Art Loeb Trail
The Thru-Hiker's Manual for the Art Loeb Trail of North Carolina
Art Loeb was born in 1914 in Philadelphia, PA. In 1936, he graduated from Yale University and moved to Brevard, NC to become a traveling salesman, buying all the Flax he could find for his cousin's papermill. He lived through a heart attack in his 40's and began a healthy habit of walking. His adventurous spirit led him into the forest where he started exploring overgrown trails. Eventually he found enough linking trails to connect Brevard to the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp. He developed a passion for the outdoors and encouraged many others as a member of the Carolina Mountain Club. Art Loeb died in 1968 of a brain tumor. In 1969, the Carolina Mountain Club dedicated the path he loved so much as The Art Loeb Trail in his honor.
This is a challenging 30-mile ridgeline trail that climbs over several 6,000 foot summits like Shining Rock, Tennent Mountain, and Black Balsam Knob from just above 3,000' at each trailhead. The northern section of this trail is technical, rocky, rooted, and narrow with steep drop-offs on both sides. The switchbacks are straight up narrow ridgelines. Several miles, from Grassy Cove Top to the Blue Ridge Parkway, are above tree line and exposed to bad weather, however, the views here are spectacular. From the Blue Ridge Parkway south to Davidson River the trail is on wider ridges in dense forest and more gradual with ups and downs. There are 62 camping locations with fire pits and water is sometimes off trail in the middle from springs and decent at both ends from streams and creeks.
The Thru-Hiker's Manual has the directions written to the hundredth of a mile, about 20 steps equal 0.01 miles. It includes detailed information about camp sites, water sources, viewpoints, trail intersections, and terrain features. It will even let you know when the inclines and declines begin and end. The trail is marked with wooden signs and blazed in the southern end with a 2x6" white Appalachian Trail style painted blaze. The northern end has no signs or blazes in Shining Rock Wilderness and can be confusing with all the side trails in all directions.
The Thru-Hiker's Manual for the Art Loeb Trail will help you plan and navigate the trail and reduce the daily stress with the knowledge of where your resources are. It is a challenging adventure, depending on your level of experience, so plan for 4 days to really enjoy the experience.