Trailrunning in Pisgah National Forest - The North Slope Trail

One of my favorite runs to do after a day at the office is the North Slope Trail in Pisgah National Forest. I pull into the visitor center and park near the second entrance. There is a trail right by this NW end of the building which is part of the "Exercise Trail." I stay left on the trail and quickly cross over 276 and the Davidson River. I head right along the Davidson River and past the Davidson River Campground until the second sign for the North Slope Trail which is a true "Y" intersection, where I head left and uphill.

The trail winds up steeply through rhododendrons and sycamore trees until you reach the Art Loeb Connector. I stay left at this intersection, heading downhill and breathing a sigh of relief because I am finished with the most uphill sections of the loop. From here, the trail meanders across a ridge before descending down towards the campground, which I avoid by staying left at several intersections. Eventually, it spits me back out by the Davidson river at the first turn off I passed for the North Slope Trail. I head right along the Davidson, back over the bridge & 276 to the visitor center. It is a lovely run, maybe 4 miles, and I have yet to encounter much traffic on the further sections of the loop. There are some minor creek beds to cross and a few bridges. On a hot day, you could of course take a dip in the Davidson River to cool off at the end!

* Don't forget a good, wicking pair of socks and some sturdy trail shoes to keep your feet happy the WHOLE loop!

More info on hiking trails and waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest here

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