March 8, 2016
The North Slope Trail starts in the Davidson Campground, just outside of Brevard. I parked my car at the Pisgah Ranger District Office, walked east on Hwy 276 for ¼ mile, before turning right into the Davidson Campground. It’s a further ¼ mile walk to the trail head on the left, indicated by a large, homemade sign.
The trail proceeds with an easy grade, until a fork appeared. I took the west branch (right) and walked along the Davidson River for a mile. Along the route is a ranger memorial as well as a cemetery.
After a mile, the trail turns south and starts to increase in elevation. After ½ mile, the trail bifurcates again, left (east) is the North Slope and south is the North Slope Connector Trail. The Connector is no joke; it is extremely steep with very few switchbacks. Luckily it is only 1.3 miles. Along the route is a great view of John Rock.
The northern terminus is the Art Loeb Trail. I retraced the path to the North Slope, and continued on the loop. The remainder of the hike was pleasant, with a very even grade to the campground.
Total mileage is 6.8 miles.