Craven Gap Trail in Asheville, NC

Craven Gap Trail is a segment of Asheville, North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail that spans 1,200 miles. This conglomeration of smaller trails makes up hikes through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trailhead location is at Craven Gap, a respite for bicyclists and an entry point to the Craven Gap Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail for hikers.


This trail is labeled moderate, but if you’re an experienced hiker, you might find it presents no challenge.


7.7 kilometers/4.8 miles.

Trail Begins

Craven Gap Trail begins at Craven Gap along the Mountains-to-Sea network of hiking trails in North Carolina. You can find the trailhead at mile marker 377.4 of the MST, about 15 minutes outside Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

To Bring

As with any hike, you should bring water and snacks and be sure to leave nothing behind. Since there is elevation gain, you may prefer to use a hiking stick. You will need shoes with tread and ankle support, although sandals like Chacos with deep tread may work, depending on your preference.


Most reviewers say this is a casual, relaxing hike with plenty of greenery. The terrain isn’t too difficult, although you occasionally hear traffic from the Parkway. There are some tricky spots, especially if it’s just rained, but there are a few handrails to keep from slipping and falling. One hiker reported that they and a few dozen others were disappointed in August when the overlook was too overgrown with foliage to see any mountain views.

Several hikers have spotted black bears near the trail, so make sure to sing or otherwise make lots of noise when entering the trailhead to make your presence known.

All in all, be careful when you visit to watch out for bears, but if you hike the Craven Gap Trail during the best seasons, you should be in for a treat. Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, peace of a forest hike, and gentle elevation gain make the Craven Gap Trail an excellent choice for beginners and experienced hikers.


Dogs are allowed, but they should be on a leash. Bears can sometimes be in the area, so it’s best not to let your dog off the lead where you can’t see them. Craven Gap Trail is a Leave No Trace area, so come prepared with bags to clean up your pet’s waste.


Craven Gap Trail is free.

Hike Time

The hike out and back on Craven Gap Trail can take up to two or two and a half hours, depending on how leisurely you walk it. If you’re training, you may be able to do the hike in an hour and a half or two hours.

Best Seasons

The best time to visit Craven Gap Trail is between April and August. North Carolina can get a lot of snow, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the winter, the trail might be closed due to inclement weather conditions.


76.2-meter/250-foot elevation gain.


Craven Gap Trail’s start is located at mile marker 377.4 for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. You can park along the Blue Ridge Parkway or on a small gravel parking lot for free.

Route Type

Out and back.


Bikes aren’t allowed; Craven Gap Trail is hiking only.

Visit the links below to discover other hiking trails you’ll want to visit:

Featured image via All Trails