Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

At A Glance


4 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 4
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
Blaze Color: Red
Trail Number: 105
Rides That Use This Trail: Daniel Ridge


A terrific, moderately steep, rocky, and technical loop trail. Described here clockwise, it can be ridden either direction.

Follows an old roadbed upstream at the start. Passes an old fish hatchery; starts climbing moderately and becomes quite rocky. The trail splits; the left fork runs along the river past some nice cascades and is more trail-like; the right fork stays on the old road bed and is more loose-stony. Both forks come back together shortly before reaching a wet area and the ruins of an old bridge over Right Fork. The trail narrows as it climbs Right Fork; this stretch has some technical sections and is very rocky and eroded; clings to a steep hillside in places. Straight poplars grow in a beautiful cove hardwood forest here.

At a set of steps and the intersection with the Farlow Gap trail, turn right. This begins a short descent to a moderate climb through a couple of switchbacks. Forest is smaller mixed hardwoods and some red spruce with pleasant open areas.

At the crest of the ridge, a trail connecting to FS 225 (Cove Creek Road) appears on the left; keep right. Daniel Ridge Loop starts descending through logged areas, somewhat steep at times. The trail enters a somewhat more level valley in a forest of hemlocks, rhododendrons, and twisted Mountain Laurel, arching over the trail at times. There are creek crossings on plank & log bridges (looks like they're about to be replaced as of April 2018 - materials stacked beside the trail).

The trail follows the gathering stream downhill then passes the top of Toms Spring Falls (Daniel Ridge Falls) and then goes around a large switchback before popping out on FS 5046 (Lanning Ridge Road). Turn left on 5046 to reach the base of falls; turn right to close the loop.

The naming of this one appears to be kind of a flub as it's not anywhere near Daniel Ridge itself; instead, the trail is on a spur of Lanning Ridge.


Trailhead Parking

From Asheville, take I-240 west to I-26 east to the exit for the Asheville Airport (exit 40). Turn right onto NC 280; follow this 4-lane highway toward Brevard for 16 miles. At the intersection with US highways 276 and 64, turn right onto US 276 west (follow signs for Pisgah National Forest). Follow this road for 5.2 miles; turn left onto FR 475 (follow signs for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery). The Fish Hatchery is 1.4 miles past the turn. The parking area is 2.5 miles past the Fish Hatchery, on the right.

Intersecting Trails

  • Farlow Gap
  • This trail is located in the Davidson River area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Davidson River trails list page.

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    Trail Segments

    Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

    Lanning Ridge Rd. - Davidson River Rd. to Daniel Ridge Loop

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 0.26 mi

    Davidson River Rd - 477 to Lanning Ridge Rd.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 0.12 mi

    Daniel Ridge Loop - FS 5046 to Farlow Gap Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 1.76 mi

    Daniel Ridge Loop - Farlow Gap To Falls

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 2.24 mi

    Total Calculated Length: 4.39 mi

    This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



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