Day Hike 12: South Laurel Fork Road to Basin Cove Overlook

Beginnings, Endings

Distance: 5.0 miles

  • Difficulty: Easy. Moderate climbing at the beginning and end.
  • Camping: No.
  • Land manager: National Park Service.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Steven Joines,
  • Piggyback trail: No.
  • Connecting trails: No.

At Basin Cove Overlook there’s no need to worry about where you are or where you’re going.

This section veers away from the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) twice: at the very beginning and at the very end. Otherwise, the BRP is your companion.

The section begins, from the south, with a drop down South Laurel Fork Road to take advantage of a more intimate crossing of Laurel Fork. After crossing the creek you reenter the forest and climb back to the BRP. The trail parallels the road for a half mile before joining it to cross NC 18.

The MST and BRP are allies for much of the next two and a half miles, before it heads up and away from the BRP for the last mile or so, before climbing and crossing the BRP just below the Basin Cove Overlook.

View on Map

To see this hike on a map, visit our Interactive Map and click “Day Hikes” to view the endpoints.


Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way (west » east) Mileage
Trailhead: At intersection of South Laurel Fork Rd. and BRP, go to east side & descend on gravel road. Cross a small bridge; you’ll see BRP on high bridge to your left. Walk about 50 feet and turn left onto old dirt/grass road. 0.0
Approximately 100 feet on the road, the MST goes right up steps. You’ll rock-hop one stream as the trail parallels the BRP before descending to come out of the woods just south of the BRP entry ramp to NC 18. 0.6
Cross the BRP and walk along the shoulder as it crosses over the overpass. At the exit ramp, turn left and walk to the stop sign at NC 18. Turn right and walk west on the shoulder of NC 18. 1.4
You pass by or near restaurants, motels, campgrounds, and a small store (some are closed from November to April). Walk past Station’s Inn and the general store on the right. Wild Woody’s Campground is on left past Freeborne’s Eatery & Lodge. Turn right onto Miller Rd. 1.7
Pass Mountain Side Dr. on the left. 1.8
MST stays on Miller Rd. Pass Stillhouse Branch Rd. on right. Miller’s Campground is visible uphill on left. 2.1
Turn right onto Pruitt Cove Rd. Cross BRP to east side. MST goes uphill into woods on north side of the dirt road. 2.3
Turn right (north) on BRP. Walk 100 yards to the intersection with Elk Knob Dr. on the left. Cross the parkway onto Elk Knob Dr., then make a quick right onto Grassy Gap Lane on the right. Walk over small bridge and past old farmhouse on left. On right as you climb hill on the road, just before the gated private road, MST goes uphill to the right into the woods. 2.7
MST ascends through the woods. During the fall, trail may be difficult to follow at times but follow the grade until you find a white blaze. Pass buildings of district ranger’s office down the hill to the right. After approximately a mile, there is a clearing with a hillside pasture on left. Look for white blazes showing right turn. BRP is uphill to the left now. Look for wooden steps leading up to the parkway in about 100 yards. The turn up the steps may not be well marked. 3.7
At BRP, cross to east side and walk left (north) beside stone wall. 4.9
Trailhead: Basin Cove Overlook (MP 244.7). 5.0