boring ***Good Hike ****Fantastic Hike ***** National Park Worthy Hike

Loved this hike! Great cardio getting up there and the view is amazing.

Fun hike to great view, even when it's a little rainy and very foggy.

Going up is an amazing workout with one of the best payoffs I've experienced once you get to the top! if you are clumsy, stay along the treeline at the top of the rock.

really excited about the hike but could not figure out the loop for anything. I'll try again with a map. trail not blazed well.

nice hike. got off on some paths that ended up not being part of the trail. ended up making my hike more like 7 miles. a couple down trees on the trail. but easy enough to get over.

Whoa! My body hasn’t worked that hard in a long while! We arrived at the trailhead around 9:30 AM and it took us nearly til noon to get to the summit. I would suggest hiking early in the summer heat/humidity. Took us less than 2 hours to get back down. There are long range views for miles and miles at the summit!! I agree with a previous reviewer though, that the hike is a little monotonous with ALL the switchbacks. I prefer more mountain views. Regardless, my body is sore so I know I got a good workout. Take more water than you usually would. We drank everything we had and shared some with a guy who had none. Wouldn’t recommend for young children unless you intend to carry them!

Overall very good hike. Very well-maintained trail. Sort of reminded me of a shorter version of the Alum Cave Trail to Mt. LeConte. Starts off in a very pretty forest then ascent begins without any views until you reach the top. But, the view at the top is truly spectacular. Takes some getting use to walking on the top of the rock (i.e., vertigo). Take care not to venture too far down the rock face. Popular spot so start early.

Okay trail but you'll spend the majority of the trail going up dirt switchbacks with no view. About half way to 3/4 way there is a cool rock outcropping that is used as an emergency helipad when needed. This is a perfect place to picnic or rest before going to summit. The view from the top is very nice though just a very monotonous trail to get there.

3 star because of all the traffic and ease. Get there before all the tourist do! Amazing waterfall right off the main road through this portion of Pisgah.

Very easy hike, takes less than an hour & a half to complete. Best to park at the visitor center and use Exercise Trail. Nice raised walkway and cool suspension bridge. Trail follows alongside the river and campground where there’s a nice swimming spot. Dog and bike friendly.

great hike with an amazing view but it is a 6.8 mile hike and the Garmin agrees. it's a hour and ten to an hour and twenty hike up and I'm feeling it today (day after). would highly recommend for experienced hikers or anyone in decent shape and up for a bit of cardio. great hike!

We measured it as 6 miles round trip. It’s a workout for sure! Steady uphill for 2 miles with switchbacks. John’s Rock was a nice place for a short rest before hiking the last and toughest mile to the top. Lots of rocks and roots in that last mile up. The view at the top is breathtaking and a nice reward for the work to get to the top.

Tough hike because of the steady uphill climb, but the view at the top is great. There were a few springs on the way up that our dog enjoyed. Take plenty of water. GPS showed 6.1 miles.

Hard work getting up but absolutely worth it. Incredible views from the top!

Challenging but not too laborious for a moderately fit person. There is little view on the way up, but once you reach the top, everything suddenly clears out and a mesmerizing view expands before you. The rock at the top is quite slick though, so beware.

My first solo hike. Literally took my breath away when I made it to the top.

Amazing view!

Awesome challenging trail with a great view at the top. Afterwards you can soak it out in the river!

Great hike. It’s more like a 6 mile hike and gets steep in the last .8 miles up. So worth the climb for this amazing view. Went on a Wednesday in June around noon and only handful of people there, which made it really nice.

Not so much a hike, as a stop along the road to check out a beautiful waterfall

beautiful and cooling mists


nature trips
1 month ago

Hiked this beautiful trail through the week to avoid the crowds. The first 1~1.5 miles were really quite easy with well maintained switchbacks and then became more challenging near the top. Be careful I spotted a few rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the rocks and although the sunburn overlook is stunning it’s really slick with just a little rain/dew.

My daughter and I hike this tail this past weekend, Saturday June 9, 2018. This trail is 3.1 miles to the top, 6.2 miles round trip and is difficult. There are 23 swtichbacks, after the last switchback the trail gets easier but is still tough. The trail is heavily forest, lots of mountain Laurel with canopy the entire trail until you reach the top. The views are stunning at the top!!

The DRT portion of this loop (approx 4 miles) is just walking on the road. Please let me know if I’m missing something.

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

on Cat Gap Loop Trail

1 month 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.

Went on a misty and rainy day and even with the weather it was awesome. If you do go during the wet season waterproof boots are a must as the rain water shoots right down the mountain and turns parts of the trail into a literal stream. We were pretty prepared for it and it actually made the hike really fun. Trail is well maintained as well.

Would hike again!

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