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Level: Advanced
Length: 3.7 mi (6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +203/297 ft
Total: 34 riders

Mountain Biking Pilot Cove-Slate Rocks / 102

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#123 of 533 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#3183 in the world

Pilot Cove-Slate Rocks is a 4.5-mile trail that runs north above Yellow Gap road following the Pilot Cove creek and the Slate Rock creek. It can be done as an out-and-back or looped along with Yellow Gap road to the south. If you plan on doing the Laurel Mountain descent, try using this trail as an alternate to spinning on Yellow Gap road.

If you're interested in one of the best views in Pisgah National Forest, be sure to hit up the Pilot Cove Loop Trail, which branches off of Pilot Cove / Slate Rocks and rejoins it later. The Pilot Cove Loop Trail will lead you up to an excellent granite slab face with gorgeous views!

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
Approximately 5 miles east on Yellow Gap Rd from US 276. The trail head for Pilot Cove-Slate Rocks is about 1 mile east of the Pilot Rock trail head, also on Yellow Gap Rd.
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Pilot Cove-Slate Rocks / 102 Trail map

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Rob.E.Mosley (on Mar 16, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Leaf-covered (on Nov 15, 2017)
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Pilot Cove-Slate Rocks / 102 videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Mills River, North Carolina

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  • John Fisch

    While generally marked as a blue square trail, if done west to east, the climb is largely solid black, both in terms of technical requirement (tons of roots) and physical requirement (sustained and steep grade). This trail also holds water making it largely mucky and those roots super slick. This trail, while beautiful at times, offers more annoying challenge than fun challenge. Beware if wanting to add it on after Laurel Mountain; if you're already tuckered out from Laurel, this'll probably completely drain you.

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  • Greg Heil

    Great singletrack trail, Pisgah-style: steep hike-a-bike near the top, technical descent on the back side, beautiful waterfalls, some mud--good times! While it was good, it wasn't nearly as fun as nearby Laurel Mountain (although I took GoldenGoose's advice and looped this with Laurel Mountain and Pilot Rock).

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  • GoldenGoose

    Rode this trail about over a year ago while doing a large loop of trails in the area, and was very happy with what I found. Tight, bench cut singletrack follows along side rushing creeks with a couple of nice creek crossings thrown in. The trail seems like it stays a bit wet given that there is very little sunlight that penetrates this deeply into the forest, but the trail was still in great shape and a blast to ride. Keep your eyes open for downed trees and the steeper sections of trail that will test your tech skills.

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