Art Loeb Trail, Pisgah National Forest, NC
North Carolina’s 30-mile Art Loeb Trail, just outside Asheville, has long been popular with backpackers, but more recently it’s become something of a testing ground for ultra-runners. Those of us who aren’t willing or able to run a 50k in one clip, the trail is easy to modify to suit whatever one-day distance suits, such as the nine-mile stretch between Black Balsam and Shining Rock, which serves up panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains and the Shining Rock Wilderness. Whatever section you pick, you can’t go wrong as the Art Loeb Trail follows mostly ridgelines through the Pisgah National Forest, traversing three mountain peaks over 5,000 feet in elevation — it’s hard to top the panoramic views from the Appalachian balds.
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