Coontree Loop Professional Reviews and Guides
"If you enjoy quiet hiking beside a small mountain stream, this hike is for you. The route allows you to explore the headwaters of two neighboring creeks and reveals terrific ridgeline views of Pisgah National Forest during the winter. Starting at the Coontree Picnic Area, the route ascends steadily to the eastern slopes of Coontree Mountain, where it then travels along the narrow spine of the ridge before descending through a hardwood forest to the trailhead."
--Jennifer Pharr Davis, Five-Star Trails: Asheville (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This is a lovely loop trail for people and their dogs throughout the year. However, it is a trail shared with mountain bikers from October 15 through April 15, so skip hiking it during that time if you want to avoid bikes on the sometimes steep and narrow trails. If hiking during fall (an exceptionally pretty time when the hardwoods turn a variety of brilliant shades), dogs should wear blaze orange vests to distinguish themselves from game animals since hunting is allowed in the forest. Early spring is actually a great time here because it has warmed up enough for you to enjoy being out on the trail, but it is still cool enough for comfortable hiking. Since the leaves then have not yet filled in this mostly hardwood forest, great ridge-top views are visible through the trees. Dog-friendly between April 1 and August 15. Mountain Biking between October 15 and April 15."
--Karen Chavez, Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books).
"Only half of the Coontree Loop is open to bikes. It’s got a pretty steep pitch and is better for going down than up. This route takes you up Bennett Gap Trail to the gap and then down Coontree. You’ll finish up along US 276, which sees less traffic in the months Coontree is open. Ride surface is 2.2 miles of single track, 1.6 miles of forest road, and 2.7 miles of pavement. The ride hightlights include a tough uphill, technical downhill, and winter views."
--Jim Parham, Off The Beaten Track Volume II: A Guide to Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina - Pisgah (Milestone Press).
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