A moderate 6.5 mile walk along the beautiful Green River inside the Green River Game Lands of Western North Carolina.
Inside the Green River Game Lands of North Carolina is a wonderful hike that follows a portion of the beautiful Green River – the Green River Cove Trail. This out and back hike, which is about 6 ½ miles in length if you walk the entire trail, parallels the Green River for the entirety of the hike and features views of both calm and rapid sections of the river. This moderate hike ends at the base of “the narrows” which is a popular whitewater paddling section of the river. During the warmer months you will likely see kayakers as they are finishing their run through the narrows.
The trailhead for the Green River Cove Trail is just off Green River Cove Road in Saluda, North Carolina. The small parking area is across the street from the trailhead as Green River Cove Road crosses over the Green River near the Wilderness Cove Tubing area. The parking area is more of a pull off area on the side of the road that can fit maybe 5 or 6 vehicles and is on the opposite side of the river from the Wilderness Cove Tubing area. The Green River Cove Trail is about 45 minutes from Asheville North Carolina or 60 minutes from Greenville South Carolina. There are no restrooms at the trailhead.
The trail starts just across the street from the parking area at the marked trail leading up the hill. Overall the trail has a moderate elevation gain but it does have a few minor ups and downs as you work your way up the river. This first hill is one of those and it will keep you up above the river briefly.
Fairly quickly you will intersect the Bluff Trail that comes in from the right but continue straight on the blue blazed Green River Cove trail.
The trail will work its way back down to the river and stay there for a while. There are a few minor creek crossings that you will encounter as you work your way up the river. Some of them have bridges and some don’t but unless there has been a lot of rain you should have no problem finding adequate rocks to use to hop across.
The initial section of the river is very calm and peaceful. You will be treated to several nice views of the river and any of these spots would make a great place to relax, if needed, or enjoy a picnic.
As you progress up the river, it will become more rocky and less calm. The river and the trail will also separate from paralleling Green River Cove Road and become more remote. It really is a beautifully secluded part of the forest and is a very pleasant walk with the sound of Green River always in the background.
After a few more ups and downs on the trail you will intersect with the Pulliam Creek Trail that comes in from the right. Keep left and follow the blue blazes on the main trail. At this point you are less than a half of a mile from the end. The trail will also stay elevated and somewhat removed from the river during this last section of the trail. It ends when it reconnects with the river at a large boulder strewn area. This trail doesn’t see too much traffic so you are likely to have this beautiful section of the river all to yourself. It is the perfect spot for an extended rest and maybe even a nice picnic.
This is an out and back hike, so hike safely back to the parking area after you have finished enjoying the view on the Green River.