Northwest of Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest, a challenging 16 mile hiking loop can be formed with over 2000 feet vertical. The hiking trailhead starts from the Mount Pisgah Recreation Area near the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Follow the Laurel Mountain Trail (#121) east for less than a mile to the Pilot Rock connector trail. Heast southeast on the Pilot Rock Trail (#321) down 2000 over 3.6 miles to FS1206. Head east on FS1206 for a mile and turn north onto the Pilot Cove Trail (#320/#358). Continue on this trail for 5.3 miles down along Slate Rock Creek. Back at FS1206, go east another mile to the Laurel Mountain Trail (#121). Start the 2000 climb over 7.4 miles back up to the parking area.
Overall, Laurel Mountain is the 12th most popular hiking trail of all 19 hikes in North Carolina.