Art Loeb Trail Map (Section #4 -- Gloucester Gap to Davidson River Trailhead)

Art Loeb Trail (#146)

"Pisgah's Premier Footpath"

This is THE premier long-distance hiking trail in the Pisgah Ranger District.  Mile-for-mile there may be no finer long distance footpath in the state.  Six thousand foot summits, miles of open southern bald, towering granite plutons, and an amazing diversity of forest types are all represented along this 30-mile route.  Backpackers typically hike the entirety of the trail in three to four days, but the Art Loeb is also conducive for day hikes as a handful of trailheads are spread out at varying intervals along its length.  Traditionally the trail is split up into three sections: 

Section One is the northernmost, running from Camp Daniel Boone down along the incredibly beautiful spine of the Shining Rock Ridge, and ending at the busy trailhead along Black Balsam Road.  This is the most wildly popular section of the trail, deservedly so, providing access to five 6,000-foot peaks as well as the heart of the Shining Rock Wilderness.  

Section Two runs from Black Balsam Road down to Forest Service Road 475 at Gloucester Gap.  This is a transitional section of the trail as the route drops from the high elevation forests of the Pisgah Ridge to the mid-elevation hardwood forests more commonly seen throughout the rest of the District.  

Section Three runs the relatively low ridge connecting Gloucester Gap with the Davidson River area.  This section is almost entirely tree covered, and deceptively challenging as it rises and falls over numerous minor summits along the way.

Trailhead GPS Coordinates (N to S)

Daniel Boone Scout Camp:  35.387112, -82.895743

Black Balsam Road (F.R. 816):  35.320602, -82.876173

Blue Ridge Parkway:  35.307028, -82.880809

Forest Service Road 475 (Gloucester Gap):  35.265850, -82.846945

Forest Service Road 471:  35.261807, -82.840727

Davidson River Campground:  35.282135, -82.721678

Album Direction-Of-Travel:  Southbound

Highlights:  Grassy Balds, Incredible Views, Shining Rock Wilderness, Diversity, SIX Southern 6'ers


Length (one-way):  30.1 miles

Petzoldt Rating: 44.10 (N to S);  46.30(S to N)

Difficulty:  EXTREME (if hiked as a whole)

Total Elevation Gain:  7,000' (N to S);  8,100' (S to N)

Elevation Gain/Mile:  233'/mile (N to S);  269'/mile (S to N)

Min. Elevation:  2,150'

Max. Elevation:  6,214'

Blaze Color:  WHITE

See Following Trip Reports for more info:

Art Loeb Trail - Black Balsam to Gloucester Gap w/ Shuck Ridge Creek Falls

Art Loeb Trail - Gloucester Gap to Davidson River w/ Cedar Rock Mountain

Art Loeb-Butter Gap-Long Branch Loop

Art Loeb-Davidson River Loop

Black Balsam Knob via Flat Laurel Creek

Black Balsam Knob (2011)

Black Balsam-Chestnut Bald Loop

Black Balsam-Graveyard Fields Loop

Black Balsam-Ivestor Gap East Loop

Cat Gap Loop Trail

Cedar Rock Mountain

Fork Mountain Trail via Black Balsam Knob

Greasy Cove-Graveyard Ridge Loop to Grassy Cove Top

MST - NC 215 to Cherry Cove Overlook

Pilot Mountain (Transylvania County)

Scout Camp/The Narrows/Little East Fork Loop

Shining Creek-Old Butt Knob Loop

Shining Rock (2013)

Shining Rock Loop

Sycamore Cove Loop

Tennent Mountain Loop (2012)

Tennent Mountain Loop (2016)

Connecting Trails:

Art Loeb Spur Trail (#108)

Butter Gap Trail (#123)

Cat Gap Loop Trail (#120)

Cold Mountain Trail (#141)

Exercise Loop Trail (#344)

Farlow Gap Trail (#106)

Graveyard Ridge Trail (#356)

Ivestor Gap Trail (#101)

Mountains-to-Sea Trail (#440)

North Slope Connector Trail (#359A)

Old Butt Knob Trail (#332)

Shining Creek Trail (#363)

Sycamore Cove Trail (#143)

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