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Art Loeb Trail



31.1 mile 50.1 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable


Ascent: 7,578' 2,310 m
Descent: -6,409' -1,954 m
High: 6,194' 1,888 m
Low: 2,138' 652 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 66% (33°)


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

Zane Ray

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

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


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.


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 runners use the Art Loeb for extended backpacking trips, while others use shorter sections for day runs, or use connecting trails to form several outstanding loop runs. 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.

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Jun 28, 2018
Corey Holt
Really enjoyed the trail and the run. Grabbed a shuttle to the start from Pure Vida. I didn't have any trouble navigating and had awesome weather! 33.1mi — 13h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 42 votes


in Avery Creek


  4.5 from 42 votes
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in Avery Creek


565 Views Last Month
35,165 Since Sep 22, 2015



Pilot Mountain on the Art Loeb Trail
Jul 25, 2017 near Brevard, NC
Keep heading straight to stay on the loop. Turning right takes you North on Art Loeb.
Jul 5, 2019 near West Ca…, 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
Expansive views across the Smoky Mountains from along the Art Loeb Trail
Nov 6, 2017 near West Ca…, NC
Enjoy expansive, verdant views from the Art Loeb Trail.
May 19, 2017 near Brevard, NC


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