A short hike originating at a picnic area along the Davidson River.


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If you're looking for a short, family-friendly hike with a picnic, look no further.

This loop originates at the Coontree Picnic Area and travels ~3.5 miles through beautiful terrain lined with rhododendron and mountain laurel.

Afterward, you have the option to soak in the cool waters of the Davidson River just beyond the picnic area. The hike begins at the Coontree Picnic Area along US-276.

It's a short drive from Brevard and Looking Glass Falls is just up the road.

Drinking water and restrooms are available at the parking lot. Leaving the parking area, look across the road for a quaint trailhead sign denoting the start of the loop.

The hike, which forms a "lollipop" shape begins and ends here.

The loop can be hiked in either direction, both starting with a gradual climb to the ridge.

At the top, the Coontree Loop follows Bennett Gap Trail along a ridge to form the loop.

While this trail is only open seasonally to mountain bikes, Bennett Gap is open year round and quite popular among downhill mountain bikers. Along the way, expect plenty of wildflowers in the spring and summer months, and the year-round mountain laurel and rhododendron that blanket the trail.

Several small, cascading waterfalls are also fun to explore and great for cooling off in the heat of the summer.