Explore the most popular trails near Horse Shoe with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



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mountain biking

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Horse Shoe, North Carolina Map
15 days ago

The road to the trail was gravel/dirt and after driving on it for a bit we got to a locked gate-about 4 miles from the trailhead. So we had to turn around...guess it’s closed?

easily one of my favorite hikes in the area. great view from rock. Challenging short climb up. Not a ton of foot traffic. the hike is longer than 3.7, closer to 4.2 miles

Nice hike - easy, great views from open ledges. My only caveat is that the loop is longer than 3.7 miles - it was around 4.2 or so.

More on the easy side than moderate. Views are amazing though!

4 months ago

Backpacking - First and foremost, I have no idea what trail you guys have been on but it was a different experience for us today. It may have been the rain over the past few days but we had no less than six or seven water crossing with little to no fjords before coming to a section where a waterfall was with three logs over it, no rail and water too swift to just cross the rocks. We did turn around. Now, maybe I am a pansy, I will take that but do note, there are a decent amount of water flowing and I was not crossing the top of the water fall on the logs with no hand rails and a seven foot drop on one side nor was I crossing over the slippery rocks with rushing water. With that said, this trail IS beautiful. It is on the easier side of moderate for certain, excluding the water issues we had today. There were alot of people in the area either camping or hiking for the day, so I consider this one to be moderately trafficked as well. If you are looking for solitude, not really the place. Although it wasn't a mountain biking trail with did experience four on the trail, appears they just got crossed up somewhere along the way. Beautiful waterfalls and streams throughout the area. Tons of mud so wear good shoes. Trail also contains a lot of rocks at the first and is fairly rootey, that didn't affect the overall hike though. A couple of great places to camp along the way, may revisit when it is less wet. Happy Hiking and don't die on waterfalls.

October 24, 2018.
We hiked up and back going counterclockwise on trail on way up. Outstanding vistas from the top. Fall colors were just starting to come on.

Nice trail. Couple of creek crossings. Started on the north side so the stream walk was on the way back. Lots of fire road miles.

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.

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!

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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.

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, August 24, 2014

Extremely tough trail. Very washed out with major drops that can be 2-3 feet as well as very narrow sections.

Monday, May 26, 2014

We hiked it (rather than biking) & it was great. Very pretty. Meanders along side a beautiful stream. Easy to moderate level. We took the dogs to run, but there was a moderate amt of foot / bike traffic on a pretty Saturday.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

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

mountain biking
Monday, July 30, 2012

Long gradual trail... Great riding... Great mountain views when you get to the top...

3 months ago

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