Family-friendly hike along the Davidson River

Guide to Art Loeb Trail to Estatoe Trail Mini-hike near Brevard

We love to take a short section of the Art Loeb Trail from the south trailhead location for an easy family-friendly hike.

Sign at the Art Loeb Trailhead in Pisgah National Forest

Art Loeb to Estatoe Trail Mini-Hike Quick Facts

Trailhead location: Art Loeb Trailhead (South)

Trail length: 2.5 miles out and back (or as short as you want!)

Difficulty: easy

Elevation change: minimal

Distance from downtown Asheville: 32 miles

Drive time from downtown Asheville: 45 minutes

Getting to the Art Loeb (South) Trailhead

The trail is located in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard along Pisgah Highway (Highway 276).

If driving from downtown Asheville, the quickest route is to take I-26 south to Highway 280. The Art Loeb Trailhead (south) is located on Highway 276 at the Schenck Civilian Conservation Center. The drive is 32 miles (about a 45-minute drive) from downtown Asheville.

Another option is to add this mini-hike to our daytrip itinerary from Asheville to Brevard via the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This loop drives right past the trailhead, so you could plan to take a quick stroll along the river before leaving the national forest.

Parking at the Art Loeb Trailhead

We parked at the trailhead and there were a ton of spots available. You won’t see a sign on Pisgah Highway for the trailhead, but it’s at the same turnoff as the Davidson River campground. After turning you can either continue over a bridge to the campground or take a left into the Art Loeb Trailhead parking lot. The lot can get full at peak times, but today it was empty.

About the Art Loeb (south) to Estatoe Trail Mini-hike

  • What we did: mini-hike and picnic with the kids at the Art Loeb Trailhead
  • Thoughts: A very easy and enjoyable walk through the woods. You’ll find a pebble beach and bridge within ten minutes of the trailhead parking. It’s a great spot for less experienced hikers and easily accessible from Pisgah Highway.

Today’s outdoor destination was the Art Loeb Trailhead. The beginning of the Art Loeb trail very flat and great for an easy stroll with kids. Little ones especially love the trail because there are fun things to see along the way as you walk along the Davidson River.

After parking at the Art Loeb Trailhead parking lot you set out along a gravel path parallel to the Davidson River. There are often trail runners, as well as a few mountain bikers and jogging strollers along this stretch.

After walking for a few minutes you’ll come to a very easily accessible part of the river. It’s shallow here and there’s a rocky beach to walk around. It’s a great spot to bring a picnic and to eat right along the river. A bit further downstream you will reach the big bridge that crosses over the Davidson River. You’ll see it from the beach area– it’s really not far at all from the trailhead parking area.

After crossing the bridge, you follow the trail to the left which then turns into the Estatoe trail. The Estatoe Trail continues along the Davidson River and passes the other side of the river from Sycamore Flats recreation area. The trail continues until it reaches Highway 64/276. At this point the trail continues on as part of the Brevard Greenway System.

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