Hiking Near Pilot Cove

Transylvania County and the vast Pisgah National Forest offer some of the best hiking in the United States. Containing some of the highest mountains in the East, the area is home to a diverse range of hiking options suited to hikers of all ages and skill levels. The possibilities are endless!

Hiking Pisgah National Forest

Transylvania County and the Pisgah National Forest is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Divided into four main ranger districts, the forest covers approximately 500,000 acres of wilderness. Pilot Cove is located adjacent to the Pisgah Ranger district, with the Davidson River area being the most accessible from the property.

Whether you are looking to spend a leisurely day exploring the forest or are seeking a longer adventure covering multiple miles of trail, this area of Pisgah has a host of trails to choose from.



Experience the Land of the Waterfalls! Transylvania County is home to more than 250 majestic waterfalls. The ever-popular Looking Glass Falls is located just 6 miles away and features its own parking area, with Sliding Rock also nearby. Many trails are accessible with just a short hike, including Moore Cove Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Skinny Dip Falls, and Log Hollow Falls. If you’re looking for a more strenuous route to view the falls, check out Twin Falls, Cedar Rock Falls, or any of the other hundreds of waterfalls in Transylvania County!

Children Having Fun And Balancing On Tree In Fall Woodland

Family Hikes

Many waterfall hikes are family friendly, including Moore Cove Falls and Log Hollow Falls. A local favorite family-friendly destination is the Cradle of Forestry, located about 10 miles away. The Forest Discovery Center is another favorite stop for kids, with a 2 mile paved, accessible trail that features restored turn-of-the-century buildings and educational exhibits about how forestry began in the United States. Nearby is another Pilot Cove favorite: Pink Beds, a 5 mile loop trail that’s great for a half-day hiking adventure.

Looking Glass Rock 2

Mountain Views

Looking Glass Rock is a famous landmark in Pisgah National Forest, offering breathtaking 180 degree views from the top! It’s accessible from Looking Glass Rock Trail, a 6.5 mile round-trip hike from the trailhead, located less than a 10 minute drive from Pilot Cove. For other nearby hikes with mountain views, check out Bennett Gap, the Art Loeb Trail, Devil’s Courthouse, Mount Pisgah, and Black Balsam Knob. The Art Loeb Trail, named one of the best hikes in the United States by many outdoor magazines, has its southern terminus located less than a mile from Pilot Cove – the views from this trail are unparalleled in the Southeast!

Also, when the trees are void of leaves in Winter, mountain views are visible from nearly every trail. This is also the least crowded season for Pisgah National Forest, making it a splendid time to visit!


Guide to Hiking Gear

Embarking on a hiking adventure near Pilot Cove in Brevard, North Carolina, is an excellent way to connect with nature and explore the breathtaking landscapes of Western NC. To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience, it’s essential to pack the right gear and come prepared. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the must-have items to bring on a hike, ensuring you’re equipped for any trail you choose to conquer.

Guide to Hiking Gear


A well-fitted and comfortable backpack is essential for carrying your gear. Look for a backpack with adjustable straps, padded support, and multiple compartments for organized storage. Choose a size that suits the duration of your hike and allows you to pack the essentials without feeling weighed down.

Navigation Tools

To stay on track and navigate through trails effectively, bring a detailed map of the area, a compass, or a GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand and keep these tools easily accessible in case of any unexpected detours or changes. 

Water and Hydration System

Staying hydrated is crucial during a hike, so pack enough water for the duration of your adventure. Carry a reusable water bottle or invest in a hydration bladder to ensure convenient access to hydration. Remember to refill your water supply at reliable water sources along the way if needed.

Snacks and Nutrition

Fuel your body with nourishing snacks to maintain energy levels throughout the hike. Choose lightweight, non-perishable options such as energy bars, trail mix, or dried fruits. Pack enough snacks to sustain you during your hike, and consider bringing a little extra in case of unexpected delays.

Clothing Layers

Dress appropriately for the weather and layer your clothing to adapt to changing conditions. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep you dry and comfortable, followed by insulating layers for warmth, and a waterproof and breathable outer shell to protect you from rain or wind. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun’s rays. Remember, higher elevations get much cooler in the mountains, so layer, layer, layer!

Proper Footwear

Investing in a good pair of hiking boots or sturdy trail shoes is essential for a comfortable and safe hiking experience. Choose footwear that provides ankle support, has a grippy outsole for traction, and is waterproof or water-resistant. Break them in before your hike to avoid blisters or discomfort on the trail.

First Aid Kit

A compact first aid kit is a vital item to have in case of minor injuries or accidents. Include adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, blister treatments, and any personal medications you may require. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid techniques and know how to use the items in your kit.

Emergency Essentials

Be prepared for unexpected situations by packing emergency essentials such as a whistle, flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries, a multi-tool, a lightweight emergency blanket, and a fully charged mobile phone. A portable phone charger can also be a helpful tool. These items can prove invaluable in case of an emergency or unexpected circumstances.

Hiking Gear for Pisgah National Forest

Embarking on a hiking adventure near Pilot Cove is an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. By packing the right gear and being prepared, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the trails. From a well-fitted backpack to proper footwear and essential items like water, snacks, and navigation tools, each piece of gear plays a crucial role in your hiking journey. So, pack wisely, respect the environment, and get ready to create unforgettable memories as you explore the stunning landscapes surrounding Pilot Cove.

Painted Trillium wildflower North Carolina

Welcome to Pilot Cove! Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Brevard, North Carolina, our cozy cabins offer a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature’s splendor. One of the many natural wonders of our area is the breathtaking display of wildflowers that adorn the landscape in Pisgah National Forest. From vibrant bursts of color to delicate blooms, the wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest are a sight to behold. Join us as we take you on a journey through the blooming beauty of wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC.

Wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest

Floral Diversity in Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National Forest is a haven for wildflowers, boasting an impressive array of species that thrive in the diverse ecosystems found within the forest. With over 500,000 acres of protected land, Pisgah National Forest is home to an astonishing variety of wildflowers that bloom from early spring to late fall. From the lower elevations near the forest’s entrance to the higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway, each season brings its own unique floral display.

In spring, the forest comes alive with a burst of color as trilliums, bloodroots, and spring beauties dot the forest floor. The vibrant yellow flowers of trout lilies and the delicate white petals of hepaticas are also a common sight during this time. As the weather warms up, the wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest continue to thrive, with azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels adding a splash of color to the landscape.

During the summer months, the forest is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and wild bergamot create a dazzling display. The tall stalks of bee balm, also known as wild Oswego tea, attract butterflies and hummingbirds, adding to the forest’s vibrant ecosystem. In fall, the forest takes on a golden hue as asters, goldenrods, and sunflowers bloom, providing a stunning contrast against the changing leaves of the hardwood trees.

Bee Balm North Carolina wildflowers

Best Wildflower Hikes in Pisgah National Forest

Exploring the wildflowers of Pisgah National Forest is a treat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. There are numerous hiking trails that offer opportunities to witness the beauty of wildflowers up close. Here are some of the best wildflower hikes in Pisgah National Forest:

  1. Pink Beds Loop Trail: This easy 5-mile loop trail is known for its diverse wildflower displays, including trilliums, violets, and foamflowers. The trail meanders through lush forests, along streams, and across boardwalks, providing a picturesque setting to enjoy the floral beauty of the forest.
  2. Graveyard Fields Loop Trail: Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this moderate 3.2-mile loop trail takes you through fields of wildflowers, including asters, goldenrods, and coneflowers. The trail also features two stunning waterfalls, making it a perfect hike for nature and waterfall enthusiasts.
  3. Art Loeb Trail: This challenging 30-mile trail traverses through Pisgah National Forest, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, along with an abundance of wildflowers. From spring beauties and trilliums in the lower elevations to rhododendrons and mountain laurels in the higher elevations, this trail is a wildflower enthusiast’s paradise.
  4. Looking Glass Rock Trail: This strenuous 6.4-mile out-and-back trail rewards hikers with breathtaking views of Looking Glass Rock and a profusion of wildflowers along the trail. In spring, the trail is adorned with trilliums, violets, and other early bloomers, while summer brings a burst of color with coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and bee balms. The trail also offers opportunities to spot rare and endemic wildflowers, such as the pinkshell azalea, which is found only in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Painted Trillium wildflower North Carolina

Tips for Wildflower Viewing

To make the most of your wildflower adventure in Pisgah National Forest, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Plan your visit during peak wildflower season: The timing of wildflower blooms can vary depending on weather conditions and elevation. Generally, spring and early summer (April to June) are the best times to catch the wildflowers in full bloom in Pisgah National Forest.
  2. Stay on designated trails: While it may be tempting to venture off-trail to get a closer look at the wildflowers, it’s important to stay on designated trails to protect the fragile ecosystems and avoid trampling on the flowers.
  3. Bring your camera and binoculars: Wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest offer excellent opportunities for nature photography and bird watching. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars to capture the beauty of the blooms and spot any wildlife that may be attracted to the flowers.
  4. Practice Leave No Trace principles: As with any outdoor adventure, it’s crucial to follow Leave No Trace principles. Pack out any trash, respect wildlife and their habitats, and avoid picking or disturbing the wildflowers.
  5. Wear appropriate gear: Make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, as some trails in Pisgah National Forest can be rocky and uneven. Also, bring layers and be prepared for changing weather conditions, as mountain weather can be unpredictable.
  6. Educate yourself about wildflowers: Take the time to learn about the different wildflower species that you may encounter in Pisgah National Forest. There are a number of guidebooks and online resources that can help you identify the flowers and learn about their ecological significance.

Wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC are a natural spectacle that should not be missed. From the diverse floral displays in spring to the colorful blooms of summer and fall, the forest is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or a photography enthusiast, exploring the wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest is an unforgettable experience. So, put on your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to be captivated by the blooming beauty of wildflowers in Pisgah National Forest during your stay at Pilot Cove!

Pilot Cove

Guided mountain bike rides throughout the Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreational Forest.


Guided hiking tours, camping tours, beer and wine tours, fully-equipped van rentals, and more with customized itineraries to your needs. Also custom elopement ceremonies in the beautiful Western NC mountains!


White Dot Adventures was created to help facilitate your next running adventure. Our guides hold intimate knowledge of Pisgah National Forest and want you to have a trail running experience you’ll never forget. The places we’ll take you are the same places you’ll find us on a regular basis, even when we’re not guiding.

We don’t care if you’re new to running or an experienced mountain runner looking for a new challenge, we cater to all. Western North Carolina is home to a massive amount of trail, and we simply want to show you why we live here.


Guided mountain bike trips from an accomplished cyclist, personal trainer, and endurance athlete – Steven McHone. Personalized experiences highlight great trails and provide cycling instruction and fitness consulting, with optional yoga and massage therapy. Have fun and learn how to treat your body well!


Guided rock climbing and instruction. At Pisgah Climbing School we strive to provide access and adventure to the public in the mountains through the highest quality climbing education.


Full service guide company offering climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking,waterfall tours, adventure race instruction, and paddling trips. We also provide you with an opportunity to see the North Carolina mountains through any variety of these activities over one day or a series of days.


Guided mountain bike trips throughout Western NC.


Guided horseback rides throughout Transylvania County. Open seasonally April – October.


The Bike Farm is here to show you the best mountain biking in western North Carolina. We provide half, full, and multi day guided rides custom tailored to an individual or groups abilities, desires, time, and budget. All trips are private, so you will never be put with another group.

For coaching, The Bike Farm team will create a customized program based on the individual or groups abilities, desires, time, and budget. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or a seasoned rider looking to break through to the next level our coaches can help you reach your goals.


Oxbow River Snorkeling is the first company to focus on guided river snorkeling in the United States. Our mission is to provide a full scale river snorkeling adventure, while our customers create lasting memories of our ancient watershed. We have designed several tours along the upper French Broad River and its tributaries. You will see examples of different types of aquatic communities and each adventure is packed full of potential surprises around every bend! Come join us as we venture below the surface of some of the oldest rivers in the world and remember to bring your waterproof camera or GoPro! ​


Check out one of the coolest outdoor experiences in Transylvania County and Western North Carolina with our totally mobile company. We bring the adventure to you! Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) offers a fun, relaxing way to play on the local rivers and lakes. Our guide brings a unique and fun experience to every outing making this an adventure that is just for you!


Conveniently located walking distance from Pilot Cove, this full-service fly fishing shop and guide service offers the gear, expertise, and local knowledge to make the most of your fishing experience.


Float or fish the majestic French Broad River at your leisure! Located at the confluence of the West Fork and the North Fork of the French Broad River, this full service fly fishing shop also offers guided trips, tubing rentals and shuttle service, a taproom, and canoe/kayak rentals to complete your day on the water.


The Pisgah Field School will introduce you to the unique recreational, natural and cultural wonders of Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest and the surrounding landscapes of the Southern Appalachians. Let us guide you around the original backyard and classroom of the Biltmore Estate through hikes, tours, and science-based workshops, while discovering the local businesses and charm of beautiful downtown Brevard, NC. Our staff and expert guides share an enthusiasm for this incredible area and will help to strengthen your appreciation for the natural world and our mountain heritage.


Blue Ridge Hiking Company - logo

Jennifer Pharr Davis founded Blue Ridge Hiking Company to share her love and knowledge of the hiking and to expose people to the majestic beauty of the southern Appalachian mountains. Blue Ridge Hiking Company’s skilled guides hold a high degree of experience, regional knowledge, and professional expertise. We delight in working with beginners and revel in creating a challenge for more adventurous clients. Regardless of the hike’s duration and destination, our company values remain the same: “Respect for self, others, and the environment.”


Guide to Hiking Gear
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Essential Gear for Hiking in Pisgah National Forest

Embarking on a hiking adventure near Pilot Cove in Brevard, North Carolina, is an excellent way to connect with nature and explore the breathtaking landscapes of Western NC. To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience, it's essential…
guide to trails in DuPont State Forest

Guide to Trails in DuPont State Forest

DuPont State Recreational Forest, just over 15 minutes from Pilot Cove, is home to more than 10,000 acres of forest, trails, and majestic waterfalls between Brevard and Hendersonville, North Carolina. The forest offers approximately 90 miles…

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