Cove Creek and Caney Bottom Trail

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Davidson River Recreational Area

Cove Creek and Caney Bottom Trail is a 7.4 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pisgah Forest, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.4 km Elevation Gain: 183 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips






From Asheville, take I-240 west to I-26 east to exit 40, NC 280 (Asheville Airport). Turn right onto Hwy 280 and follow approximately 16 miles to to Hwy 276 in Brevard.Turn right onto Hwy 276 and go for 5.2 miles. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 475 (Pisgah Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery).Go about 3.2 miles to where the pavement ends and you will see a sign on right side of road for Cove Creek Campground. Park in the pull off on the left side of road across from campground sign. Your hike will begin over at the campground sign

5 days ago

Well kept trail with tons of cute little bridges. There really aren’t any good views of the waterfall but if you explore a bit and find the side trails they will lead you to some nice secluded swimming spots. This trail is like a lollipop and I chose to go clockwise. Towards the end where the bathrooms are it gets a little confusing with blue blazes in multiple directions and I had to rely on the trail map here.

18 days ago

New Favorite hike! Lollipop shape. Go clockwise. Follow Michelle Davis’ directions (another reviewer) Cove creek trail with blue blazers lead us to cove creek waterfall - a little detour down to a gorgeous waterfall where the kids played for a while. After feeling refreshed we went back on the trail which becomes a loop at that point. The trail has a beautiful canopy of trees, it's mossy and mostly narrow. You cross the creeks many times on little bridges or skipping stones. The trail is mostly easy. With many beautiful views along the path. As you finish the loop and get back past the camp site (right turn) you come by the sliding rock and swimming hole - which is a great finish for the hike. There are some deep pools and more fun for the kids. We logged 6.9 miles and it took is 3 1/2 hours.

1 month ago

Awesome water falls!

Cove creek good for bike counter clock

3 months ago

Let me save you some trouble since it is very easy to get lost on the back service roads where there are no markers whatsoever and before you know it you are standing at Daniel Ridge Trail Marker, which is way off course. This happened to my group and we spent about 5 miles off course. Once you park at Cove Creek Campground, follow the service road towards the campground. Before you get to the campground look to your left and you will see the two NPS trail markers for Cove Creek and Caney Bottom. Take that trail. Here is where you need to pay attention – you are now parallel with the campground on your right and immediately will see an NPS trail marker for Cove Creek. Take that trail, which means you must take a right. Then you will be on the correct loop. You will come to the Caney Bottom split on the right. If you take that trail you will be going counterclockwise on the loop. Keep going straight you will come to the side trail for the Cove Creek Falls. Otherwise if you keep going straight at this point you are going clockwise on the loop. It is a very beautiful trail and I wish to hike it again soon.

5 months ago

A bit muddy after two days of rain, but really great views of the waterfall. Our dogs were happy & so were we. Take the right fork at the white trail marker above the falls to get to the bottom. Left fork leads to the top of the falls.

Beautiful waterfalls along this trail. We only did out to the falls and back, but it was worth it.

8 months ago

Once you got past the screaming children at camps and the overflowing smell of human sewage it was ok! Nice waterfall and only saw one other hiker. The return loop had some dodgy bridges and fallen trees. Also saw the poisonous caterpillar

10 months ago

10 months ago

Do clockwise to knock out the elevation change first. Beautiful waterfalls. Steep approach to Cove Creek Falls.

over grown
Sat May 25 2019

Short walk from small parking area to start of trail, great swimming holes all around the parking area and campground. The trail creates a loop by going out on the Cades Cove trail and coming back on the Caney bottom trail. Cades cove trail has a cute, short side trail to some falls not long after you start, other than that it’s woods. Mountain bikers use this trail. Mountain bikers do not use Caney Bottom, and neither does any one else... which is why we almost stepped on a rattlesnake sunning on the overgrown trail.

Thu Feb 21 2019

Must return in Spring to hike entire loop. Absolutely stunning. Easy walk. Beauty & solitude abundant. Six stars.

Sun Dec 02 2018

Great trail for an unexpectedly warm (70 degree) December day. I went counterclockwise (steeper uphill) to avoid slipping on wet leaves/mud and somehow ended up on the same wrong spur both coming and going on the stick part of the lollipop. When the trail is going past the campground, there is a sign with the blue blaze going into the woods. Don’t go that way. Fight it and take the trail along the campground for a minute, it will go into the woods on the right trail. Even with only 0.75 or so miles on the wrong trail, my Apple Watch clocked this one in at 7.08 miles including the spur down to Cove Creek falls, so plan for a six mile hike if you want to see everything.

Sat Aug 11 2018

A lack of visible signage led to a wasted trip.

Sun May 13 2018

Nice loop hike. By going clockwise, the incline is moderate, and the final 2 miles are generally down but a bit of a challenge. Quite a few stream crossing, and the sound of the two creeks are audible even when the water is not in view. A perfect moderate hike!

Wed Mar 07 2018

This hike was easy for the most part. There were areas that you had a little climb if you wanted to go to the top of the lager fall. There was some really pretty creek areas however alot of the trees were down and did blocked lots of the other falls. I did walk/climb around amd over a lot of the trees to get a better view of a couple of falls but you still are not able to see them well. The large fall is really pretty and worth seeing it.

Sun Jan 07 2018

nice, easy, pretty trail with good campsites nearby

Mon Nov 20 2017

This is an easy hike to see a great waterfall. It's only 1 mile from parking area to Cove Creek Falls. After seeing the falls head back down to the second group campsite where there is a sliding rock with swimming area. You can slide on your butt however it looks like more fun on inner tubes. Great place for kids.

Sat Jul 08 2017

I don't know how to give stars to trails. we did just the trail to the waterfall going in counterclockwise direction going on unofficial trail enabling excellent view of waterfall. this hike was easy but fun. my 12 year old son and very in shape 76 year old dad did it no problem. falls are beautiful. walk is terrific. the crossing across the water at bottom of waterfall was not a problem going rock to rock. I would do this hike again. when I have good connection I will upload photos. a few last points. this hike is very easy to get to from Brevard area and doesn't require long trip on blue ridge to get there.

Sun Jul 02 2017

A great little getaway

Sat Oct 29 2016

A nice hike but since it's 2 different trails, the directions on the app are a little confusing. Going clockwise, when you get to the top of the loop where you have the choice of blue or yellow, go blue which will take you along the creek. We came across numerous mountain bikers at the start but otherwise not a soul during peak color season!

Sun Oct 02 2016

This is a real easy trail. If your a beginner or just want an easy day on the trails this is it. We've hiked this trail once before in the winter,and enjoyed it. It has had maintenance on the bridges which is nice. Some are still just logs to get across,although I enjoy the logs. But we couldn't take our dog on the trail before the maintenance because of the gaps in the log bridges. Not much to see on the trail ,it is also a mountain bike trail so look out for them as well. All around,just an easy trail for one of those days where you don't feel like pushing too hard.

Sat Jul 02 2016

Great spot! We hiked in through the group camps with our dog and then hit the trail. About a mile and a half in, turn right at the crossroads and there is a huge camping spot about twenty yards in to the right. Wide open spot with fire pit, plenty of trees for hammocks, and easy wood and water nearby. We saw some mountain bikers, but no one else, so we were able to keep our dog off leash the whole time. Easy hike except for one short steep section near the beginning of the trail.

Sun Apr 10 2016

This is a very well maintained easy to moderate hike. You will start on a nice gravel road leading uphill along a creek with several nice cascades.When you enter the large cleared group camp area continue on the road near the pit toilets on the other side of the clearing, when you get back on the road be sure to check out the sliding rock with a nice pool at the bottom.Continue on the road and you will enter another large clearing, the road ends here.Pick up the trail towards the creek and pit toilets at the far end of the clearing. You will follow this trail upstream to Cove Creek Falls. The trail starts ascending and then goes down some before you reach the falls.You will continue to follow the blue blazed trail after enjoying the falls.You will cross several log bridges and several nice newer wooden bridges. This will lead you to the Caney Bottom trail, you will be following the yellow blazes now as the trail is mostly down hill through lots of Rhododendron, the creek will now be on your left, continue on until you come to the gravel road that you came in on , follow this road back to your parked car.

Mon Dec 29 2014

a cool little walk in the woods. i did the loop with no problems & nice waterfall at the end.

Thu Apr 27 2006

Incredible ride which has a little of everything. Some uphills, moderate technical sections, fast sections, lots of roots and rocks, and creek crossings. A few creek crossings must be walked unless you can ride over a slippery six inch log with a four foot drop into a gully that awaits a misstep.

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