Art Loeb Trail #2 (NRT) #146

7.2 mi - Difficult - From Gloucester Gap, the trail climbs to Pilot Mountain, a former fire tower site with a 360-degree view. In mid May the north side of Pilot Mountain is abloom with Pinkshell Azalea. There is a shelter and a spring at Deep Gap. The trail then climbs to the Blue Ridge Parkway, winding through a mature, upland hardwood forest. From the parkway it is a steep climb to Silvermine Bald, where there is a transition from a hardwood forest to a spruce-fir forest. Grass balds and an abundance of Catawba Rhododendron make this a good spot to take a hike in late June when these showy shrubs bloom. Near Silvermine Bald, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail joins from the west as the Art Loeb Trail follows the ridge northeast to FS 816. [Note: South of Silvermine Bald, in addition to white blazes, you may also see blue dots, which are leftovers from a trail designation no longer in use.]

Approximate Elevation Change: 2,600 feet
Blaze: White

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking Trail: foot traffic only.
Water: no
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: It is not recommended to leave a car overnight at Gloucester Gap. To access the northern end of this section: From the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center turn right on US 276, and proceed 14 miles to Blue Ridge Parkway; travel south to FS 816 at milepost 420. The trail can be accessed where it crosses FS 816 at the crest of a hill; paved, roadside parking is available.


Day Hiking

Hiking Only
Difficulty Level: Difficult