0.2 mi - Moderate - The trail heads eastward and, though very short, is very steep until it ends at FS 479M, which is gated to vehicles. It appears to be an old skid trail connecting Forest Service roads, and has no features to speak of.
Approximate Elevation Change: 200 feet
This is a short connector between Explorer Loop Trail (#337) and FS 479M (South Ridge Road) in what is popularly called the Bent Creek area, near Lake Powhatan Recreation Area. Leaving the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn left (south) onto US 276. At the first traffic light, turn left (east) on NC 280. Proceed approximately 12.5 miles, to NC 191 north. Turn left (north) onto NC 191, and then proceed 7.7 miles to Bent Creek Ranch Road (SR 806), which is ½ mile north of the Blue Ridge Parkway, signed for the Recreation Area and at a traffic light. Turn left on Bent Creek Ranch Road and proceed 2.3 miles to the Recreation Area. Just before the campground, FS 479 (Bent Creek Road) is on the right. Follow FS 479 for 2 miles to the 2nd gated road on the left, FS 479H (Cold Knob Road). Park so as not to block the gate, and go behind it, following this grass road. (Since Exporer Loop Trail intersects this road at two different points, the description below assumes you will start at the further of the two points; if so, you will thus bypass one Explorer Loop trailhead, as well as one signed as “337A”—an unnamed connector trail that can be used to shorten the loop by approximately ½ mile.) Proceed about ½ mile before turning left into the woods at the second trailhead for Explorer Loop. Chestnut Cove Trail will intersect Explorer Loop after approximately ¼ mile.