Pilot Cove Loop Hike Route Map

Pilot Cove Loop

I'll be honest, this one wasn't planned.  I was in need of an impromptu hike and I remembered reading about the Pilot Cove Loop in one of my guidebooks.  I didn't know why exactly I remembered it but figured if it had caught my attention then it must be a halfway decent place to spend a couple hours.  

In fact, I was right.  Located in the eastern part of the Pisgah Ranger District between the Pink Beds and the North Mills River Recreation Area, Pilot Cove occupies a relatively quiet corner of the National Forest in the shadow of nearby Mount Pisgah.  The loop itself is only moderate in difficulty and is primarily a walk through the woods with the exception of the fine views you get from Slate Rock, a large open ledge with wonderful views over Pilot Cove and beyond.  On this particular day rain was in the forecast, indeed thunder was rumbling all around when I set out.  Expecting rain I tried to get to the overlook before the inevitable storm broke but arrived just a few minutes too late.  After waiting out the rain for a bit I did get some decent post storm views but nothing like I was hoping for.  Even so, the loop did a good job of giving me what i was looking for...an enjoyable couple hours of solitude in the woods.  I don't doubt I'll be back, hopefully on a bit sunnier day.  

Come on along with me and see what I found...

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  35.383319, -82.714869

Route Type:  Loop                            Difficulty:  CHALLENGING  (Petzoldt Rating:  5.30 )

Hike Length:  3.5 miles                      Hike Duration:  2:15

Trailhead Temp:  75'F                        Trail Traffic:  1-5 people

Min. Elevation:  3,115'                          Max. Elevation:  3,900'

Total Vertical Gain:  900'                   Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile:  257'

Trails Used (Blaze Color):

Pilot Cove-Slate Rock (blue), Pilot Cove Loop (yellow)


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