Big East Fork Trail
This is an enjoyable trail running along the beautiful cascades of the Big East Fork of the Pigeon River. The trail is moderate, with gradual ascent and a few slick and rocky/rooty sections. Near the trailhead there are a number of false trails, mostly used by fisherman and casual visitors, so be careful to stick to the real trail.
A convenient turnaround point is at the confluence of the Big East Fork (coming from the left), and Greasy Cove Prong (coming from the right). After investigating the river, you can choose to cross the Big East Fork onto the Greasy Cove Trail, which takes you deep into the heart of Shining Rock Wilderness. You can also follow the Big East Fork uphill by taking Bridges Camp Gap Trail, which leads to the MST and the Blue Ridge Parkway, near the Looking Glass Rock Overlook.
You can also turn back, for a pleasant and gradual descent back to the trailhead.
Note as of this edit (June 2022) there is still significant trail damage from TS Fred in 2021. The trail is passable for most, but requires some scrambling. Some eroded section will continue to degrade. Crossing the Big East Fork at the end of the track is also substantially more difficult due to flood damage.
The trailhead is located on Highway 276 in Pisgah Ranger District, North of the Blue Ridge Parkway (map link here: https://goo.gl/maps/BXXcPQT757n ). Note that this is the first of two trailheads that you will encounter, if driving North on 276. These trailheads are located only a couple hundred yards apart, and the larger, Northern one leads to the Shining Creek Path (also connecting to Old Butt Trail).
This is a great family hike, with great places to play in the river with children. The river is powerful in spots, so care is cautioned.