Pilot Cove - Slate Rock Trail

At A Glance


4.3 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 8.14
Steepness: Hilly
Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Lowest Elevation: 2800 ft
Highest Elevation: 3830 ft
Climb Total: 1735 ft
Blaze Color: Blue
Trail Number: 320


Starting at the eastern end, this trail begins by following Slate Rock Creek. This is an easy to moderate grade with several stream crossings. Slate Rock Creek is typical of mountain streams, with small cascades and an abundance of mosses and ferns. In the summer, wildflowers are prolific. Before the last creek crossing, there is an unofficial trail leading right to join with Laurel Mountain trail at Sassafras Gap. The trail then leaves Slate Rock Creek after almost 3 miles and climbs up Slate Rock Ridge. Here, at the gap, the Pilot Cove Loop (#320A) intersects to the left. Continue straight ahead for a steep descent to Pilot Cove. You will pass through some open grassy fields before crossing the creek. The trail loops away from the stream for approximately ΒΌ mile (in deference to a former beaver pond, now only a boggy area), before crossing and paralleling it again. Shortly thereafter you will pass the other end of Pilot Cove Loop, and then return to FS 1206. A left turn onto the road will take you back to the eastern trailhead in 1.5 miles.

This trail is often combined with the Pilot Cove Loop to make a fantastic loop hike along Slate Rock Ridge and through Pilot Cove.

Intersecting Trails

  • Pilot Cove Loop
  • This trail is located in the Mills River area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Mills River trails list page.

    All Photos from the Trail

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    GPS Map

    Map Information

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    Data Formats

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    About the Map


    Base Layers

    Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. Base layers may not be available at all times due to system maintenance or outages.

    WNCOutdoors Base Layer

    The WNCOutdoors Base layer is provided by WNCOutdoors.info. It is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

    Trail and Marker Overlays

    Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from government agencies, and field observations. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the Open Database License - you are free to copy and use it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary).


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    Trail Segments

    Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

    Pilot Cove - Slate Rock - Pilot Cove Parking to Loop

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 0.12 mi

    Pilot Cove - Slate Rock - Pilot Cove Loop to Pilot Rock Connector

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 0.94 mi

    Pilot Cove - Slate Rock - Pilot Rock Connector to Pilot Cove Loop

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 0.36 mi

    Pilot Cove - Slate Rock - Slate Rock Cove Section

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking
    • Length: 2.93 mi

    Total Calculated Length: 4.34 mi

    This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



    Average Rating: 3.6 (rated 28 times)

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    iHikeiBike said: ROOTS!

    Saturday, July 20 2013 8:35pm
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