Trails in the Davidson River Trailhead Area

Here is a list of all trails in the Davidson River Trailhead area.

Each trail has its own printable page with all the information and links, including (where available):

  • directions to the starting point
  • difficulty
  • length
  • elevation change
  • a map
  • photos from along the way, and
  • a detailed description and trail directions.

For general information about the Davidson River trailhead, see the Davidson River Trailhead page.

Need to find trails by another method? Go back to Trails.

Andy Cove Nature Trail

Easy
  • This is a National Recreation Trail and a Kids In Parks TRACK trail. It was constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps. The trail has several interpretive signs along the way which point out common plants, trees and animals which can be found in the...
  • 0.7mi, Few Hills, Some Obstacles

Art Loeb Bypass Trail

Easy
  • Short and mostly level. Follows an old roadbed.
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Art Loeb Section 1 Trail

More Difficult
  • Starting at the Davidson River Campground, the trail ascends Shut-in Ridge (not to be confused with the Shut-in Ridge near the French Broad River further north, where the long Shut-in Trail begins). It travels through Cat Gap, around the south side...
  • 12.3mi, Level, Few Obstacles

Art Loeb Section 2 Trail

More Difficult
  • Starting in Gloucester Gap, this section of the Art Loeb trail winds its way up the ridge extending east from Pilot Mountain before crossing over the summit. It dips down into Deep Gap and Farlow Gap before resuming its climb, up Shuck Ridge, where...
  • 7.2mi, ,

Avery Creek Trail

Moderate
  • Steep, rocky at northwest (upper) end. Passes through some logged areas. Passes a large waterfall, and through hemlock and rhododendron groves. Southeast end is a standard wet, creekside trail with log bridges. Can be used to make several looops in...
  • 3.2mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Barnett Branch Trail

Moderate
  • From it southern end at the junction with the Black Mountain trail, this trail descends Soapstone Ridge and reaches a junction with the Pink Beds Loop trail. It continues straight, passing through the center of the Pink Beds Valley. The valley...
  • 3.1mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Bennett Gap Trail

Moderate
  • Excellent ridgetop views of Looking Glass Rock, Cedar Rock, and the Davidson River valley. Mixed hardwoods on wide part of ridge and in gap. Dry pine-oak forests on narrow part of ridge. Cliff-top views on ridge. There are some sheer drop-offs right...
  • 2.9mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Biltmore Campus Trail

Easy
  • 0.9mi, ,

Black Mountain Trail

Most Difficult
  • This heavily-used trail features incredible views, hiking along a needle-sharp ridgeline, and lots of rock outcroppings and boulders. The trail itself is notable (unfortunately) for its heavily eroded sections. Either through erosion or work to...
  • 9.8mi, Climbs Steeply, Very Rough

Buckhorn Gap Trail

More Difficult
  • Several creek crossings on lower end. Log bridges. Cove hardwood/dense hemlock forests w/ some huge hemlocks. Intersects short spur to Twin Falls (highly recommended). Intersects Avery Creek trail. Trail has recently undergone extensive...
  • 4.6mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Buck Spring Trail

More Difficult
  • Travels first from the first switchback on US 276 above the Pink Beds to the Pisgah Inn. This is a gradual, pleasant climb that dips into coves & rounds the nose of many ridges with cove hardwoods in the coves and mixed hardwoods on the ridges. There...
  • 6.2mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Buckwheat Knob Trail

Moderate
  • Ridgeline trail. Passes some enormous trees. Steep climbs; rocky sections. Passes through pleasant areas with lush grass growing underneath large hardwood trees.
  • 1.5mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough

Butter Gap Trail

Moderate
  • Scenic. Starts in Pickelsimer Fields; a flat, grassy area with crystal clear streams meandering through. Typical streamside trail further along. Trailside waterfall. Stiff climb up to Butter Gap; passes headwaters of the stream.
  • 2.7mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Caney Bottom Trail

Moderate
  • Travels from the Cove Creek trail at Cove Creek Group Campground up Caney Bottom Creek to reconnect with Cove Creek trail near the headwaters. Makes an excellent loop when combined with the Cove Creek trail. Passes several small to medium-sized...
  • 1.2mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Caney Bottom Extension Trail

Easy
  • Short; bypasses the Cove Creek Group Campground and is really the lower end of the Cove Creek trail.
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Case Camp Ridge Trail

Easy
  • 1.7mi, Level, Few Obstacles

Cat Gap Bypass Trail

Easy
  • Level or gradually climbing trail swings into coves & around ridges. Mixed hardwood forest w/ some hemlocks & pines. Pleasant walk. Cuts off climb up to Cat Gap from the Cat Gap Loop. Int. w/ John Rock trail.
  • 0.4mi, Level, Few Obstacles

Cat Gap Loop Trail

Moderate
  • Nice loop starts and ends at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education & Fish Hatchery. Described CCW. Loops around John Rock. Varied trail; forests range from cove hardwoods, to former groves of hemlocks (now dead), white pine plantations, and mixed...
  • 4.4mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Cemetery Loop Trail

Easy
  • Follows an old road past an old cemetery on a little plateau near the Davidson River. Lots of white pines & hemlocks, & mountain laurel groves. Pleasant little loop.
  • 1.2mi, Some Hills, Few Obstacles

Clawhammer Cove Trail

Moderate
  • This is a pleasant hike that begins in a small meadow before climbing gently up Clawhammer Cove. There are some nice cascades that can be seen from the trail. Shortly after crossing the creek, the trail follows an old road up the shoulder of a ridge....
  • 1.5mi, Climbs Moderately,

Club Gap Trail

Moderate
  • 0.8mi, ,

Coontree Loop Trail

Moderate
  • Pleasant loop; you can take this one in either direction but my preference is clockwise. Nothing spectacular, just typical creekside, mountainside and ridgetop landscapes, but it is nicely varied. Loop travels up one cove and down another. Joins with...
  • 3.7mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Cove Creek Trail

Moderate
  • From Caney Bottom trail, climbs past Cove Creek Falls on an old road bed, through rich forests far above the stream, to flat areas near the headwaters and then up to Forest Service Road 225B. Unfortunately there is no good connector from the trail to...
  • 2.6mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Cove Creek Falls Trail

Moderate
  • An unofficial trail leads from the second Cove Creek group campsite, shares a short section with the Caney Bottom trail along Cove Creek, then continues up-creek to the base of beautiful Cove Creek Falls. The trail crosses below the falls and then...
  • mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

Moderate
  • Fantastic loop trail. The naming of this one appears to be kind of a flub as it's not anywhere near Daniel Ridge itself; instead, the trail is on a spur of Lanning Ridge. And it also appears the Forest Service may be renaming the lower part of this...
  • 4mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Davidson River Trail

Easy
  • Follows old FR 475. The road has been re-routed further uphill now. Level or gentle climbs, gravel surface. Davidson River is in scenic small gorge below this road at this point. Several landslides in September of 2004 sent parts of this trail...
  • 1.1mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Estatoe Trail

Easy
  • This new, easy trail follows the Davidson River up from the Lowe's in Brevard to the Davidson River Campground, connecting to the city of Brevard's greenway system. Easy, nearly level trail with some nice riverside scenery. Passes a large rock cliff...
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Exercise Trail

Easy
  • 1.5mi, Climbs Gently, Few Obstacles

Farlow Gap Trail

Most Difficult
  • mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough

Forest Festival Trail

Easy
  • 1mi, ,

Grassy Road Trail

Easy
  • An old road bed that is becoming a trail again. Moderate climb near the junction with Thrift Cove; levels out near the junction with Sycamore Cove. The open forest along the trail is filled with Appalachian Hill Cane in many areas.
  • 1mi, ,

John Rock Trail

Moderate
  • Steep and rocky near upper intersection w/ Cat Gap. Travels over wide ridgeline to face of John Rock; spectacular view of Looking Glass Rock & the Pisgah Ridge near the Black Balsam Mountain area. Travels through flat areas & steep coves near lower...
  • 1.8mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Long Branch Trail

Moderate
  • Interesting trail travels through some flat streamside areas near upper end & also up and over low ridges. Some muddy sections near upper end have been reinforced with puncheon and/or rock & gravel causeways. Travels through some dense stands of...
  • 2.5mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough

Looking Glass Rock Trail

Moderate
  • A classic Pisgah trail. Travels first through small cove, then steeply up the back side of Looking Glass Rock through many switchbacks. Mixed cove hardwood, hardwood, and pine-oak forests. Some areas of rare Carolina hemlocks. Rock slabs. End of...
  • 3.1mi, Climbs Steeply, Somewhat Rough

Moore Cove Trail

Easy
  • Travels beside a scenic stream to 70' free-falling Moore Cove Falls. Beautiful open cove hardwood forest with fern gardens. Several plank bridges & log causeways over wet areas. Rock outcroppings. This trail makes an excellent hike for families,...
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Gently, Some Obstacles

North Slope Trail

Moderate
  • Loop starts and ends in the Davidson River campground. Described CCW. Follows Davidson River, then steepens & follows smaller stream up through cove. Hemlock groves near lower end. Levels at top; becomes sidehill; dips into coves & out around ridges....
  • 3.7mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

North Slope Connector Trail

  • 0mi, ,

Perry Cove Trail

More Difficult
  • 1.2mi, Climbs Steeply, Few Obstacles

Pink Beds Loop Trail

Moderate
  • An excellent loop which travels around the bottom of a unique valley. This is the "Cradle of Forestry in America", where modern forestry techniques were first developed, taught & practiced. Trail is mostly level with a few small hills on north...
  • 5mi, Few Hills, Some Obstacles

Pressley Cove Trail

  • Traveling through a nice cove, the trail climbs steeply along much of its length. It's in good shape for the most part. It crosses the stream twice on log bridges; the lower one is in bad condition so use caution. There are some small cascades when...
  • 1.1mi, Climbs Steeply, Some Obstacles

Seniard Ridge Trail

More Difficult
  • 3.93mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough

Slick Rock Falls Trail

Moderate
  • Provides access to the namesake waterfall after a very short distance on the trail. This segment is kid-friendly (it's very short). Continues uphill, past the falls, to the base of Looking Glass Rock; used mainly for climbing access. Stay away from...
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Moderately, Moderately Rough

Starens Branch Trail

Moderate
  • Short, narrow connector from Black Mountain trail to Thrift Cove/Grassy Road trails. A few steps, but mostly a narrow, leaf-covered trail that climbs gently. From Thrift Cove down to Sycamore Cove, the trail is open to bikes, a bit steeper, and...
  • 1.0mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Sunwall Trail

Moderate
  • Used primarily by climbers to access the west face of Looking Glass Rock
  • 0.4mi, Climbs Moderately,

Sycamore Cove Trail

Moderate
  • Travels up & down through coves near small streams; cove hardwood forests. In between, travels sidehill near the top of the ridge w/ a mixed hardwood forest.
  • 3.2mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Thrift Cove Trail

Easy
  • 3.8mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Twin Falls Trail

Easy
  • Short trail travels through cove hardwood forests to Twin Falls. Logging railroad remnants. Highly recommended.
  • 0.4mi, Some Hills, Some Obstacles

Wagon Road Gap Trail

More Difficult
  • Climbs from the Mills River up to Wagon Road Gap on the Turkey Pen Gap trail through a pleasant cove forest. It enables the only (day hike) loop from the Turkeypen trailhead parking using the Turkey Pen Gap trail. The bottom-most portion passes...
  • 0.7mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough