Pilot Cove Slate Rock Trail

MODERATE 26 reviews
#38 of 153 trails in

Pilot Cove Slate Rock Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Horse Shoe, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.9 miles
1,049 feet

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.

2 months ago

The vista was amazing! It was a little challenging and steep at one point in the trail, but then it levels back out. It is a beautiful hike and you can see peeks of the mountains through the trees during your hike. The views at the top are really as good as it gets. I would recommend this hike in the summer months while everything is green.

4 months ago

The first half (traveling counterclockwise) was absolutely beautiful with so many little waterfalls and wildflowers. The second half however was a little rough. We easily missed the poorly marked trail junctions and traveled nearly half a mile off course. We did this almost twice at two separate junctions. If you’re taking this app with you, we recommend you check it frequently. If you’re biking, the second half is built for you. There will be small obstacles throughout the entire trail but the very last 1.6 mile is all just flat, boring, gravel road. For hikers, I recommend just taking the first half of this trail out and back since 90% of the beautiful scenery is in there. I will definitely be taking visiting family members here in the future. Happy adventuring everyone!

5 months ago

Beautiful trail! I would definitely say this is more of an “easy” trail than a “moderate,” but still wonderful!

11 months ago

It was a really beautiful trail! The only thing to be careful of is looking out for the trail markings. At one point the trail splits, but the trail marking and trail fork is easily unnoticeable. There could be better signage throughout the trail, so be cautious of missing turns. Otherwise, amazing hike.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Long but beautiful!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

awesome trail with many waterfalls and waterviews.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

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

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 29, 2013