This is a popular loop trail (FS #144) through the forest at all times of the year but probably best in the winter and colder months when you will have views of Coontree Mountain.
There is seasonal mountain bike use on the east side of the trail from October 15 through April 15 only. The start of the trail is flat, and the actual loop begins 300 yards from the trailhead. Most choose to travel counterclockwise because of the grades. The right side follows a small branch most of the way before climbing to Coontree Gap and an intersection with the Bennett Gap Trail (FS #138). Turn left here, keeping in mind that the two trails overlap for almost 1 mile.
There is a steep grade as you climb up the shoulder of Coontree Mountain. In a shallow gap just before reaching the tip, the Coontree Gap Trail drops steeply to the left. The trail continues down at a generally steep grade, crossing Coontree Creek several times before returning to the trailhead.
Pisgah National ForestFeatures:
Length: 3.7 milesDifficulty: ModerateUsage: HeavyTrail condition: GoodIntersecting Trails: Bennett Gap Trail #138Dog Friendly: Dogs must be on leash in developed recreation areas.Wheelchair Accessible: NoSeasons: Year-round, good during winterRestrooms: Not on trail but in picnic area across from trailhead.
- Mountain views
From the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) onto US 276. Travel 3 miles to the Coontree Picnic Area on US 276 on the left, where parking is available. The trail starts across US 276 from the picnic area. This section of the road is on a curve so be careful when crossing.