Park at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery near Brevard. The John Rock trail can be accessed from either direction from the parking lot.
Counterclockwise isn’t quite as steep going up on the rock and the hike along the creek going in is beautiful and serene. The elevation gain is gradual and note too strenuous. However, if you go clockwise, there is a very very steep section climbing up to the rock.