Coontree Gap Hiking Loop: For a challenging 3.7 mile loop with nice elevation changes and varying micro- environments, Coontree Loop is a great hike to check out. The trail begins across the road from the well known Coontree Picnic Area – where there is super fun rock to jump off into the river for those interested in cooling off after getting sweaty on the hike. A very short distance after crossing the road and starting on the trail, you get to choose whether to start the loop on the right or the left, and either one will give you an equally nice climb up the mountain. The top segment of the loop is an overlap with Bennett Gap trail that follows the ridge line, and offers some decent views during winter. There are creeks along this trail, making it a very dog-friendly hike.
Directions: From Downtown Brevard, take NC-280 East. Take a left onto US-276 West into the main entrance for Pisgah National Forest. Proceed on US-276 for about 5 miles to the Coontree Picnic Area parking lot on the left.
Local Hiking Expert: Mast General Store
15 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC