February 20, 2016
This is a great 10-mile hike for those wanting undulating hills, scenic mountaintop vistas, streams and waterfalls.
I hiked east on Cat Gap Trail to the John Rock Trail. The trail was generally uphill, but nothing insurmountable. The hike up to the summit of John Rock is a steady climb, before heading down to rejoin Cat Gap. Cat Gap climbs south (a very steep , but short uphill) to the Art Loeb Trail. West took me to Butter Gap Shelter, where I stopped for lunch. To return to the Jeep, I went downhill on Butter Gap Trail and was treated to the lovely sight of Grogan Creek Falls. Butter Gap turns into Cat Gap (again), which created a nice loop.
There may be prettier places in the world than the mountains of North Carolina; I just haven’t found them yet.
Total mileage is 10 miles.