Butter Gap Trail #123

4.1 mi - Moderate - Most of this trail is on an easy grade, though there is a short, steep section before reaching Butter Gap. Beginning at Picklesimer Fields, the trail follows Grogan Creek for most of its length, passing an intersection with Long Branch Trail (#116)* on the way. There are some nice cascades and pools along the creek. Vegetation varies from grassy openings to pine woods and upland hardwood forests. The trail forks as it approaches Butter Gap: The left (eastern) fork, which is open to hikers only (despite the blue coloring on the 2003 Trails Illustrated™ map, which is in error), leads to Butter Gap, where a shelter and spring are nearby. The right (western) fork, which is open to mountain bikes, leads to FS 471D, which some riders use as part of a large loop; otherwise, they must backtrack down Butter Gap Trail. *The portion of the trail between Cat Gap Loop (#120) and Long Branch Trail (#116) is open to mountain bikes seasonally, from October 15 through April 15 only. This is to minimize safety concerns on a heavily used trail.

Approximate Elevation Change: 1000 feet
Blaze: Blue

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking Trail: Foot traffic (sections open seasonally to mountain bike use October 15-April 15).
Water: yes
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) onto US 276; proceed north for approximately 3½ miles to first left turn (FS 475, signed for Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery); proceed approximately 1½ miles to Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Park in parking lot. Go around gate on gravel road leading uphill from Center facilities, and immediately turn right onto Cat Gap Loop (#120). Continue approximately ¾ mile to intersection with Butter Gap Trail, at Picklesimer Fields. (Other end of trail is at Butter Gap on Art Loeb Trail (#146), Section 1.)


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking