Cat Gap Trail, John Rock Trail,
and Horse Cove Trail

Picture looking down at Pisgah National Fish Hatchery from John Rock

Warning:   This data is out-of-date.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

Date Hiked: 10/12/91

Length: 7.4 miles

Type: loop

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 4

Blaze: orange on Cat Gap Trail, metal triangles on John Rock Trail, orange on Horse Cove Trail

Main Features: views from John Rock, small waterfall

Animals: turkey vultures

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 Changes
Ascend 1,150 feet to Cat Gap
Descend 300 feet to junction
Ascend 200 feet to ridge
Descend 100 feet to dip
Ascend 50 feet to ridge
Descend 150 feet to dip
Ascend 100 feet to ridge
Descend 150 feet to low end of John Rock
Ascend 150 feet to ridge
Descend 100 feet to dip
Ascend 150 feet to ridge
Descend 50 feet to dip
Ascend 100 feet to ridge
Descend 1,050 feet to parking lot
Total Ascent: 1,900 feet

Note: John Rock is sometimes wet and slippery. Be careful.

0.0 parking lot
0.1 turn right off of road onto Cat Gap Trail
0.3 step across stream
0.4 cross bridge, then bear left across road and begin ascending
0.7 turn left onto old road
0.9 continue straight at junction with blue-blazed Butter Gap Trail on right
(there's a small waterfall on the left here)
1.0 log bridge, then turn left
turn right at junction
1.1 log bridge
1.4 rock-hop across stream and turn right
2.0 ignore yellow-blazed saddle trail on left, continue straight
2.5 partial views of Looking Glass Rock Mountain on left
2.7 turn left at Cat Gap and left again onto orange-blazed Horse Cove Trail
3.1 continue straight onto metal-blazed John Rock Trail at
junction with yellow-blazed saddle trail on left
(Horse Cove Trail goes right here)
3.3 small clearing at top of first ridge
3.4 bottom of dip
3.5 top of second ridge
3.7 bottom of dip
3.9 top of third ridge
4.1 top of John Rock
4.2 stopped at bottom of John Rock after walking all over rock
backtrack on John Rock Trail
4.4 top of third ridge
4.5 bottom of dip
4.7 top of second ridge
4.8 bottom of dip
5.0 top of first ridge
5.2 turn left onto orange-blazed Horse Cove Trail
(yellow-blazed saddle trail goes right here)
6.1 log bridge
6.3 cross gravel road
6.4 rock-hop across stream then immediately cross bridge
6.9 log bridge
7.0 old rotten log bridge
7.2 rock-hopping stream crossing, then turn right across bridge
7.4 car


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