Moore Cove Trail

Trail Category: Hiking and Trail

Map to Trailhead
  • This is a good family hike, and one of the most popular hiking trails (FS #318) in the Pisgah District to a delightful and surprising waterfall hidden in a forest cove. The trail was widened, graded and footbridges added a few years ago.

    The first 150 feet of the trail are moderate with some tree roots, but the grade becomes easy for the remainder of the walk. You will cross the creek three more times on good footbridges. A couple of places on the trail may become muddy after a rain, so wear appropriate footgear. Along the trail you may find a wide variety of wildflowers, such as Showy Orchids, Pink Lady’s Slipper, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Dwarf Iris. You will also walk past large Yellow Poplars, which are the most common tree in a cove forest.

    The trail ends at Moore Cove Falls, which drops 50 feet over a cave-like rock outcropping. The trail does not go beyond the falls. Do not attempt to hike to the top of the falls, or the area upstream of the falls — a dangerous personal risk that can cause significant environmental damage. The viewing area doesn’t provide direct access to the the cave-like area behind the falling water but you can climb out on the rocks to get behind the falls. Watch your footing on damp surfaces.

  • Use: Hiking and Trail
    Pisgah National Forest
    • Waterfalls
    • Water
    Length: 0.7 miles
    Difficulty: Easy
    Usage: Heavy
    Trail condition: Good
    Dog Friendly: Dogs must be on leash in developed recreation areas.
    Wheelchair Accessible: No
    Seasons: Year-round
    Restrooms: No
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  • Directions:

    From the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) onto US 276, and travel 5 miles (one mile north of Looking Glass Falls). Slow as you approach a stone highway bridge with an adjoining wooden footbridge and a bulletin board with a “Moore Cove ” sign. Park on the paved right shoulder where there is room for about 18 cars if you park diagonally. Cross the stream on the footbridge and follow the yellow blazes on the trees.