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Art Loeb Trail

 22 votes

31.1 Miles 50.1 Kilometers



6,563' 2,000 m


-7,726' -2,355 m


6,196' 1,889 m


2,138' 652 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (34°)

Minor Issues

57 days agoUpdate

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

Zane Ray


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 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.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors
Dogs: Leashed


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 (5095 feet). The trail also skirts the base of Cold Mountain which was made famous by the novel and Hollywood film.

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


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4.5 from 22 votes

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Nov 5, 2017
Vincent Lacon
Packing up leaving. Looking for big shiny rock
Nov 5, 2017
Vikram Sahney
Nov 4, 2017
Vincent Lacon
Oct 27, 2017
Scott Bentley
Oct 15, 2017
Emily Schmucker
First Backpacking Trip. A great trail and experience. 31.1mi
Sep 19, 2017
Elle Ziel
I have Tennent Mountain to myself tonight. Bob Dylan on the backpacking Bluetooth speaker, boxed wine, and my dog snuggled in the tent. 360° views....
Sep 17, 2017
mtndoc Bell
Climbed to Cold Mountain and back to Art alien Western TH. Tough trail but very cool. Lots of creeks and green in the forest. Great campsite! 10.5mi
Sep 10, 2017
Kevin Chavis
Lots of fun when you were up in the ridges near balsam knob 20mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 22 votes


  4.5 from 22 votes
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Minor Issues 57 days ago
Mostly Dry - Leaves made out descent down Pilot Mountain very challenging. Slippery and slow go. Took some of the joy away ...
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

It took us three days to hike S to N. We camped 1.6 miles south of Gloucester Gap night 1 and on the back side of Tennett Mountain night 2. Overall, the hike was great, but the climbs were tough (especially Pilot Mountain). Make sure you grab water at Deep Gap before Black Balsam. Also, be careful in Shining Rock Wilderness (post-deep gap) - the trail isn't very well marked, and we got lost. Sep 7, 2017

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