Thrift Cove Loop Trail #603

2.4 mi (3.9 miles if hiked as a loop) - Easy - This is a pleasant, relatively undemanding hiking trail that can easily be done as a loop by using the Black Mountain Trail (#127) for your return leg. This loop is also popular with mountain bikers as a short warm-up. After starting as a gravel road, the trail becomes a grassy road for most of its length. Approximately ¼ mile after its departure from the Black Mountain Trail, the trail is intersected by several others [see map on reverse]; follow the signs and old roadbed to stay on course. The trail climbs steadily for over a mile before leveling off; you may be rewarded with glimpses of wild turkeys in this area. At the halfway point, the scenery changes dramatically as you move from an upland hardwood forest into a shady cove forest. The trail tread becomes narrower and more “trail-like” here, and throughout the summer the thick grasses are bright green. Finally, you will circumvent a large field being maintained as wildlife habitat before again encountering the Black Mountain Trail (#127), where the Thrift Cove Trail ends. *If you proceed downhill (to your left) on the Black Mountain Trail (a traditional, single-track, mountain trail), you will, after 1.3 miles, return to the parking lot. The elevation profile below represents a 3.9-mile loop starting and ending at the parking lot.

Approximate Elevation Change: 600 feet
Blaze: Red

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Mountain Biking Trail: Mountain biking and hiking trail. Bikers please yield to hikers. Mountain biking prohibited in wilderness areas.
Water: yes
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From the Pisgah Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn left (south) on US 276 for approximately 0.1 mile and turn left as if to enter the Ranger District’s gated work center; park in the paved lot to the right of the work center. The Black Mountain Trail (#127) starts on the old dirt road behind the parking lot. Hike to your left on that trail, and in about 300 yards you will reach its intersection with Thrift Cove Trail—actually a continuation of the road.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking