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Art Loeb Trail

Difficult
 4.6 (59) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

One of the longest and more difficult trails in NC; this also ranks as one of the most popular.


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Map Key

31.1

Miles

50.1

KM

Point to Point

6,194' 1,888 m

High

2,138' 652 m

Low

7,578' 2,310 m

Up

6,409' 1,954 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

66%

Max Grade (33°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Bear canisters are required for all backcountry camping. No campfires in the Shining Rock Wilderness

Overview

Taken in its entirely, the 30+ mile Art Loeb Trail traverses many significant peaks in North Carolina, which provides ample places to stop to take in the panoramic views. The trail begins with a long and, at times, steep incline at first, but quickly begins a gently rolling descent to the end point.

Many turn this trail into a multi-day trip, but be aware of other trail users who break the trail into segments for day use.

Description

Although one of the longest and more difficult trails in North Carolina, the 30.1-mile Art Loeb Trail still ranks as one of the more popular routes in the area. And no wonder, traveling mainly along peaks and ridges, the trail offers many outstanding panoramic views along the way.

Along its route the Art Loeb Trail traverses several significant peaks, including Black Balsam Knob (6214 feet), Tennant Mountain (6040 feet) and Pilot Mountain (5072 feet). The trail also skirts the base of Cold Mountain which was made famous by the novel and Hollywood film.

Many hikers use the Art Loeb for extended backpacking trips, while others use shorter sections for day hikes, or use connecting trails to form several outstanding loop hikes. Most of the trail is overlapped by the Mountains-to-the Sea Trail which is blazed with 3-inch white dots.

This trail is commonly divided into four separate sections, and more information about the individual sections can be found here:

Flora & Fauna

Rhododendrons, mountains laurels, oak and maple trees. Many species of wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zane Ray with improvements by Jean-Claude Linossi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 59 votes

#1

in Avery Creek

#95

Overall
  4.6 from 59 votes
5 Star
68%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Avery Creek

#95

Overall
426 Views Last Month
55,031 Since Sep 22, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
2%
6%
83%
10%

Photos

Pilot Mountain on the Art Loeb Trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Brevard, NC
Fall frost atop Black Balsam Knob
Jul 25, 2017 near West Ca…, NC
Get lost on the Art Loeb Trail.
May 19, 2017 near Brevard, NC
Heavy snow bends the boughs across the trail
Aug 19, 2017 near Brevard, NC
Keep heading down to the left as you pass the giant quartz rocks
Jul 5, 2019 near West Ca…, NC
The scenic view from the Art Loeb Trail.
Nov 2, 2016 near West Ca…, NC

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 46 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 7, 2022
Erin Hennessey
Apr 20, 2022
Mark Spangler
ended at butter gap shelter 21.3mi
Apr 14, 2022
Dave Wiebking
From farlow gap to buttercup gap
Oct 27, 2021
Harley Ann
Jun 18, 2021
John Fuda
short out and back from the road at Camp Daniel Boone. Awesome trail, want to go back for a 10-12 mile day hike. 3.1mi — 1h 14m
Jun 15, 2021
Branden OHara
Jun 14, 2021
Greg Olsen
Yo-yo from Davidson River Campground, 3.5 days total 60mi
May 12, 2021
Tal Paschal