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.

Avery Creek Trail

  • 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

Bennett Gap Trail

  • 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

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
  • This fairly long trail has several creek crossings on its south end. These are completed via either log bridges or rock-hops and wades. The stream runs through a beautiful cove hardwood forest. There were formerly dense hemlock groves with some huge...
  • 4.6mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Buckwheat Knob Trail

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Cat Gap Loop Trail

  • Starts and ends at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery. The loop can be hiked in either direction. This trail circumnavigates John Rock, a granite pluton similar to its bigger brother just north (Looking Glass Rock). Most...
  • 4.4mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Cemetery Loop Trail

  • 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

Club Gap Trail

  • 0.8mi, ,

Coontree Loop Trail

  • 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

  • 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

Daniel Ridge Loop Trail

  • The naming of this trail 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. Daniel Ridge is two mountains farther west. Described here clockwise, this trail can be hiked...
  • 4mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Davidson River Trail

  • 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

  • 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

Farlow Gap Trail

Most Difficult
  • Follows an old logging railroad grade from the start at the junction with Daniel Ridge trail in the Right Fork cove. From there, it passes a large sloping rock slab and then crosses Right Fork. This can be a tricky crossing to stay dry; it will be...
  • 3.3mi, Climbs Steeply, Moderately Rough

Grassy Road Trail

  • 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, ,

Long Branch Trail

  • Trail passes through the interesting, relatively flat Long Branch valley near its western end and up and over some low ridges farther east. Some muddy sections near the west end have been reinforced with puncheon and/or rock & gravel causeways;...
  • 2.5mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough

North Slope Trail

  • This neat little loop starts and ends in the Davidson River campground, making it a must-hike if you're staying there. Described counterclockwise, but can be hiked in either direction. Starting at the campground's amphitheater, the trail climbs an...
  • 3.7mi, Hilly, Some Obstacles

Pink Beds Loop Trail

  • 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

Starens Branch Trail

  • 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

Sycamore Cove Trail

  • 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

  • 3.8mi, Climbs Moderately, Some Obstacles

Nearby Trails

The following trails cross into this trailhead area, but are primarily accessed from another trailhead:

Turkey Pen Gap Trail

More Difficult
  • Long ridgeline trail which undulates up and down over the various knobs on its summit. Very steep in places; has some issues with erosion as well. It winds onto the edge of private land in places; stay on the trail. Travels through a typical...
  • 5.5mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough
  • Mills River Trailhead

Mountains to Sea Section 2 Trail

Most Difficult
  • **Waterrock Knob to Pisgah Inn** From Waterrock Knob to Flat Gap, the trail follows the Blue Ridge Parkway closely at most times. It gains some distance from the motor road on the southwest slope of the ridge line from there to Haywood Gap. From...
  • 61.0mi, Hilly, Moderately Rough
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Section 6 Trailhead