Art Loeb Trail
Art Loeb trail is a 30 mile hiking trail in western North Carolina. Located inside of the immense Pisgah Forest as many other forests located therein. Situated many miles ahead of Brevard, Art Loeb Trail starts off after several viewpoints. As shown in the above image, several viewpoints offer spectacular sceneries worthy of the nicest pictures depicting the area.
Blue Ridge Parkway
My first stop was at “Pounding Mill Overlook” pertaining to the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, you can appreciate the vastness of Pisgah Forest and one of its iconic landmarks, “Looking Glass rock” from an elevation of approximately 4700 m. This high rock is the evidence of countless days of weathering. Its frontal side reflects the sun’s rays and hence its name. After a few minutes of great shots, we were again en route to the start of Art Love Trail. As usual, being a stranger in the area propels you to ask around like crazy in order to get the best available guidance. After some quality suggestions, we started off towards the nearest hill in order to get more shots. Although our hike was of about 2 miles, we were able to enjoy it greatly.
Hiking is a very liberating thing to experience. It makes you feel strongly intertwined with nature and it is also an awesome exercising excuse. The Art Loeb Trail is supposedly one of the most difficult ones in all of Pisgah Forest. Usually, it make take anywhere from two to three days to culminate the whole trail. Several campsites can be found all along the trail. The Davidson River can be seen through different part of the trail. It skirts beautifully all along.
Black Balsam Knob
With an elevation of over 6000ft, Black Balsam Knob is a mesmerizing place to hike through. You are greeted with a plaque commemorating Art Loeb, and, from there, you hike upwards through a series of pine trees and rocky roads which are quite comfortable. This specific knob is one of the more crowded ones. From here, you can visualize the following peaks:
- Mount Pisgah
- Cold Mountain
- Shining Rock
- Mount Mitchell
- And of course, Looking Glass
I remember walking for at least 10 minutes into the trail and forgetting a piece of gear from my camera. I had to painfully return to the parking lot because I really needed the piece. However, the knob starts with a very pronounced inclination so it was somewhat tiring. No big deal though, the sceneries compensated for the struggle. It was interesting to notice a tree in the middle of the trail. It was standing right before a series of hills where we indulged on picturing several angles towards the vastness of the forest. I had to wait for at least 15 minutes to get a clean shot with no one standing in the way. At the end, one person still got in the way. It was just too crowded to get an empty shot. Anyway, the sceneries were truly amazing. Endless lines of pines lined up purposely everywhere.
Although we weren’t able to see any animals, we did learn that deer, rattlesnakes, and even bobcats are fairly common in the area. Of course, also, birds of different kinds and reptiles roam about everywhere. All in all, we only made a small hike through this trail. It was nice to see some couples very very far away from us already ahead on their hiking adventure. I just didn’t have the time and intention to make the whole 30mile trail. I do feel like I could complete it in the future though. With proper outdoors gear and mental focus, anyone can do it. Is it worth it? I believe it is. Hiking and running enthusiasts could probably enjoy the breathtaking views and ambient. Hope to come back here soon!