View Looking West
Hidden Cove Trail
View looking North
Hidden Cove Trail

On July 9th I hiked this newest trail that opened up in September 2016. I parked in the Equestrian Parking Area and walked along the road to the trailhead of Hidden Cove Trail. There is a small parking area at the trailhead but there are no shaded areas and the last thing I wanted to do after a hike is return to a car baking in the sun. I was informed by the office staff that the trailhead will be moved closer to the visitorís center after a bridge is built over Jacob Fork River. Also I was not planning on backtracking the trail but decided instead to return via the Turkey Ridge Trail which ends in the Equestrian Parking Area. The walk from the parking lot to the trailhead is approximately .3 miles. The trail itself was 1.5 miles and the return hike on Turkey Ridge Trail was approximately .7 miles making this trip 2.5 miles in total. The hike was pleasant with no steep climbs. This area was unaffected by the fire last year and for the first time this year I saw wildlife; a lizard, a turkey and two deer.

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger view or here to scroll through the photo gallery consisting of 31 photos plus the map. The Photo Album will pop up in a separate window and there is a link at the bottom of the page to get back here but I suggest just closing that window. The link is provided for those who turned off allowing websites to open a separate window.
  • Hidden Cove Trail

    At the trailhead you head south and then left toward the Jacob Fork River where you come to the road overpass (bottom left) that you cross under heading north. This is where I encountered my first wildlife. I believe this is an Eastern Fence Lizard in the photo bottom right.

  • New Trailhead?

    After you pass under the road overpass the trail curves to the left. There are several large rocks used as a barrier to the trail that continues north. I believe that trail will lead to the area where they are going to build the bridge to cross over Jacob Fork River to the Visitorís Center when the trailhead is moved in the future. On another occasion I went down this trail and it lead to an old concrete wall structure that might have been part of a bridge before or perhaps it was built to prevent erosion of the river bank as it was on a bend.

  • The Trail Views

    The trail is mostly level and there are no real steep climbs. The vegetation was very lush when I hiked the trail. It had rained heavily the night before but the trail, although wet, was not muddy to the point that made the trail slippery. I found the hike quite pleasant and even spotted some wildlife along the trail.

  • Wildlife

    I spotted a White-Tailed Deer standing quite still in the woods but as I got my camera out it made a grunting sound and ran off a ways. I tried to sneak into a favorable position to take photos but the best I got was the photo to the left. The pictures below are of a fawn I did not see, that was hiding behind a tree and bolted when I approached the tree. See if you can spot the fawn in the bottom left photo. If not I circled the fawn in the bottom right photo.

  • Cove Bridge

    There were several switchbacks at the coves along the trail. At the apex of the switchback was a pile of rocks the trail crossed over. The rocks formed a bridge to allow runoff to flow down the mountain side without washing away the trail. The photo to the left is one such bridge. The trail is heading north in this photo and then turns west over the rocks and after that makes a sharp turn south to form the switchback.

  • Short Video

    It had rained the night before and even though the sun was out it was already at around 70° by 7:30am. The trail was wet and the water dripping from the forest canopy sounded like rain. Here is a short video of which the volume was turned up at the point of where I was recording the water dropping down to the forest floor.

  • Hidden Cove Trail Map

    Here is a map of the trail that was scanned from the official NC State Park map that can be found here. On the left hand side further down the page is a link to a pdf file with the full park map.