Cat Gap Loop 120

Transylvania County, North Carolina

Distance4.5mi
Elevation Gain2,385ft
Trailhead Elevation2,342ft
Top3,353ft
Elevation Min/Max2322/3353ft
Elevation Start/End2342/2342ft

Cat Gap Loop 120

Cat Gap Loop 120 is a hiking and biking trail in Transylvania County, North Carolina. It is 4.5 miles long and begins at 2,342 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 9.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,385 feet. The Fish Hatchery parking is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Art Loeb Trail, 123 Butter Gap, Cat Gap Bypass 120a and John Rock 365.

Cat Gap Loop 120 Professional Reviews and Guides

"With a name like “Cat Gap,” this is a trail you just have to hike with your dog. Though cats are actually not likely to cross this path, the Cat Gap Loop is riddled with water in the form of rivers, streams, cascades, and puddles, and in spring and summer the many fragrant and colorful wildflowers that come to life along the trail are things that dogs will appreciate maybe just as much as chasing cats.

The slightly easier way to hike the loop is in a clockwise direction to avoid a very steep climb at the outset—although there will be climbing either way you go. While the cooler air of fall and winter is more comfortable for hiking with dogs, the trail passes through game lands, so hunting is permitted. Put a blaze orange vest on your dog during hunting season."

"Shaded the entire way, this pleasant hike leads you up to a splendid little waterfall, and then continues to climb as it circles around John Rock. Although you can’t see John Rock from the trail, you can view it from the parking lot before you begin.

The forest is fantastic, and you’ll make several creek crossings at the beginning and end of the loop. The middle 2.0 miles of the hike have no natural water sources, so bring enough drinking water for you and the dogs—especially since this is the most strenuous section of the trail."

Cat Gap Loop 120 Reviews

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3/13/2018
Really nice hike. Great walk in the woods. The view from John Rock is lovely! We also stopped by Looking Glass Falls after we finished the hike.
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4/30/2011
This trail was nice, I liked hiking for the first half mile beside a stream. The climb up to John Rock was not tough at all. What a beautiful view of the hatchery all the surrounding terrain of mtns. Looking glass included. The whole loop didn't take but about 2 hrs. This was my fifth trail since I started hiking 4 wks ago. I completed this one on my 44th bday.
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8/10/2010
This is an easy loop that parallels the Davidson River. Make sure to tak the side trail to John Rock
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3/15/2009
I had a great time in this area of Pisgah National Forest. On this loop trail you'll encounter many back country campsites where you can set camp if the site is available. I went pretty early in the year and was able to camp right above the large falls you encounter about 1.5+ miles into the hike. I stayed there 3 nights out of the 7 that I stayed within the park, due to the fact I was able to fly fish the Davidson River a short 1.5ish miles from camp where there is also ample parking at the fishery building/parking lot/ loop trailhead. I'd classify the hike as moderate except if you add the optional hike to John Rock halfway into the hike, which I'd recommend, I'd then consider it moderate to strenuous due to the grade of the trail. It's a really nice and peaceful hike with nice views, waterfalls, and shallow creek crossings. It's definitely worth spending part of an afternoon enjoying this loop trail and area of the park. Especially if you're a fly fisherman...
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9/5/2008
Easy to find trailhead and blazes, low traffic, but only one real good view (if you take the summit trail). Great spot to take picts of Looking Glass Mt.
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7/28/2008
I think this is the same trail that takes you to the top of Johns Rock. (if i'm wrong ignore this). bottom line:its a quick example of the appalachain mtns. in NC. decent hike This hike is a great half day hike and is amazing with the fall foliage and even on a clear day. Park at the Fishery and follow the trail that is at the opposite end of the parking lot. It starts flat and passes some great camping and fishing spots. After a couple stream crossing you will come to the first Y-intersection. The left trail is much steeper, the right trail is easier. I usually take the left b/c its more rewarding at the top. At the saddle you come to a T-int. Go right and follow the ridge a ways. Look for the trail to split left after a bit (.25mi) and follow it out to johns rock. you get an awesome shot of Looking Glass w/ pisgah and graveyard in the distance.
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Cat Gap Loop 120 Photos

Trail Information

Transylvania County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Pisgah National Forest, Pisgah Ranger District; (828) 877-3265; www.fs.fed.us
Local Contacts
North Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer, page 53, C5. National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #780 Pisgah Ranger District, G6, Trail #120.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018