This weekend is going to be cold but clear in the mountains of Western North Carolina, so bundle up and head for the John Rock trail head in the Pisgah National Forest just outside Brevard, NC. This moderately strenuous 5-mile hike will reward you with an unparalleled view of the nearby Looking Glass Rock. It’s a unique perspective and well worth the climb as most people bypass this hike in favor of the more popular Looking Glass Rock trail.
To access the trailhead take Highway 276 through the entrance of Pisgah National Forest in Brevard. Continue approximately 5 miles before turning left on Fish Hatchery Rd. (FR 475C). Travel another 1.4 miles until you see signs for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery. Park at the hatchery and continue around the gate onto FR 475C on foot. Cross the small bridge and immediately turn right onto the Cat Gap Loop Trail. Take Cat Gap Loop trail to Cat Gap Bypass trail to John Rock trail to achieve the rocky summit. Be sure to bring and consult a map.
If you work up a thirst while taking in this classic WNC hike or just want to browse through some of the newest mountain biking gear and outdoor apparel, head to the HUB and Pisgah Tavern afterwards just past the gates of Pisgah back down 276 toward Brevard. The weekend the Hub is undergoing a soft opening of its highly anticipated new facility.
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