Thrift Cove Trail

Transylvania County, North Carolina

Elevation Gain1,298ft
Trailhead Elevation2,213ft
Elevation Min/Max2213/2908ft
Elevation Start/End2213/2213ft

Thrift Cove Trail

Thrift Cove Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Transylvania County, North Carolina. It is 2.4 miles long and begins at 2,213 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,298 feet. This trail connects with the following: Black Mountain and Grassy Road Trail.

Thrift Cove Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Think of this trail as Black Mountain Extra, Extra Light. It’s got a respectable (if smooth-surfaced) climb up Thrift Cove, then returns along the lower section of Black Mountain.

The descent back down is either a lazy roller coaster (with a few surprise rock gardens) or a scorching, teeth-chattering run, depending on your choice of speed. It’s a good alternate if anyone in your group isn’t up to the challenge of a full assault on Black Mountain. Tread: 3.3 miles of singletrack; 0.4 mile of gravel Forest Service road."

"Only minutes from the ranger station, this trail works its way slowly up the cove on a grassy logging road before returning by way of the Black Mountain Trail along Thrift Creek.

You can double your distance by combining this with the Sycamore Cove Trail via Grass Road. All 4 miles are on single-track. Highlights: Grassy surface, fern glades, meadows, mud bogs, rhododendron tunnels, and open woods."

"This four-mile classic climb-and-drop (two miles up, two miles down) doubletrack loop can be used as the starting point for at least 12 more singletrack miles adjoining it. Thrift Cove has been described in some guides as easy, but it's misleading to reach this trailhead expecting an easy ride. The technical requirements on the wet and rocky western downhill demand skill, strength, and agility. The opening climb lasts long enough to make most bikers work moderately hard.

The shady cover provided by the thick forest of mixed hardwoods and evergreens stays unbroken nearly to the source of Thrift Cove Creek, located at approximately the halfway point. Once on top, the trail seldom strays far from this rocky, rushing mountain stream. At times, the trail slides over into the shallow creek bed, making the descent on the western portion of the loop a potentially slippery affair. Riding this trail in both directions is legal, but the counterclockwise direction allows the wettest, steepest, and rockiest section to be ridden downhill. This ride follows the curve inside a mountain cove; creeks and springs are prominent, as are expansive views through a mixed hardwood forest."

Thrift Cove Trail Reviews

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I actually did this loop in combination with Black Mountain Trail. This trail starts at a parking on the Right, just before you get to the Rangers Office. This loop ( Thrift Cove and a section of Black Mountain) is a really nice easy loop that can be taken both clock wise and counter clock wise. I myself climbed the Thrift Cove and down Black Mountain. I would recommend doing this loop very early or late, to avoid crowds and this will give you the full benefit of the fast descent. This loop will take between about 20 - 40 min. The trail is well marked and suitable for all levels

Thrift Cove Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Transylvania County
Nearby City
Pisgah National Forest
Local Contacts
Pisgah District Trail Map is for sale at most local biking shops and the visitor center.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018