Pilot Cove Slate Rock Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews
#37 of 111 trails in

Pilot Cove Slate Rock Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Horse Shoe, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.1 miles 1505 feet Loop

dog friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers




Pilot Cove / Slate Rock is a 9.1 mile trail located near Horse Shoe, North Carolina. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

3 months ago

Beautiful and secluded. About an 8 mile drive on a gravel road in Pisgah Natl Forest to reach the trail head. Worth the drive. A moderate hike with a beautiful stream and small waterfalls.

4 months ago

awesome trail with many waterfalls and waterviews.

1 year ago

The map that accompanies this review currently shows a nearby, but different hike. The map shows the hike starting on the Slate Rock trailhead, and if going clockwise, continuing on a connector trail to the Laurel mountain trail, then turning right on the Laurel Mtn trail, and ending up at its trailhead on on Yellow Creek Road. Then, the hiker went back up the road to return to the Slate Rock trailhead. This should be called the Slate Rock/Laurel Mountain hike, and is quite a bit longer.

If you want to do the Slate Rock/Pilot Cove Hike, you need to go about 2.5 miles up Slate Rock trail, then do not miss where the trail splits, and crosses the creek to the left. I did not see a marker, or logs over the creek, but the trail is pretty visible on the left side of the creek.

For the best hiking experience, I'd recommend that you park your vehicle at the Pilot Cove trailhead, ride a bike 1.8 miles downhill to the Slate Rock trailhead, lock up/hide your bike, and do the hike. Unless you like hiking on gravel roads.

If you go this way (counterclockwise), you will eventually come to the split where you can choose to return by the Pilot Cove Trail, or the take the slightly longer Pilot Cove Loop, which has an excellent cliff-top view opportunity. This should be about 6 miles of hiking on trails, and 1.8 miles more if you hike the gravel road.

2 years ago

awesome trail for hiking w dogs. Spectacular view!!!