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!