Pisgah Ranger District of 
Pisgah National Forest


A view of the plunge pool at Courthouse Falls in the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest

An enchanted view of the Courthouse Falls Plunge Pool on Courthouse Falls Trail in the Pisgah Ranger District

photo by A. Scott Lavender


Established in 1916, Pisgah National Forest is the oldest National Forest in the East.  The Forest is named for the Mount Pisgah peak inside it, which is named for the biblical peak of the same name from which Moses could see the Promised Land.  The name is fitting for both areas.


photo by A. Scott Lavender



Pisgah National Forest is divided up into the Pisgah, Toecane, French Broad, and Grandfather Ranger Districts.  The Pisgah Ranger District consists of over 160,000 acres of the most beautiful country in the world.

This District is the flagship district of the Pisgah National Forest and is one of the most visited.  The Cradle of Forestry, Bent Creek Experimental Forest, and the Pisgah Fish Hatchery are within the Pisgah Ranger District as are the iconic natural features of Looking-Glass Rock, Graveyard Fields, and Devil's Courthouse. 

There are over 400 miles of hiking trails here.  The Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Art Loeb Trail are the best known, but you will want to spend some time getting to know all the trails.  They all have their own personality.  I especially like the variety the changes in area, elevation, and history create in the individual trails.  This section of Western North Carolina is gorgeous.


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The Hiking Trails

There are 124 hiking trails.  They are listed alphabetically below.  They are also listed by Distance and Difficulty.


  1. Andy Cove Nature Trail
  2. Art Loeb Trail
  3. Art Loeb Spur Trail
  4. Art Loeb-Black Balsam Trail
  5. Avery Creek Trail
  6. Bad Fork Trail
  7. Barnett Branch Trail
  8. Bear Branch Trail
  9. Bennett Gap Trail
  10. Big Creek Trail
  11. Big East Fork Trail
  12. Biltmore Campus Trail
  13. Black Mountain Trail
  14. Bradley Creek Trail
  15. Bridges Camp Gap Trail
  16. Buck Spring Trail
  17. Buckeye Gap Trail
  18. Buckhorn Gap Trail
  19. Buckwheat Knob Trail
  20. Butter Gap Trail
  21. Boyd Branch Trail
  22. Chestnut Cove Trail
  23. Campground Connector Trail
  24. Caney Bottom Trail
  25. Cantrell Creek Trail
  26. Case Camp Ridge Trail
  27. Cat Gap Loop
  28. Cat Gap Bypass
  29. Cemetery Loop
  30. Clawhammer Cove Trail
  31. Club Gap Trail
  32. Cold Mountain Trail
  33. Coontree Loop
  34. Courthouse Falls Trail
  35. Cove Creek Trail
  36. Daniel Ridge Loop
  37. Davidson River Trail
  38. Deer Lake Lodge Trail
  39. Deerfield Loop
  40. Deerfield Loop Connector Trail
  41. Dew Falls Trail
  42. Exercise Trail
  43. Explorer Loop Trail
  44. Explorer Loop Connector Trail
  45. Farlow Gap Trail
  46. Flat Laurel Creek Trail
  47. Fletcher Creek Trail
  48. Forest Festival Trail
  49. Fork Mountain Trail
  50. Foster Creek Trail
  51. Grassy Road Trail
  52. Graveyard Ridge Connector Trail
  53. Graveyard Ridge Trail
  54. Greasy Cove Trail
  55. Green Mountain Trail
  56. Greenslick Trail
  57. Hardtimes Connector Trail
  58. Haywood Gap Trail
  59. Homestead Trail
  60. Horse Cove Gap Trail
  61. Ingles Field Gap Trail
  62. Ivestor Gap Trail
  63. John Rock Trail
  64. Ledford Trail
  65. Laurel Creek Trail
  66. Laurel Mountain Trail
  67. Laurel Mountain Connector Trail
  68. Little East Fork Trail
  69. Little Hickory Top Trail
  70. Little Sam Trail
  71. Long Branch Trail
  72. Looking Glass Rock Trail
  73. Lower Sidehill Trail
  74. Lower (Second) Falls Trail
  75. Middle Fork Trail
  76. Moore Cove Trail
  77. Mountains to Sea Trail
  78. Mountains to Sea Access Trail
  79. Mount Pisgah Trail
  80. Mullinax Trail
  81. North Boundary Trail
  82. North Face Trail
  83. North Mills River Trail
  84. North Slope Trail
  85. North Slope Connector Trail
  86. Old Butt Knob Trail
  87. Perry Cove Trail
  88. Pilot Cove-Slate Rock Trail
  89. Pilot Cove Loop
  90. Pilot Rock Trail
  91. Pilot Rock Extension
  92. Pine Tree Loop
  93. Pink Beds Loop
  94. Pink Beds Connector Trail
  95. Poundingmill Trail
  96. Pressley Cove Trail
  97. Rainbow Falls Trail
  98. Riverside Trail
  99. Sam Knob Trail
  100. Sam Knob Summit Trail
  101. Seniard Ridge Trail
  102. Shining Creek Trail
  103. Shut-In Trail
  104. Sidehill Trail
  105. Sidehill Connector Trail
  106. Sleepy Gap Trail
  107. Slick Rock Falls Trail
  108. Small Creek Trail
  109. South Mills River Trail
  110. Spencer Gap Trail
  111. Squirrel Gap Trail
  112. Starens Branch Trail
  113. Summey Cove Trail
  114. Sunwall Trail
  115. Sycamore Cove Loop
  116. Thompson Creek Trail
  117. Thrift Cove Loop
  118. Trace Ridge Trail
  119. Turkey Pen Gap Trail
  120. Twin Falls Trail
  121. Upper Falls Trail
  122. Vineyard Gap Trail
  123. Wash Creek Trail
  124. Wagon Road Gap Trail
  125. Wolf Branch Trail
  126. Yellow Gap Trail

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