North Slope is a 4.3 mile loop trail located near Brevard, North Carolina and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from October until April.
This is my "go to" hike in Pisgah. The trail head is beyond the entrance to the campground. Park at the Art Loeb lot and head over there -- chat with the friendly rangers who are checking in the campers. You'll eventually come to a parking area on the left with two information signs. The trail head is past the furthest sign...around the rest rooms for the campground. You used to be able to go through the amphitheater to get to the trail, but they've routed hikers around it...a little confusing, but just keep going through the camping area to reach the new trailhead.
The loop trail really starts "behind" the amphitheater. You can go right or left. I prefer left. Some early steep sections going up hill and then it's just slow and steady up or level until after you reach the Art Loeb Connector Trail, when it goes down. Once you get almost all the way down, the trail turns sharply right -- this is really easy to miss. If you do miss it, you've added a little length to the trail...you'll come to the Davidson River...turn right and keep walking past the English Chapel...you'll get to the parking lot eventually.
This is spring wildflower heaven. April/May -- magnificent. Otherwise a very pretty hike and not overly strenuous.
Mountain biking is allowed from October through March, otherwise it's hiking only. Some minor erosion in spots due to mountain biking, but otherwise in really good shape.
Camped at Davidson River Campground and there was a trailhead was directly across from our site (#88). Very shady, which was nice. Lots of roots, so watch your step. No real "views" to mention, and no waterfalls or river access or anything, but it was nice for a moderate and relatively quiet walk in the woods. There were definitely some steep inclines that could be problematic if you're out of shape and/or not used to hiking at any kind of elevation. And like I said, you definitely have to watch your footing. Overall, it was a nice, shady walk and we only saw a few other people on the trail, which is saying something because there seemed to be people EVERYWHERE the weekend we went.
This was a nice moderate hike. There were a few inclines and declines, but nothing to challenging. The views were mainly of valleys, there were no overlooking views sadly. One of the most impressive things about this hike was the amazing rhododendron canopies that seem to be at every turn. This hike will have to be completed again when the rhododendron are in full bloom. Not to be out done by the rhododendron the views of Davidson River were spectacular. Tip: Don’t park at the ranger station instead park at Davidson River campground parking look just past the entry gate/booth or park at the Art Loeb parking area. Overall nice marked trail. Get Out and Hike!