Cat Gap Trail, Butter Gap Trail, Art Loeb Trail,
Cedar Rock Trail, and Horse Cove Trail

Picture of view from top of Cedar Rock Mountain

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 9/29/90

Length: 9.5 miles

Type: loop

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 3

Blaze: orange on Cat Gap Trail, blue on Butter Gap trail, yellow & white on Art Loeb Trail/Mountains-to-Sea Trail, infrequent metal triangles on Cedar Rock Trail, orange on Horse Cove Trail

Main Features: views, waterfalls

Animals: crows, chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, barred owl, mouse or mole, vultures, slugs, cardinals, catbirds, yellow jackets

Location: Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Turn off of highway 64 onto 276 into the Pisgah Forest from Brevard. Drive 5.4 miles and turn left on road 475. Drive 1.5 miles and turn left on 475C into the fish hatchery parking lot. Exit the parking lot on the road directly opposite the parking lot's entrance. Turn right onto the Cat Gap Trail a few feet past the gate and the bridge.

Approximate Altitude Change
Ascend 1,700 feet from fish hatchery to top of Cedar Rock Mountain

0.0 parking lot
0.1 right turn off of gravel road onto Cat Gap Trail a few paces after crossing bridge
0.4 bridge
cross gravel road (bearing slightly left)
ascend and turn left on old road
0.7 turn left on old road
0.9 turn right at junction with Butter Gap Trail
(there's a small waterfall on the left)
1.2 step across stream
1.3 turn left on old road, then cross bridge
1.4 continue straight at trail junction
1.8 bridge
1.9 small dip with steps (and yellow jackets)
2.6 bear left at fork
2.7 bridge
2.9 cross stream on rocks
step across stream
3.2 small waterfall on left
3.5 Butter Gap, bear left (southeast) across clearing to Art Loeb/MST Trail
(this is the third left -- ignore the first two lefts)
3.7 shelter on right
step across stream
4.6 ignore trail on right
4.8 cross stream on rocks
4.8 - 5.2 partial views of Cedar Rock Mountain's face on left
5.4 ignore trail on left with campsite on right
5.6 turn left on Cedar Rock Mt. Trail
(there is a single red blaze marking the beginning of this trail)
ascend steeply
(the top is covered with short spur trails to overlooks)
6.1 campsite on top, turn left following spur
6.2 overlook
(From this overlook you can see several ridges in the distance.
I was here on a humid fall evening at dusk. I could shout and hear
nearly ten echoes bouncing from ridge to ridge.)
backtrack down the Cedar Rock Mt. Trail
6.7 turn left on Art Loeb Trail/Mountains-to-Sea Trail
7.3 Cat Gap, turn right for a few paces, then left on the orange-blazed Horse Cove Trail
7.7 turn right at intersection with saddle trail and John Rock Trail
8.4 bridge
8.6 bear slightly right across dirt road
cross stream on rocks and cross bridge
9.1 bridge
9.2 bridge, then bear left
9.4 bridge
bear left a junction with wider trail
9.5 parking lot


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