Art Loeb Trail In North Carolina

Here is everything you need to know about the Art Loeb Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: North Carolina
  • Length: 31 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Art Loeb Trail, located in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, holds a significant place in the history of hiking and outdoor recreation in the region. Named after Art Loeb, a local hiking enthusiast and conservationist, the trail was established in the late 1960s as a tribute to his passion for the outdoors.

Art Loeb, born in 1895, was an avid hiker and mountaineer who spent much of his life exploring the mountains of North Carolina. He was deeply committed to preserving the natural beauty of the region and played a crucial role in the establishment of the Pisgah National Forest. Loeb’s dedication to conservation and his love for the mountains inspired the creation of the trail that now bears his name.

The Art Loeb Trail was officially opened in 1981, spanning approximately 30 miles through the Pisgah National Forest and the Shining Rock Wilderness. The trail offers hikers a diverse and challenging experience, traversing through lush forests, over rugged peaks, and along scenic ridgelines. It has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, attracting both locals and visitors from afar.

Over the years, the Art Loeb Trail has gained recognition for its stunning vistas, including panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. It has also become known for its connection to the Appalachian Trail, intersecting with it at the northern end of the trail. The Art Loeb Trail stands as a testament to the rich history of hiking and conservation in North Carolina, providing a unique opportunity for hikers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Davidson River Campground: Located near Brevard, North Carolina, this campground serves as a popular access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It provides parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for hikers.

2. Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp: Situated near the Blue Ridge Parkway, this camp serves as another access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a starting point for hikers looking to explore the trail.

3. Black Balsam Knob: This iconic mountain peak along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It offers stunning views and parking facilities for hikers.

4. Shining Rock Wilderness Area: Located in the Pisgah National Forest, this wilderness area provides multiple access points to the Art Loeb Trail. Hikers can start their journey from various trailheads within the wilderness area.

5. Cold Mountain: Made famous by the novel and movie of the same name, Cold Mountain is another access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It offers parking facilities and serves as a starting point for hikers.

6. Camp Daniel Boone: Situated near the town of Canton, North Carolina, this Boy Scout camp provides access to the Art Loeb Trail. It offers parking facilities and serves as a starting point for hikers.

7. Deep Gap: Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Deep Gap is a popular access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It offers parking facilities and serves as a starting point for hikers.

8. Gloucester Gap: Situated in the Pisgah National Forest, Gloucester Gap is another access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It provides parking facilities and serves as a starting point for hikers.

9. Daniel Ridge Loop Trailhead: Located near the town of Brevard, this trailhead serves as an access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a starting point for hikers.

10. Farlow Gap: Situated in the Pisgah National Forest, Farlow Gap is an access point for the Art Loeb Trail. It provides parking facilities and serves as a starting point for hikers.

Transportation Available

1. Asheville Regional Airport – The nearest airport to the Art Loeb Trail, offering domestic flights.
2. Greyhound Bus Station – A bus station providing long-distance transportation options.
3. Asheville Transit System – Local bus service in Asheville, North Carolina.
4. Uber – A ridesharing service available in the area.
5. Lyft – Another ridesharing service operating in the vicinity.
6. Enterprise Rent-A-Car – A car rental agency offering various vehicle options.
7. Hertz Rent A Car – Another car rental company with a range of vehicles for rent.
8. Asheville Pedicab – A pedal-powered transportation service offering short rides in downtown Asheville.
9. Asheville Taxi – A local taxi service providing transportation in the area.
10. Asheville Bike Taxi – A bicycle-powered taxi service for short trips in Asheville.


The Art Loeb Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. While it is a wilderness trail, there are limited amenities available along the trail. Here are some amenities you may find at or near the Art Loeb Trail:

1. Trailhead Parking: There are designated parking areas at the trailheads where you can park your vehicle before starting the hike.

2. Restrooms: There are no dedicated restrooms along the trail itself. However, some trailheads may have basic restroom facilities available.

3. Camping Sites: The Art Loeb Trail offers several designated camping sites along its route. These sites usually have tent pads, fire rings, and sometimes even bear cables for food storage. Some popular camping spots include Deep Gap, Shining Rock Gap, and Cold Mountain.

4. Picnic Areas: There are no specific picnic areas along the trail, but you can find scenic spots with suitable areas for picnicking. It is important to practice Leave No Trace principles and pack out all your trash.

5. Water Sources: The trail crosses several streams and water sources, allowing hikers to refill their water bottles. However, it is recommended to treat or filter the water before consuming it.

6. Shelters: There are a few shelters along the Art Loeb Trail, such as the Deep Gap Shelter and the Cold Mountain Shelter. These shelters provide a roofed structure for hikers to rest or spend the night. They usually have sleeping platforms and fireplaces.

7. Trail Markers: The trail is well-marked with white blazes, making it easier for hikers to follow the route. Look for these blazes on trees or rocks along the trail.

8. Information Boards: Some trailheads may have information boards providing details about the trail, safety tips, and any current alerts or closures.

It is important to note that the Art Loeb Trail is a challenging and rugged trail, and hikers should be prepared with proper gear, navigation tools, and sufficient supplies. Always check for any trail updates or closures before embarking on your hike.

Nearby Services

1. Pisgah Inn – Lodging and restaurant located on the Blue Ridge Parkway with stunning mountain views.
2. Black Balsam Knob – No lodging or food services, but emergency services may be available nearby.
3. Davidson River Campground – Campground with nearby river access, no food services or emergency services.
4. Shining Rock Wilderness – No lodging, food services, or emergency services available in the wilderness area.
5. Graveyard Fields – No lodging or emergency services, but a popular spot for picnicking and hiking.
6. Cold Mountain – No lodging, food services, or emergency services available on the mountain.
7. Looking Glass Rock – No lodging or food services, but emergency services may be available nearby.
8. Brevard – Town with various lodging, food services, and emergency services located near the trail.

Art Loeb Trail Difficulty Notes

The Art Loeb Trail, located in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, is renowned for its challenging terrain and varying difficulty levels. Spanning approximately 30 miles, this trail offers a mix of steep ascents, rocky sections, and rugged terrain, making it a formidable challenge for hikers of all skill levels. The trail’s elevation changes and unpredictable weather conditions add to its difficulty, requiring hikers to be well-prepared and physically fit. However, the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and picturesque waterfalls make the Art Loeb Trail a rewarding and unforgettable experience for those seeking an adventure in the great outdoors.

Features And Attractions

The Art Loeb Trail is a popular hiking trail in western North Carolina, known for its stunning scenery and diverse landscapes. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and other points of interest. Here are some notable ones:

1. Black Balsam Knob: This is one of the most iconic spots along the trail, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

2. Shining Rock Wilderness: A designated wilderness area, Shining Rock offers rugged terrain, high peaks, and unique rock formations.

3. Cold Mountain: Made famous by the novel and movie of the same name, Cold Mountain is a prominent peak along the trail, offering breathtaking views.

4. Graveyard Fields: This area features beautiful waterfalls, wildflowers, and open meadows, making it a popular spot for photography and picnicking.

5. Devil’s Courthouse: Located near the trail, this rock outcrop offers stunning views of the surrounding Pisgah National Forest.

6. Looking Glass Rock: A massive granite dome, Looking Glass Rock provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests.

7. Mount Pisgah: This peak offers a challenging climb but rewards hikers with incredible views from its summit.

8. Davidson River: The trail passes along the Davidson River, a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and camping.

9. Pilot Mountain: Not to be confused with the one in North Carolina, this Pilot Mountain offers a scenic overlook and is a great spot for a break.

10. Cedar Rock Mountain: Located near the trail, Cedar Rock Mountain offers stunning views and unique rock formations.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Art Loeb Trail. The trail is approximately 30 miles long, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore and discover more along the way.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Camping is only allowed in designated areas.
– Campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings or stoves.
– Leave no trace: Pack out all trash and waste.
– Do not disturb or harm wildlife or vegetation.
– Hunting is not allowed along the trail.
– Respect private property and stay on designated trail sections.
– Obtain necessary permits or passes if required.
– Be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
– Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted by the managing agency.

Seasonal Information

The Art Loeb Trail, located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, offers breathtaking views and a challenging hiking experience. The best times of the year to visit the trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for hikers. The temperatures are mild, ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit, making it comfortable for outdoor activities. Fall is equally stunning, with the foliage transforming into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow hues. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time for hiking, and the views from the trail are simply awe-inspiring.

It is important to note that the Art Loeb Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. The trail is often covered in snow and ice, making it unsafe for hikers. Additionally, the trailhead parking areas may be inaccessible due to road closures caused by winter weather conditions. It is recommended to check with the U.S. Forest Service or local hiking organizations for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning a visit during the winter.

During the summer months, the Art Loeb Trail can be quite crowded, especially on weekends. The temperatures can also be hot and humid, making the hike more challenging. However, if you prefer solitude and don’t mind the heat, summer can still be a great time to visit. Just be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

Overall, the best times to visit the Art Loeb Trail are in the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, the scenery is stunning, and the trail is less crowded. However, regardless of the season, the Art Loeb Trail offers a memorable hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and natural beauty.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Art Loeb Trail is not wheelchair accessible due to its rugged terrain and steep inclines.
2. ADA Accommodations: The trail does not have specific ADA accommodations, but nearby attractions like the Pisgah National Forest offer accessible facilities and trails for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Parking: There are no designated accessible parking spaces directly at the Art Loeb Trailhead, but accessible parking can be found at nearby visitor centers or parking lots.
4. Trail Surface: The trail consists of natural surfaces such as dirt, rocks, and tree roots, which may pose challenges for individuals with mobility impairments.
5. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout the Art Loeb Trail, and some sections may be narrower, making it difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
6. Restrooms: There are no accessible restrooms specifically at the Art Loeb Trail, but accessible facilities can be found at nearby visitor centers or campgrounds.
7. Trail Grade: The trail features steep inclines and uneven terrain, making it unsuitable for wheelchair users or individuals with limited mobility.
8. Trail Obstacles: The trail may have fallen trees, stream crossings, or other obstacles that can hinder accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
9. Trail Length: The Art Loeb Trail spans approximately 30 miles, making it a challenging endeavor for most hikers, including those with disabilities.
10. Alternative Accessible Trails: While the Art Loeb Trail may not be accessible, there are other nearby trails, such as the Pink Beds Loop Trail, that offer accessible options for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Plan and prepare: Research the trail, check weather conditions, and pack essential gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike.
2. Navigation: Carry a detailed map, compass, or GPS device to navigate the trail accurately.
3. Water sources: Be aware of water availability along the trail and carry enough water or purification methods to stay hydrated.
4. Wildlife encounters: Familiarize yourself with local wildlife, maintain a safe distance, and store food securely to avoid attracting animals.
5. Weather conditions: Be prepared for sudden weather changes, including thunderstorms, and seek shelter if necessary.
6. Trail conditions: Stay cautious of steep and rocky sections, fallen trees, and slippery surfaces, especially during wet or icy conditions.
7. Leave no trace: Practice responsible hiking by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting the natural environment.
8. Emergency communication: Carry a fully charged cell phone or a satellite communication device for emergencies, and inform someone about your hiking plans.
9. Hiking in groups: Consider hiking with a partner or a group for safety, especially in remote areas.
10. Physical fitness: Assess your fitness level and choose a hiking pace that suits your abilities to prevent exhaustion or injuries.
11. First aid: Carry a basic first aid kit and know how to use it to treat minor injuries or manage medical emergencies until help arrives.
12. Permits and regulations: Check if any permits or regulations apply to the Art Loeb Trail and ensure compliance to avoid legal issues.
13. Trail closures and updates: Stay informed about any trail closures, reroutes, or safety advisories by checking with local authorities or trail organizations.
14. Emergency shelters: Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency shelters along the trail in case of unexpected situations.
15. Respect other hikers: Be considerate of other hikers, yield to faster hikers, and maintain a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conservation Notes

The Art Loeb Trail, located in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, is a popular hiking trail known for its stunning views and challenging terrain. In terms of conservation status, the trail is primarily managed and protected by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Pisgah National Forest. This designation ensures that the trail and its surrounding natural resources are preserved and maintained for future generations.

The conservation efforts for the Art Loeb Trail focus on various aspects, including the protection of wildlife habitats, the prevention of soil erosion, and the maintenance of water quality. The trail passes through diverse ecosystems, including hardwood forests, high-elevation balds, and pristine mountain streams. These habitats support a wide range of plant and animal species, some of which are rare or endangered. Conservation measures aim to minimize human impact on these sensitive areas, such as by promoting Leave No Trace principles and enforcing regulations on camping and waste disposal.

To protect the trail from erosion, sustainable trail design and maintenance practices are implemented. This includes constructing durable footpaths, installing erosion control structures, and strategically placing trail markers to minimize environmental impact. Additionally, efforts are made to maintain water quality along the trail by preventing pollution and promoting responsible water usage. Hikers are encouraged to filter or treat water from natural sources to prevent the introduction of contaminants and to minimize the risk of spreading invasive species.

Overall, the conservation status of the Art Loeb Trail is actively managed to ensure the preservation of its natural resources and the enjoyment of future generations. Through the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Forest Service, local organizations, and hikers themselves, the trail remains a pristine and ecologically significant destination within the Appalachian Mountains.

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