“One of the fastest downhill trails in Pisgah.”
— JR JR
This trail can be easily shuttled, but the climb can be quite enjoyable to.
As mapped, this trail is a downhill. A gravel climb, great views, rugged rocky sections with large step-downs make this trail a wonderful run not far from the forest entrance.
The trail runs a straight line along a ridge for most of it with several sections of excessive roots and steepness. Shortly after the two obvious overlook areas of Looking Glass Rock, off to your right marks the approach of two of the toughest sections on the trail. One is a tight left hairpin staircase turn and the second is a 4 foot rock step-down with a steep, rocky approach. Toward the bottom, the trail dips into a sidecut on the north slope of the ridge before popping back out onto the road. From this point, the descent is not as steep as the first section of trail and offers more pleasant running to Avery Creek Road.
Most begin from Bennett Gap and travel downhill. This trail is mainly a ridgetop trail and affords nice views of the Pisgah Ledge, Looking Glass Rock, the Avery Creek valley, and Black Mountain. The terrain and vegetation varies quite a bit as you pass through a wildlife opening, traverse rocky outcrops, drop down through two gaps and climb over Coontree Mountain. After passing Coontree Gap, the trail crosses some small streams that add an array of ferns, mosses and wildflowers to the variety in vegetation. You'll notice the Bennett Gap Trail intersects the Perry Cove Trail (#151) at Saddle Gap, and then shares the trail with almost one mile of the Coontree Loop
(#144)be sure to follow the red blazes.