Best tubs in the Pisgah Forest. They’re three magnificent pot holes like you’d expect to find in Vermont or New Hampshire. At the top is a seven foot, almost perfectly round tub. From it a narrow curtain of water accelerates into a cascade, then pools into a perfectly dimensioned oval, eight feet long and four feet wide.
Water continues another 40 linear feet and 15 vertical feet of what’d be a pretty good waterslide, except for a mature hemlock that has fallen smack across the prime portion. It’ll be there a long time unless someone cuts it out. After bumping into the hemlock, water continues 60 feet to a relaxed pool that is nice.
This lower pool has a sweet spot 10 to 12 feet long. On the right is a small piece of continuous rock. It’s about the only place to lie down in this steep little drainage where all of the horizontal space is filled with water. This lower tub is also the sunniest place on the creek. Overall it rates as fair. But the tubs at the top lift Cove Creek’s overall rating to good, even though the second one is — only chin deep. It just needs more scale and volume than a watershed fewer than five square miles can produce.
Note: Use only the spur trails descending from the road. Don’t walk along the trail that parallels the creek. It’s fragile and deceptively dangerous. Even native creatures can get hurt. I saw a spike buck that’d slipped and drowned.