March 13, 2016
Pressley Cove Trail is steep hike, albeit, at 1.1 miles, it is short. The trailhead is located on F.S. 477, near Hwy. 276 outside Brevard. It’s sort of hidden, but it starts on the right hand side of the road, just past the Bennett Gap trailhead and a one-lane bridge.
The trail itself runs beside Pressley Creek for almost the entire hike. There are nice bridge crossings on ancient logs, seas of rhododendron on the adjacent mountain side, small cascades in the creek.
At the northern terminus the trail joins F.S. 5099, the highlight of the trip. I hiked the ¼ mile to the Black Mountain Trail (right), and then hiked back to Pressley Cove Trail and continued going southwest (left). I was surprised at the high quality of the road. Located on the western slope of Black Mountain, the trail has some nice vistas of Brevard and Looking Glass Rock. I came upon the finest historic chimney I have ever seen. The wind was blustery, and the hike took on a very exploratory feel.
After several miles I crossed Maxwell Cove, a wonderful area with leaves, a creek and lush open mountain scenery. I continued on F.S. 5099, and eventually F.S. 5058, enjoying the slow, downhill trail.
I highly recommend this hike, you won’t regret it.
Total mileage is 6.5 miles.