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North Carolina Waterfalls

North Carolina is blessed with a tremendous number of beautiful waterfalls in the western part of the state.  I've visited quite a few, but have only recently gotten the time to start a page for the falls I've visited.  As such, this list is very incomplete, but I will continue to add waterfalls as I have time and I have the opportunity to visit more.

The following Table of Contents lists all the waterfalls I have on this page.  For some waterfalls, there is a complete entry with description, directions, and a photo or two.  For others, there's just a brief description and picture with a link of another page that contains more complete description.

Contents

  1. 1 Alarka Falls:
  2. 2 Aunt Sally's Falls:
  3. 3 Avents Creek Waterfall:
  4. 4 Avery Creek Falls:
  5. 5 Avery Creek Upper Falls:
  6. 6 Bald Springs Falls:
  7. 7 Bald Springs Lower Falls:
  8. 8 Bard Falls:
  9. 9 Bear Creek Falls:
  10. 10 Bearcamp Falls:
  11. 11 Bearwallow Lower Falls:
  12. 12 Bearwallow Upper Falls:
  13. 13 Bedrock Betty Falls:
  14. 14 Beech Creek Waterfall:
  15. 15 Bernies Falls:
  16. 16 Beverly Hillbilly Falls:
  17. 17 Big Falls (Snowbird Creek):
  18. 18 Big Falls (Thompson River):
  19. 19 Big Laurel Falls:
  20. 20 Billy Branch Waterfall:
  21. 21 Bird Rock Falls:
  22. 22 Bradley Falls
  23. 23 Bridal Veil Falls (Cullasaja Gorge)
  24. 24 Bridal Veil Falls (DuPont State Forest)
  25. 25 Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades:
  26. 26 Bubbling Spring Branch Lower Falls:
  27. 27 Bubbling Spring Branch Upper Falls:
  28. 28 Bull Cove Falls:
  29. 29 Burnthouse Branch Falls:
  30. 30 Camp Branch Falls:
  31. 31 Camp Branch Upper Falls:
  32. 32 Cascade Falls:
  33. 33 Cascade Lower Falls:
  34. 34 Cascade Upper Falls:
  35. 35 Cascades:
  36. 36 Catawba Falls:
  37. 37 Catawba Lower Falls:
  38. 38 Catawba Upper Falls:
  39. 39 Cedar Rock Creek Waterfall:
  40. 40 Charley Creek Falls:
  41. 41 Charleys Bridge Falls:
  42. 42 Chestnut Falls:
  43. 43 Chute Falls:
  44. 44 Clawhammer Falls:
  45. 45 Cold Branch Lower Falls:
  46. 46 Cold Branch Upper Falls:
  47. 47 Courthouse Falls:
  48. 48 Courthouse Creek Middle Waterfall:
  49. 49 Courthouse Creek Upper Waterfall:
  50. 50 Cove Creek Falls:
  51. 51 Craborchard Falls:
  52. 52 Crabtree Falls:
  53. 53 D.E.W. Falls:
  54. 54 Dill Falls:
  55. 55 Dill Upper Falls:
  56. 56 Dismal Falls:
  57. 57 Dismal Lower Falls:
  58. 58 Dry Falls
  59. 59 Duggers Creek Falls:
  60. 60 Eastatoe Falls:
  61. 61 Elk Falls:
  62. 62 English Falls:
  63. 63 Enloe Creek Falls:
  64. 64 Entrance Falls:
  65. 65 Exit Falls:
  66. 66 Fall Creek Falls:
  67. 67 Flat Creek Falls:
  68. 68 Fungi Falls:
  69. 69 Gage Creek Falls:
  70. 70 Glassmine Falls:
  71. 71 Glen Falls:
  72. 72 Glen Burney Falls:
  73. 73 Glen Marie Falls:
  74. 74 Gragg Prong Upper Waterfall:
  75. 75 Gragg Prong Lower Waterfall:
  76. 76 Grassy Creek Falls:
  77. 77 Green Mountain Creek Waterfall:
  78. 78 Grogan Creek Waterfall:
  79. 79 Harper Creek Falls:
  80. 80 Hebron Colony Falls:
  81. 81 Hickory Branch Falls:
  82. 82 Hidden Falls:
  83. 83 High Falls (Beech Creek):
  84. 84 High Falls (Little River):
  85. 85 High Falls (South Fork Mills River):
  86. 86 High Falls (Thompson River):
  87. 87 High Falls (West Fork Tuckasegee River):
  88. 88 High Shoals Falls:
  89. 89 Hooker Falls:
  90. 90 Horseshoe Falls:
  91. 91 House Creek Tributary Waterfall:
  92. 92 Hunt Fish Falls:
  93. 93 Indian Camp Falls:
  94. 94 Indian Creek Falls:
  95. 95 John's Jump:
  96. 96 Jumping Fish Falls:
  97. 97 Juney Whank Falls:
  98. 98 Kiesee Falls:
  99. 99 Kiesee Upper Falls:
  100. 100 Lanier Falls:
  101. 101 Laurel Creek Falls:
  102. 102 Leatherwood Falls:
  103. 103 Linville Falls:
  104. 104 Little Bradley Falls:
  105. 105 Little Canyon Falls:
  106. 106 Little Creek Falls:
  107. 107 Little Fall Branch Waterfall:
  108. 108 Little Lost Cove Creek Upper Waterfall:
  109. 109 Little Lost Cove Creek Lower Waterfall
  110. 110 Log Hollow Branch Waterfall:
  111. 111 Log Hollow Branch Northern Tributary Waterfall:
  112. 112 Log Hollow Branch Southern Tributary Waterfall:
  113. 113 Long Branch Waterfall:
  114. 114 Looking Glass Falls:
  115. 115 Lower Falls (Big Sandy Creek):
  116. 116 McGalliard Falls:
  117. 117 Melrose Falls:
  118. 118 Middle Creek Falls:
  119. 119 Middle Creek Upper Falls:
  120. 120 Middle Falls (Big Sandy Creek):
  121. 121 Middle Falls (Snowbird Creek):
  122. 122 Midnight Hole:
  123. 123 Mill Shoals:
  124. 124 Mingo Falls:
  125. 125 Mingo Upper Falls:
  126. 126 Mooney Falls:
  127. 127 Moore Cove Falls:
  128. 128 Moravian Falls:
  129. 129 Mount Hardy Falls:
  130. 130 Mouse Creek Falls:
  131. 131 Nasty Falls:
  132. 132 Nellie's Falls:
  133. 133 North Harper Creek Falls:
  134. 134 North Shoal Creek Falls:
  135. 135 Otter Falls:
  136. 136 Paradise Falls:
  137. 137 Pearson's Falls:
  138. 138 Philips Branch Falls:
  139. 139 Picklesimer Rock House Falls:
  140. 140 Pinhook Falls:
  141. 141 Pot Branch Falls:
  142. 142 Potholes:
  143. 143 Rain Forest Falls:
  144. 144 Rainbow Falls:
  145. 145 Ranger Falls:
  146. 146 Roaring Fork Falls:
  147. 147 Rough Butt Creek Falls
  148. 148 Roy Taylor Falls:
  149. 149 Rufus Morgan Falls:
  150. 150 Sam Branch - Lower Waterfall
  151. 151 Sassafras Falls:
  152. 152 Satulah Lower Falls:
  153. 153 Schoolhouse Falls:
  154. 154 Scotsman Creek Waterfall:
  155. 155 Scotsman Creek Upper Waterfall:
  156. 156 Sculpted Falls:
  157. 157 Second Falls:
  158. 158 Setrock Creek Falls:
  159. 159 Shacktown Falls:
  160. 160 Shower Bath Falls:
  161. 161 Shuck Ridge Creek Falls:
  162. 162 Shunkawauken Falls:
  163. 163 Sidepocket Falls:
  164. 164 Silver Run Falls:
  165. 165 Silver Run Upper Falls:
  166. 166 Silvervale Falls:
  167. 167 Skinny Dip Falls:
  168. 168 Soco Falls:
  169. 169 Sols Creek Upper Waterfall:
  170. 170 South Harper Creek Falls:
  171. 171 Split Rock Falls:
  172. 172 Steels Creek Falls:
  173. 173 Still Falls
  174. 174 Still House Falls
  175. 175 Stone Mountain Falls:
  176. 176 Tanasee Creek Falls:
  177. 177 Teacups Falls:
  178. 178 Thompson River - First Waterfall:
  179. 179 Thompson River - Second Waterfall:
  180. 180 Thorps Creek Waterfall:
  181. 181 Thunderhole Falls:
  182. 182 Thunderhole Lower Falls:
  183. 183 Thurston Hatcher Falls:
  184. 184 Tom Branch Falls:
  185. 185 Toms Creek Falls:
  186. 186 Toms Spring Falls:
  187. 187 Tory's Falls:
  188. 188 Triple Falls:
  189. 189 Turtleback Falls:
  190. 190 Twin Falls:
  191. 191 Upper Creek Falls:
  192. 192 Upper Falls (Snowbird Creek):
  193. 193 Upper Falls (Yellowstone Prong):
  194. 194 Violet Falls:
  195. 195 Wardens Falls:
  196. 196 Wash Hollow Waterfall:
  197. 197 Watauga Falls:
  198. 198 West Fork French Broad Tributary Lower Waterfall:
  199. 199 West Fork French Broad Tributary Waterfall:
  200. 200 West Fork Pigeon River Waterfall:
  201. 201 West Fork Pigeon River Tributary Waterfall:
  202. 202 White Owl Falls:
  203. 203 Widows Creek Falls:
  204. 204 Wildcat Falls (Slickrock Creek):
  205. 205 Wildcat Falls (West Fork Pigeon River Tributary):
  206. 206 Window Falls:
  207. 207 Wintergreen Falls (Grassy Creek):
  208. 208 Wintergreen Falls (Toxaway River):
  209. 209 Yellow Creek Falls:
  210. 210 Yellow Fork Falls:
  211. 211 External Links:

Alarka Falls:

Alarka Falls in Swain County is a hidden gem that few people know about, despite just a short ways outside of the popular tourist town of Bryson City.  The falls are located in Nantahala National Forest and is only a short hike, although there isn't much of a trail to follow.

To visit the falls, take US-74 west from Bryon City to exit 64 (Alarka Road).  Drive south on Alarka Road for about 10 miles, with the road turning to gravel after about 8.5 miles.  At the end of the road, is a turnaround, where you can park and make the short hike up to the falls.

The short trail up to Alarka Falls starts past the parking area.  Although the trail is short, it is poorly maintained and may require some climbing around and over rocks and logs.  The waterfall itself is pretty big and I don't think it's possible to see the entire thing from any one spot.

Aunt Sally's Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.18814,-82.95361 (Gravel road off Winding Gap Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19020,-82.96238

Aunt Sally's Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on a tributary of West Fork French Broad River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 1 mile round trip and easy; however, most people visit this one on the way to the much more difficult Dismal Falls.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 from US-64, just east of Lake Toxaway.  Go 6.2 miles and turn left onto Winding Gap Road.  Almost immediately, there will be an old one-lane gravel road the forks to the right.  Drive down to the end of this at the gate and park in the turnaround without blocking the gate.  I think this was the old NC-281 before it was paved and straightened.

Hike down the gated road crossing a couple of streams in the first quarter-mile.  In about a half-mile, just before another stream crossing, there is a faint path to the right.  This path follows the tributary upstream a short ways to the base of Aunt Sally's Falls.

Avents Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.48788,-78.90929 (Pull-off on River Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.48835,-78.90917

Waterfall on Avents Creek is a small 4-foot slide on its namesake creek in Harnett County.  The waterfall is located in Raven Rock State Park.  The waterfall is right along the side of River Road so no hiking involved.  See my Raven Rock State Park page for directions and more information.

Avery Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31488,-82.74921 (Pull-off on FSR-477)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31998,-82.75303

Avery Creek Falls is a 10-foot waterfall on Avery Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a mile round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head east from Brevard on US-276/US-64 to where they split and turn left to stay on US-276.  Drive 2.2 miles and turn right on Avery Creek Road (Forest Service Road 477).  Go 2.3 miles on this gravel road to a pull-off on the left at the trailhead for Avery Creek Trail (#327).  If there's no space here, there's a larger pull-off another quarter-mile up the road.

Begin hiking the Avery Creek Trail (#327) that is blazed blue.  The trail heads down to its namesake creek and crosses on a footbridge.  Cross the creek and go left to stay on Avery Creek Trail (right is Clawhammer Cove Trail).  It's about another quarter mile from the bridge to the waterfall.  There are some cascades along the creek, but you'll know when you reach the waterfall.  The trail passes very near the top of the waterfall.  A steep but short path leads down to the base from here.

Avery Creek Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31488,-82.74921 (Pull-off on FSR-477)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32896,-82.76749

Upper Avery Creek Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on Avery Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is a little over 3 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Avery Creek Falls above and continue on Avery Creek Trail (#327).  The trail will meet up with Buckhorn Gap Trail (#103) for about 0.1 miles.  Where Buckhorn Gap Trail crosses Avery Creek on a bridge, stay on Avery Creek Trail and continue upstream for a little over half a mile.  A small path on the right leads steeply down to the base of the falls.

Bald Springs Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.12538,-83.79408 (Pull-off on FR-340)
Waterfall GPS: 35.12730,-83.78136

Bald Springs Falls is a tall cascading waterfall on a tributary of Fires Creek in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Fires Creek Recreation Area in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is 2 to 3 miles round trip and extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, go north on Tusquitee Street from Hayesville and cross Hiwasee River.  Turn left on Fires Creek Road and drive 4.6 miles.  Turn right on Fires Creek Wildlife Road and go just under 8 miles to a pull-off on the right.  The road becomes gravel and changes to FR-340 as you enter the forest.

From the pull-off, hike up FR-340 a short ways to a split, where FR-340C goes to the left.  Stay on FR-340, which is gated at this point, and cross Long Branch on a bridge.  It is about a mile to where the road makes a sharp turn to the left.  Get off the road and bushwhack down to Fires Creek - Bald Springs Branch should flow in right across the creek.  Wade the creek, which may be difficult in high water, and bushwhack up Bald Springs Branch on the river-left side.  It's very steep and overgrown with rhododendron, but when you get up, you should pick up some semblance of an old logging grade.  Lower Bald Springs Falls will be below you at creek level.  Continue on the old logging grade for about 0.1 miles and then bushwhack down to creek level to the falls.  You should be able to hear it from above.  It's a really beautiful waterfall, but the area is so overgrown, it's hard to get a good picture.

Bald Springs Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.12538,-83.79408 (Pull-off on FR-340)
Waterfall GPS: 35.12755,-83.78217

Lower Bald Springs Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Bald Springs Branch in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Fires Creek Recreation Area in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is 2 to 3 miles round trip and very difficult.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Bald Springs Falls above.  At the point where you cross Fires Creek, don't climb up the bank.  Instead, just creek-walk up Bald Springs Branch to the waterfall.  It's much easier than going up and trying to get back down.

Bard Falls:

Bard Falls is a nice 30-foot waterfall on North Harper Creek in Avery County.  This popular waterfall has some nice rocks at the base to relax and enjoy the falls and some interesting "pot holes" in the rocks surrounding it.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Bear Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 34.99875,-83.55669 (Lower parking along FSR-56)
Trailhead GPS: 35.01413,-83.55614 (Upper parking at end of FSR-56)
Waterfall GPS: 35.00887,-83.54098

Bear Creek Falls is a wet-weather waterfall on a tributary of Beech Creek in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is part of the strenuous 8.5-mile Beech Creek loop hike.  See my Southern Nantahala Wilderness page for directions and more description.

Bearcamp Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.01242,-82.99915 (Bad Creek Access to Foothills Trail in SC)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05420,-82.96641

Bearcamp Falls, also known as Hilliard Falls, is a waterfall on Bearcamp Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located just outside of the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest in land owned by Crescent Resources.  Public access to the waterfall is allowed via the Foothills Trail.  The shortest way to hike to the falls is about 12 miles round trip, so plan a full day to visit this one.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive nine miles to South Carolina.  Almost immediately after crossing the state line, turn left on Bad Creek Road into the power station.  Drive about 2 miles and turn left for the parking for Foothills Trail at the sign.

The hike begins on the Bad Creek Spur Trail that leads 0.7 miles to the Foothills Trail.  Right after crossing Whitewater River on the two footbridges, turn right on the Foothills Trail heading towards Thompson River.  In less than a mile, you'll pass the spur trail to Lower Whitewater Falls and in about another half-mile, you'll cross into North Carolina.  In about 2.5 miles from Whitewater River, the trail crosses Thompson River about a half-mile downstream from Big Falls.  The trail then heads steeply up from Thompson River and heads back down towards Bearcamp Creek.  In the last half-mile, you'll get on a gated gravel road and make the final descent to Bearcamp Creek and cross on a footbridge.  Immediately across the bridge, turn left and take the spur trail to the waterfall.

Bearwallow Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.10853,-82.88325 (Frozen Creek Access of Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.07929,-82.90450

Lower Bearwallow Falls is a beautiful waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in Gorges State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about 8 miles round trip and extremely challenging.  There is no trail to the waterfall and this hike should only be attempted by those experienced in off-trail hiking.  See my Gorges State Park page for directions and more description.


Bearwallow Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.10151,-82.94567 (Bearwallow Valley Parking in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.10195,-82.94271

Upper Bearwallow Falls is a waterfall on Bearwallow Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in Gorges State Park.  The hike to the falls is only about a quarter-mile, but the view from the overlook is not the best.  It is a much more difficult bushwhack to a better view of the falls.  See my Gorges State Park page for directions and more description.

Bedrock Betty Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05086,-83.04322

Bedrock Betty Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream past Nasty Falls.  The river right side is exposed rock to climb down.  From here, it's a short ways to Entrance Falls that marks the beginning of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.  Just upstream of Entrance Falls is a path on river-left that leads into the woods.  Follow this trail as it circumnavigates the canyon.  It starts out easy but becomes exceedingly steep as you get down towards the river.  There were ropes to assist in the decent.  The very last part is pretty much a full-on rappel.  At the base of Exit Falls, turn left and follow the path on river-left to follow the river downstream a quarter-mile or so Bedrock Betty Falls.

Beech Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 34.99875,-83.55669 (Lower parking along FSR-56)
Trailhead GPS: 35.01413,-83.55614 (Upper parking at end of FSR-56)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01317,-83.53014

Waterfall on Beech Creek is a scenic 15-foot waterfall on Beech Creek in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is part of the strenuous 8.5-mile Beech Creek loop hike.  See my Southern Nantahala Wilderness page for directions and more description.

Bernies Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.19314,-82.95669 (Pull-off on NC-281)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19760,-82.93016

Bernies Falls is a beautiful 60-foot waterfall on Miser Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 5.5 miles round trip and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about 15 miles.  Just before Lake Toxaway, turn right on NC-281 north.  Drive 6.8 miles to a pull-off on the right at a gated forest road and park here.

Hike down the gated Forest Service Road 5077.  In about a mile, you'll pass FSR-5077B on the right and then at 1.5 miles is FSR-5077A.  Shortly past this split, turn left to stay on FSR-5077.  The trail heads down and enters an open area.  At the fork, bear right and continue through the meadow.  At about 2 miles is a creek crossing over Miser Creek.  We found a spot just upstream to rock hop.  After the crossing, you'll go back into the woods shortly and come back out in a meadow to a T-junction.  Go right past a walnut tree and the trail heads back into the woods.  Just before the trail starts to head up, take a path to the right and make an easy crossing of Miser Creek near the top of Bernies Falls.  Bear to the right at the top of the falls and you'll come out to an old road.  Go left (right is blocked by downed trees) and go a short ways to a path on the left that steeply leads down to Bernies Falls.  You'll come out in the middle and can pass behind the veil and work your way down to the base.  I thought the best spot was about three-quarters of the way down to the base.

Beverly Hillbilly Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.91264,-81.83909 (end of Forest Service Road 228)
Waterfall GPS: 35.92353,-81.84744

Beverly Hillbilly Falls is a sliding waterfall on Steels Creek in Burke County.  The hike to the falls is little over 2 miles round-trip, but it's a challenging hike, including creek-walking to the base of Beverly Hillbilly Falls.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Big Falls (Snowbird Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 35.26448,-83.93800 (End of FSR 75)
Waterfall GPS: 35.26561,-83.96581

Big Falls on Snowbird Creek is a cascading waterfall in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Snowbird Backcountry Area in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 7-miles round trip and moderately challenging.

To visit the falls, head north from Robbinsville on US-129 for a mile or so and turn left on NC-143 W.  Go about 3.5 miles and turn right to stay on NC-143 W.  In 2.2 miles, turn left onto Snowbird Road.  Go 3.1 miles and turn right to get on Big Snowbird Road.  This road changes to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 75.  Drive approximately 6 miles to the end of this road for the trailhead.

From the trailhead, begin hiking down Big Snowbird Trail (#64) as it follows Snowbird Creek upstream.  In about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, you'll see the remains of an old car with bullet holes and will have to cross Sassafras Creek.  There's no bridge, but we made it across dry.  Go right to stay on Big Snowbird Trail and soon you'll pass a split with Sassafras Trail.  Shortly after the split, a scramble path leads down to the middle of Big Falls.  You can see the creek tumble over numerous small ledges and then another smaller drop.  I didn't get down to the base of the smaller drop.  Despite the name, it's not a particularly big waterfall.

Big Falls (Thompson River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.07795,-82.99367 (Pull off on Brewer Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.04482,-82.98205

Big Falls is a huge 125-foot waterfall on Thompson River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located just outside of the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest in land owned by Crescent Resources.  Public access to the waterfall is allowed, but it is an extremely challenging hike to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in North Carolina.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 3.7 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and turn left onto Brewer Road and park along the side of the road.

Right at the turn for Brewer Road, start hiking up the gated logging road.  In about a mile from the start, you will see a path that splits to the right.  This trail leads to High Falls.  Continue on the main trail, which begins to descend via a couple switchbacks and leads to a ford across Thompson River.  You'll need to cross the river here.  Unless the water level is way down, you'll need to wade.  If the water level is high, this could be a dangerous crossing, so avoid this area in times of high water.  Once across the river, continue following the logging road for another 2 miles.  You'll pass some side paths that lead to campsites or other waterfalls, but stay on the main path.  The old road roughly parallels Thompson River, but on a ridge high above the river.  After two miles from the ford or about 3 miles from the trailhead, look for a side path to the left.  The last time I was here, there was some marking tape and a cairn, but it's not easy to spot.  If you reach Foothills Trail, you've gone about a half-mile too far.  

This so far is the easy part of the hike.  Once you leave the main path, its about a quarter-mile to the falls, but an extremely challenging quarter-mile.  It starts off not too bad, but gets progressively steeper and steeper.  A few sections are best done with the assistance of rope.  The side path comes out near the river just downstream of Big Falls.  You'll need to head upstream a bit to get out on the boulders at the base.  The last time I was here, this involved climbing through a mess of downed trees.  Once out at the base of the waterfall, you will need to cross the river again for the best views.  Again, in low water you might be able to rock hop, but will probably have to wade.  Across the river is a huge section of exposed bedrock that makes a great place to hang out and enjoy this spectacular waterfall.  The good thing about this hike being so challenging is that you will almost certainly have the waterfall to yourself.

Big Laurel Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.02200,-83.50374 (Pull-off on FSR 67)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01826,-83.50627

Big Laurel Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Big Laurel Branch in Macon County near the headwaters of Nantahala River.  The waterfall is located in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness area in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is an easy 1-mile round-trip.

To visit the falls, head west from Franklin on US-64.  In about 12 miles, turn left onto Old Murphy Road at the sign for Standing Indian Campground.  Drive 1.9 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 67 at another sign for the campground.  The road is initially paved, but becomes gravel.  In about 2 miles, there is a fork, where right heads to the Standing Indian Campground.  Bear left and continue for about another 5 miles to a pull-off on FSR 67 at the sign for Laurel Falls/Timber Ridge trails.

From the trailhead, hike down to the bridge over Mooney Creek and turn right to stay on Big Laurel Falls Trail (#29).  The trail follows the creek upstream for less than a half-mile to the waterfall.  The waterfall is not huge, but it's in a very scenic setting and secluded enough that you're likely to have the falls to yourself.

Billy Branch Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.36656,-82.73875 (Parking Area at end of FSR 476)
Waterfall GPS: 35.35859,-82.73748

Waterfall on Billy Branch is a 20-foot waterfall on a tributary of South Fork Mills River in Transylvania County. The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and easy to moderate.

To visit the falls, get on US-276 north from the intersection of US-64 east of Brevard.  Drive 11.8 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 1206 (Yellow Gap Road).  Go 3.3 miles on this gravel road and turn right on FSR 476 (Wolf Ford Road).  Follow this road for about 1.3 miles to the end and park before the gate.

Begin hiking down South Mills River Trail (#133), which is an extension of FSR 476 past the gate.  In about a mile, the trail turns to the right and crosses the river on a big bridge.  Where the main trail turns to the right, go left and follow the path upstream along Billy Branch.  It's less than a quarter-mile to the waterfall and you should be able to see and hear it from the path.  A short, but steep scramble path leads down to the base of the waterfall.  For a relatively unknown waterfall, I thought this was a pretty nice one.

Bird Rock Falls:

Bird Rock Falls, also called Cathedral Falls, is a 20-foot waterfall on North Fork French Broad River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located on private property belonging to Living Waters Ministry, but the folks here are nice enough to allow public access to see the waterfalls.  If you visit, please be respectful of the property owners.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 9 miles and turn right on NC-215 North.  Go about 7.8 miles and there will be a pull-off on the side of the road, right before Clinic Road.  Coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, go south on NC-215 for about 9 miles to the pull-off.

Hike down to the creek behind the mill at Mill Shoals and follow the trail that leads downstream along the river.  In about a quarter-mile, the trail ends at some exposed rock at the base of Bird Rock Falls.  Although it's not a huge waterfall, the scenery is very nice.  There's a huge cliff above the waterfall that birds used to nest on (hence the name); right after a good rain, the water will flow off the cliff creating another waterfall!  The second picture below is of the cliff.


Bradley Falls

Bradley Falls, also called Big Bradley Falls, is a nearly 100-foot waterfall on Cove Creek in Green River Game Land.  The falls are just a short distance outside of Saluda in Polk County on the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

To visit the falls, take exit 59 on I-26/US-74 for Saluda and turn onto Holbert Cove Road (SR-1142) heading away from Saluda.  At just over 3 miles from the exit, stop at the pull-off on the side of the road, just before the road crosses Cove Creek.

The trail to Bradley Falls is about a mile one-way.  From the parking area, follow the blue-blazed trail through an open field and then into the woods to a creek crossing.  In low water, you might be able to rock-hop across, but more than likely you'll have to get your feet wet.  Across the continue to follow the trail towards the top of the waterfall.  A small and very steep trail leads down to the top of the waterfall, but there's no good views here.  At this point, the trail becomes more difficult to follow and there are no more blazes.  Continue to follow the trail along the ridgeline to an overlook for the falls.  Unfortunately, trees partially block the view of the falls here.  It is possible to climb down into the gorge to see the falls from the base.  This is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted by experienced climbers.  I have not made it down to the base yet.

Bridal Veil Falls (Cullasaja Gorge)

Trailhead GPS: 35.07171,-83.22912 (Bridal Veil Falls Scenic Area pull-off on US-64)
Waterfall GPS: 35.07192,-83.22893

Bridal Veil Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on a tributary of Cullasaja River in Macon County.  This roadside waterfall is in the Cullasaja River Gorge in Nantahala National Forest, located along US-64 just west of Highlands.  This waterfall is somewhat unique in that you can actually drive behind it (as in the picture below).  See my Cullasaja Gorge page for directions and more description.

Bridal Veil Falls (DuPont State Forest)

Bridal Veil Falls in Transylvania County is one of several waterfalls along Little River in DuPont State Forest.  The waterfall consists of a veil that you can walk behind and a long slide over a massive section of exposed bedrock.  See my DuPont State Forest page for directions and more description.



Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31439,-82.91033 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31375,-82.90964

Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades is a 20-foot waterfall in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah national Forest.  The waterfall is visible from the road, but for a better view, you'll need to make the steep scramble down to the base.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about nine miles and turn right on NC-215 north.  Drive about 19 miles on NC-215 N to a pull-off on the left side of the road.  The pull-off is 1.8 miles north of the parkway.  If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, take NC-215 N and go 1.8 miles to the pull-off on the right.

From the pull-off, you can see the waterfall, though the view may be obscured by foliage in the summer.  In the fall, the brilliant color makes this a very scenic view.


For a better view, go under the guard rail and make the steep climb down to the creek.  Hike through the campground to approach the open area at the base of the waterfall.  This is a good waterfall for swimming when the weather is warm.

Bubbling Spring Branch Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.30342,-82.90864 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.30127,-82.91195

Lower Bubbling Spring Branch Falls is a 20-foot waterfall in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside Middle Prong Wilderness.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round-trip, but its off trail and can be a little tricky to find, as well as requiring a few creek crossings.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about nine miles and turn right on NC-215 north.  Drive about 17.5 miles on NC-215 N to a large pull-off on the left side of the road.  The pull-off is just under a half-mile north of the parkway.  If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, take NC-215 N and go 0.4 miles to the pull-off on the left.

From the pull-off, continue down NC-215 a short ways and you should see the Mountains-to-Sea Trail duck into the woods on the left.  You'll cross a creek almost immediately as you enter Middle Prong Wilderness and then cross a larger creek (which is Bubbling Spring Branch).  Once across, MST will go right.  Turn left and go through a large primitive campsite.  Past the fire ring, cross the creek again.  From here, you need to follow the path to head upstream to the waterfall.  You'll need to cross the creek three or four times more and rock hop up the creek to the base of the waterfall.

Bubbling Spring Branch Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.30342,-82.90864 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.30068,-82.91195

Upper Bubbling Spring Branch Falls is a 30-foot sliding waterfall in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside Middle Prong Wilderness.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round-trip, but its off trail and can be a little tricky to find, as well as requiring a few creek crossings.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Lower Bubbling Spring Branch Falls above.  Once at the waterfall, look for a path to scramble up to the top falls on the left side.  Don't get too close to the top of the waterfall.  Once near the top, continue following the creek upstream a short ways to the base of the Upper Falls.

Bull Cove Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 34.99875,-83.55669 (Lower parking along FSR-56)
Trailhead GPS: 35.01413,-83.55614 (Upper parking at end of FSR-56)
Waterfall GPS: 35.00308,-83.54242

Bull Cove Falls is a 40-foot waterfall in two sections on Bull Cove Creek in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is part of the strenuous 8.5-mile Beech Creek loop hike.  See my Southern Nantahala Wilderness page for directions and more description.

Burnthouse Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.92802,-81.80005 (end of Forest Service Road 197)
Waterfall GPS: 35.95110,-81.82245

Burnthouse Branch Falls is a remote 25-foot waterfall on a tributary of Upper Creek in Burke County.  The hike to falls is just over 5 miles round-trip and challenging.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Camp Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.16512,-83.54069 (Pull-off on FR-316)
Waterfall GPS: 35.16797,-83.54187

Camp Branch Falls is a 12-foot waterfall on Camp Branch, a tributary of Wayah Creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head west from Franklin for about 4 miles and turn right on Patton Road.  Make an almost immediate left onto Wayah Road and drive just over 5 miles to Forest Road 316 on the right.  Go a short ways and find a place to park before the gate.

From the parking area, follow the path that heads straight, where FR-316 goes right and fords Camp Branch.  You'll pass a concrete building, presumably to store explosives, in under a quarter-mile.  Just after this, rock-hop the tributary and you should be able to see and head the waterfall.  Scramble down to creek level for the best views.

Camp Branch Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.16512,-83.54069 (Pull-off on FR-316)
Waterfall GPS: 35.16837,-83.54215

Upper Camp Branch Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Camp Branch, a tributary of Wayah Creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Camp Branch Falls above.  Continue on the path a couple hundred feet past the first waterfall and another scramble path leads to the base of the upper one.

Cascade Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.24566,-81.45831 (E. B. Jeffress Park at MP 271.9)
Waterfall GPS: 36.24943,-81.45506

Cascade Falls is a tall cascading waterfall on Fall Creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located in E. B. Jeffress Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile and easy.

To visit the falls, head south on US-421 from Boone.  In about 11 miles, bear right to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn left to head north on the parkway.  In 4.5 miles, turn right to get off the parkway at E. B. Jeffress Park.  From the parking area, follow the short Cascades Loop Trail to an overlook near the top of the waterfall.


Cascade Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.41439,-80.26465 (Lower Cascade Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.41491,-80.26841

Lower Cascade Falls is a beautiful 35-foot waterfall on Cascade Creek in Stokes County.  The waterfall is located in a scenic amphitheater setting with a nice pool at the base, perfect for wading.  The hike to the falls is about 0.8 miles round trip and moderate.  See my Hanging Rock State Park page for directions and more description.

Cascade Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.39393,-80.26679 (Hanging Rock Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.39543,-80.26913

Upper Cascade Falls is 25-foot cascading waterfall on Cascade Creek in Stokes County. The hike to the falls is about 0.6 miles round trip from the Visitor Center and easy. See my Hanging Rock State Park page for directions and more description.

Cascades:

Trailhead GPS: 36.13263,-81.68043 (Glen Burney Trail Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.12554,-81.68321

The Cascades are a 15-foot waterfall on New Years Creek in Watauga County.  The waterfall is located along the Glen Burney Trail in land owned by the town of Blowing Rock.  The hike to the waterfall is about 1.5 miles round trip or a little longer if including Glen Burney and Glen Marie Falls.  See my Glen Burney Trail page for directions and more description.

Catawba Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.61389,-82.22998 (Catawba Falls Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.60406,-82.24533

Catawba Falls is a beautiful 100-foot waterfall near the headwaters of Catawba River in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest just outside Old Fort.  The hike to the falls is about 3 miles round trip.

To visit the falls, take I-40 to Old Fort and take exit 73.  If coming from the west, at the end of the exit ramp, make a sharp right turn on Catawba River Road and follow for about 3 miles.  If coming from the east, at the end of the exit ramp, turn left on Catawba Avenue and then a right on Catawba River Road after crossing under I-40.  There is a bridge over Catawba River that leads to a Forest Service parking area for the waterfall.

Cross the bridge to the parking lot and pick up the trail at the far end.  Right away, you'll have to cross Catawba River.  The Forest Service plans to install footbridges, but I don't expect that will happen any time soon.  Unless the water is way up, it's pretty easy to rock-hop across.  The trail follows the river upstream eventually crossing Clover Patch Branch, which is an easy crossing.  Shortly after this crossing, you'll pass an old dam and power station.  After the dam, you'll have to cross Chestnut Branch, another easy crossing and then soon come out at the base of Catawba Falls.  It's a very nice waterfall, though foliage can obscure the view and there's no way to see the entire thing.

Catawba Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.61389,-82.22998 (Catawba Falls Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.60653,-82.24316

Lower Catawba Falls is a waterfall on Catawba River just downstream from Catawba Falls in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest, just outside Old Fort.  The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Catawba Falls above.  Just after crossing Clover Patch Branch and just before the dam, a steep scramble path leads down to the river at the base of the falls.  It's a nice waterfall, but is definitely overshadowed by the two larger waterfalls upstream.


Catawba Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.61389,-82.22998 (Catawba Falls Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.60197,-82.24753

Upper Catawba Falls is a beautiful 60-foot waterfall on Catawba River just upstream from Catawba Falls in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest just outside Old Fort.  The hike to the falls is about 3.5 miles round trip and strenuous.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Catawba Falls above.  There is a very steep trail from here that leads to the upper waterfall.  The trail is can be dangerous and requires the use of ropes in places.  The Forest Service plans to make a better trail to Upper Catawba Falls, but it may be some time before that happens.  So unfortunately, for the time being, this one is very difficult to visit.

Cedar Rock Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28431,-82.79172 (Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education Parking Lot)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27811,-82.79979

Waterfall on Cedar Rock Creek is 20-foot high waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  It's located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.  The hike to the falls is about 2 miles round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 for 5.2 miles and turn right on Forest Road 475 at the sign for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Pisgah Fish Hatchery.  Go about 1.5 miles and turn left into the large parking lot for the wildlife center/fish hatchery.

Walk to the back of the parking lot and onto the gated road and then turn right onto the orange-blazed Cat Gap Loop Trail (#120) right after the bridge.  Hike this trail for just under a mile and there will be an unmarked trail to the left that leads down to the falls.  The turn isn't marked, but you should be able to hear the waterfall from the main trail.  The side trail descends and leads through a small grotto before reaching the waterfall.

Charley Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.26892,-82.98430 (Pull-off on Charleys Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.28107,-82.98639

Charley Creek Falls is a 30-foot cascading waterfall on its namesake creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles round trip and difficult.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 8 miles and turn right on NC-215 north just before Rosman.  Drive just under 14 miles and turn left on Charleys Creek Road.  Go about 6.8 miles to a pull-off at FR-4655 right before the bridge over Charley Creek.

From the parking area, hike along FR-4655 past the jeep mounds and bear right in about 0.1 miles where a path to the left leads down to the creek.  At the next fork, bear left to get off FR-4655 and follow an overgrown logging road that parallels the creek.  It starts to get confusing at this point and we ended doing a nasty bushwhack to get to the falls.  I think you want to go about a 0.5 mile or so to another split and go left, cross the creek and pick up another logging road on the other side.  From here's its probably another half-mile to the waterfall.  Where the logging road makes a sharp curve to the left, you should be able to see and hear the waterfall.  Bushwhack down to the base.  Unfortunately, this waterfall is really covered in rhododendron and downfall, so not terribly scenic.

Charleys Bridge Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.26892,-82.98430 (Pull-off on Charleys Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.26873,-82.98422

Charleys Bridge Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Charley Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The waterfall is right below the bridge on Charleys Creek Road, but it's a steep buchwhack down to the base for a view.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Charley Creek Falls above.  From the pull-off at FR-4655, walk back on Charleys Creek Road from the bridge a hundred feet or so and find the best way to get down to creek level.  It's very steep and there's a ton of garbage dumped here.  There's a bunch of rhododendron along the creek, so it's probably easiest to creek-walk up to the base of the waterfall.

Chestnut Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.26920,-82.89184 (Pull off on FSR 140)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27927,-82.88720

Chestnut Falls is a scenic 20-foot waterfall on Chestnut Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about 10 miles.  Near Rosman, turn right on NC-215.  Drive for 10.5 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 140.  Drive 2.6 miles on the gravel road to the gated FSR-5031 and park here.  There are bigger pull-offs before FSR-5031 if there's no parking at the trailhead.

Hike down gated FSR-5031 for about three-quarters of a mile to a small campsite with a fire ring, just before the Forest Road forks.  Look for a small path to the left that leads past the campsite and through rhododendron down to Chestnut Creek.  The waterfall is just a short distance upstream.


Chute Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.08817,-82.93831

Chute Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Bearwallow Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in Gorges State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about 4 miles round trip and very difficult, including bushwhacking.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Clawhammer Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31488,-82.74921 (Pull-off on FSR-477)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32557,-82.74660

Clawhammer Falls is a 12-foot waterfall on Clawhammer Cove Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is a little over 2 miles and moderate in difficulty except for a bushwhack at the end.

To visit the falls, head east from Brevard on US-276/US-64 to where they split and turn left to stay on US-276.  Drive 2.2 miles and turn right on Avery Creek Road (Forest Service Road 477).  Go 2.3 miles on this gravel road to a pull-off on the left at the trailhead for Avery Creek Trail (#327).  If there's no space here, there's a larger pull-off another quarter-mile up the road.

Begin hiking the Avery Creek Trail (#327) that is blazed blue.  The trail heads down to its namesake creek and crosses on a footbridge.  Cross the creek and go right to get on Clawhammer Cove Trail (#342).  The trail follows Avery Creek downstream a short ways to the confluence with Clawhammer Cove Creek.  It then turns left and follows the creek upstream.  In about 0.75 miles, the trail crosses the creek on a footbridge.  After crossing, get off the trail and bushwhack upstream a short ways.  It's pretty open so not too bad for a bushwhack, but the climb down to the base of the falls is steep and overgrown.

Cold Branch Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.34638,-83.99234 (Pull-off on FSR-81F)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34595,-83.99255

Lower Cold Branch Falls is a waterfall on its namesake creek in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The waterfall is viewable from the road, but it's a steep bushwhack down to the base.

To visit the falls, head west from Robbinsville on Snowbird Road for just under 5 miles to NC-143.  Continue straight on NC-143 for about 4.5 miles to Santeetlah Gap.  Bear right on Santeetlah Road towards Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and make an immediate left on Old Santeetlah Road.  The road changes to gravel and becomes FSR-81.  Drive about 6.5 miles to Wolf Laurel Road (FSR-81F) and bear right.  There was no sign when we visited indicating the road number, but there was a sign for snow cabin.  Go about a quarter-mile and find somewhere to pull off on the side of the road.

You can see the waterfall down below from the road, but its steep to get down.  There's no path so just find the best place to go down to the base for a view of the waterfall.

Cold Branch Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.34795,-83.99502 (Pull-off on FSR-81F)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34766,-83.99596

Upper Cold Branch Falls is a scenic waterfall on its namesake creek in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Cheoah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is very short, but very challenging as there is no semblance of a trail.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Lower Cold Branch Falls above.  Continue on FSR-81F for another quarter-mile and pull off on the side of the road.  You can't see the waterfall from the road, so it's not so obvious.  I had to walk up and down the road a couple times to figure out where to go down; the Trailhead GPS above is the best spot I could find.  It's very steep, but also short.  Bushwhack from the road down to about creek level and then head upstream to the base of the waterfall.  There is an awful mess of rhododendron to navigate through; just stay close to the creek and climb and crawl through as best you can.  It was very low water when I visited, but the potholes and mossy rocks made for a beautiful scene.

Courthouse Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27410,-82.89218 (Pull off on FSR 140)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27174,-82.89390

Courthouse Falls is a scenic 40-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is an easy 0.75-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about 10 miles.  Near Rosman, turn right on NC-215.  Drive for 10.5 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 140.  Drive 3 miles on the gravel road to a bridge over Courthouse Creek.  There is a pull-off on the right immediately after the bridge.

Hike towards the bridge and pick up the Summey Cove Trail (#129)/Courthouse Falls Trail (#130) on the west side of the creek.  The combined trail is blazed blue and orange.  In about a quarter-mile, you'll be able to hear the waterfall to the right and shortly after that the trails split.  Summey Cove Trail (blue blaze) goes right and Courthouse Falls Trail (orange blaze) turns sharply left.  Follow the orange-blazed Courthouse Falls Trail that leads back towards the waterfall with wooden stairs leading down to creek level.  The waterfall is located in a scenic rock amphitheater and is very pretty given the easy hike to reach it.

Courthouse Creek Middle Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27620,-82.89192 (End of FSR 140 before gate)
Waterfall GPS: 35.28402,-82.89949

Middle Waterfall on Courthouse Creek is a waterfall in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is a moderate 1.5-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Courthouse Falls above, but drive an extra quarter mile on FSR 140 to the gate at the end.  Gated FSR 140B also starts here to the left, but don't go that way.  Hike up FSR 140 past the gate for about three-quarters of a mile to where the road ends.  The waterfall is just ahead, right where Coalney branch flows into Courthouse Creek.  To view the falls, cross the creek to the island.  There's also an upper portion if you take the path straight ahead, but it's a bit of a scramble.  I got a picture of the main portion from the island in the snow, but couldn't get down for an unobstructed view.

Courthouse Creek Upper Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27620,-82.89192 (End of FSR 140 before gate)
Waterfall GPS: 35.29197,-82.90373

Upper Waterfall on Courthouse Creek is a 35-foot cascading waterfall in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is a challenging 3-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Middle Falls on Courthouse Creek.  At the point where you can cross the creek to the island or go straight to the upper portion, go left and climb steeply up the ridge.  There's not much of a path, but keep following Courthouse Creek upstream.  You'll cross the creek twice, getting back to the left side of the creek.  In about 0.3 miles, two forks flow together.  Cross the creek to the right side and follow the right fork upstream, which is Courthouse Creek.  Cross the creek once more to get on the left side and in about a quarter mile, you'll reach the waterfall.  There's a path to the right that leads to the base.  The trail continues and eventually reaches the Blue Ridge Parkway at Devil's Courthouse, though I've never gone past the waterfall.  It looks mighty steep on the topo map.

Cove Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28310,-82.81691 (Parking area off FSR 475)
Waterfall GPS: 35.29407,-82.81748

Cove Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles round-trip.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from the intersection of US-64 in Pisgah Forest for a little over 5 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 475 at the sign for Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  Drive just over 3 miles to the parking area on the left at the entrance to Cove Creek Group Campground.  The forest road is initially paved, but changes to gravel before you reach the parking area.  Note that Cove Creek Group Campground is a fee area for registered campers; if you're just hiking to the waterfall, do not park in the campground.

From the parking area, hike up the road to the campground.  Shortly, there is a ford, but a side path leads to a footbridge over Cove Creek.  There are also some nice cascades along the creek to view in this section.  At the campground, get on the blue-blazed Caney Bottom Trail (#361).  Right at the entrance to the campground, the trail turns right and runs along the north side of the campground and leads to a split.  Go left to get on Cove Creek Trail (#340) for a half-mile or so and look for a steep side trail leading down to the waterfall.

Craborchard Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.19757,-81.78926 (Waterfall Parking at Valle Crucis Conference Center)
Waterfall GPS: 36.20124,-81.79407

Crabtorchard Falls is a tall cascading waterfall on Craborchard Creek in Watauga County.   The waterfall is located on private property owned by the Valle Crucis Conference Center.  Fortunately, the landowners are kind enough to allow public access to see the waterfall.  Please be respectful while visiting.  The hike to the falls is about 1.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-105 from Boone.  In just under 5 miles, turn right on Broadstone Road heading towards Valle Crucis.  In about 3 miles, turn left on NC-194 south.  Drive about 1.3 miles and make a sharp right turn onto Skiles Road to enter the Valle Crucis Conference Center.  Go up the hill and park in the Waterfall Parking area.

Hike down the road to the large building and go left, following the signs, to follow a gravel road up the hill.  It's about a half-mile mostly up to a split, where a path to the right leads down to a wooden overlook at the waterfall.  This is a very tall cascading waterfall, but it's not possible to see the entire thing at once.

Crabtree Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.81551,-82.14564 (Crabtree Meadows Campground)
Waterfall GPS: 35.81964,-82.14974

Crabtree Falls is a beautiful 70-foot cascading waterfall on Big Crabtree Creek in Yancey County.  It's a moderate 2.5-mile loop to see the falls.  It is located in the Crabtree Meadows of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  See my Crabtree Meadows page for directions and more description.

D.E.W. Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.06822,-83.00754 (Parking area on NC-281)
Waterfall GPS: 35.06857,-83.00948

D.E.W. Falls is a small, but scenic waterfall on Mill Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The short trail to the falls was built by students from a high school in South Carolina.  They named the waterfall for Dorothy Ehrlich Walker, a classmate who died in a car accident.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 4.9 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and pull into a small pull-off on the side of the road on the right at a gated road.

The hike to the falls is an easy half-mile round trip.  The D.E.W. Falls Trail (#281) begins beyond the gate.  It follows the road a short ways, then bears left and leads to the waterfall.

Dill Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28272,-82.94111 (End of FSR 4663B)
Waterfall GPS: 35.28328,-82.94360

Dill Falls is a beautiful 50-foot waterfall on Tanasee Creek in Jackson County.  It's located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, head to Forest Road 4663 off NC-215.  If coming from Brevard, go west on US-64 for about 8 miles and turn right on NC-215 North.  Go approximately 14.4 miles and turn left on Forest Road 4663.  Alternately, if coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, turn onto NC-215 South and go 2.7 miles to Forest Road 4663 on the right.  Go about 2.5 miles on Forest Road 4663 and bear left on Forest Road 4663B.  We parked here and hiked down 4663B as the Forest Service recommends 4WD for this road.  However, the road seemed to be in pretty good shape and would probably be fine for a 2WD vehicle.  So drive or hike about 0.6 miles to the end of Forest Road 4663B.

At the end of Forest Road 4663B, there are trails splitting in three directions.  Take the center trail, which immediately splits.  You can go straight over holes, dug to prevent 4WD driving in this old road, or take a path around them and shortly come out on Tanasee Creek below the waterfall.  Follow the creek upstream along rocks for a good view of the falls.

Dill Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28272,-82.94111 (End of FSR 4663B)
Waterfall GPS: 35.28402,-82.94332

Upper Dill Falls is a scenic 25-foot waterfall on Tanasee Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Dill Falls above.  At the end of Forest Road 4663B, hike the right-most path that leads steeply up and then levels off.  Once it levels off, you should soon be able to hear the waterfall and a faint path to the left leads down to the base.  There was flagging tape making this path when I visited, but no guarantee that will be there in the future.

Dismal Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.18814,-82.95361 (Gravel road off Winding Gap Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.18020,-82.97418

Dismal Falls is a gorgeous and remote 150-foot waterfall on Dismal Creek in Transylvania County.  This might be my favorite waterfall in North Carolina - it's absolutely beautiful and quite unique.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is a little over 4 miles and extremely challenging.  Although this waterfall is very beautiful, attempting to reach it should only be done by very experienced hikers.  Also note that the Dismal Falls marked on the topo map is incorrect and following it leads to Lower Dismal Falls.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 from US-64, just east of Lake Toxaway.  Go 6.2 miles and turn left onto Winding Gap Road.  Almost immediately, there will be an old one-lane gravel road the forks to the right.  Drive down to the end of this at the gate and park in the turnaround without blocking the gate.  I think this was the old NC-281 before it was paved and straightened.

Hike down the old logging road past the gate.  The old road continues for about a mile and is pretty easy to follow, with a couple of easy stream crossings.  In about a mile, the road ends at West Fork French Broad River.  Cross the river, which should be an easy rock-hop unless water levels are way up.  Follow a path to the right and you'll come out at the base of the Lower Waterfall on Tributary of West Fork French Broad River.  This unnamed tributary is not shown on the topo map, but is one drainage over from Dismal Creek.  From this point. cross the creek below the waterfall and head upstream.  The path is very steep through dense rhododendron, but at least it's short and will come out at the base of Waterfall on Tributary of West Fork French Broad River (Rhapsodie Falls).

That was the easy part of the hike - now it starts to really get hard.  Cross the stream at the base of Rhapsodie Falls and head up the bank.  There is a faint path it was well-marked with flagging tape when I last visited.  In about a quarter-mile, you'll come to a split.  The left path leads to Lower Dismal Falls (the one marked on the topo map).  The right path that heads straight up is the one you want to take.  If you find yourself thinking that this can't be right - the trail is too insanely steep - you are in fact on the right trail.  There's no switchbacks or stairs, just an incredibly steep path that leads up the ridgeline above Dismal Creek.  Once you reach the top, you should see a path leading down.  Hard to believe, but the path leading down is even steeper.  To safely descend, you'll need to "monkey-climb" down using rhododendron branches for support.  Be extremely careful in this section, because if you're injured, it will be nearly impossible for rescue crews to get to you.  Once you're down this very steep part, there are two paths.  Although not as steep, these paths are extremely overgrown and perpetually wet, so use caution.  The right path comes out at a point in the middle of the waterfall.  You can climb out onto the rocks for a closer view of the upper portion of the falls, but be careful as the rocks are very slippery.

The left path comes out at the base of the waterfall for views of the entire thing.

Dismal Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.18814,-82.95361 (Gravel road off Winding Gap Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.18138,-82.97341

Lower Dismal Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on Dismal Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round trip and difficult.  If you combine with Dismal Falls, it is exceptionally difficult.

To visit the falls, follow the directions for Dismal Falls above up to the point where the trail splits past Rhapsodie Falls.  Where the steep path heads up to Dismal Falls, go left and follow the path towards Dismal Creek.  There is one steep portion requiring the use of ropes, but it's much shorter than the climb down to Dismal Falls.  Once down at Dismal Creek, follow it upstream.  You'll pass a huge rock wall that's really cool.  I think it would make the detour down here worth even if there wasn't a waterfall.

Continue following the path upstream past the rock wall.  As you get closer to the waterfall, you'll have to rock hop up the creek to view the waterfall.  For the best views, climb up the left side of the creek to get close to the base.

Dry Falls

Trailhead GPS: 35.06786,-83.23843 (Dry Falls Scenic Area pull-off on US-64)
Waterfall GPS: 35.07192,-83.22893

Dry Falls is a 65-foot waterfall on Cullasaja River in Macon County.  This waterfall is located in the Cullasaja River Gorge in Nantahala National Forest, along US-64 just west of Highlands.  The waterfall is named as such because you can walk through a grotto behind the waterfall and stay dry most of the time.  Not so dry if the water level is up.  See my Cullasaja Gorge page for directions and more description.

Duggers Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.95595,-81.92844 (Linville Falls Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.95674,-81.92711

Duggers Creek Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Duggers Creek, a tributary of Linville River, in Burke County.  The waterfall is located in the Linville Falls area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The hike to the waterfall is very short and easy.  See my Linville Falls page for more description and directions.

Eastatoe Falls:

Eastatoe Falls is a beautiful 70-foot waterfall in Transylvania County just outside of Rosman.  The waterfall is located on private property, but the landowners are kind enough to allow public access.  However, I don't feel comfortable posting directions or GPS coordinates here as you literally park in these folks' backyard.  A quick internet search will bring up directions if you're so inclined.  If you do visit, please be respectful - visit during normal hours, don't make a lot of noise, don't litter, drive slowly while on their property (being especially careful of the dog), and only park in the designated waterfall parking spaces.  You can see the waterfall from the parking area, but if you have any trouble, the very friendly dog will show you the way.  He seems to really enjoy the company and will even pose for pictures!

Elk Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.19737,-81.97002 (end of Elk River Road)
Waterfall GPS: 36.19879,-81.96910

Elk Falls, also called Big Falls or Elk River Falls, is a 65-foot waterfall on Elk River in Avery County.  The waterfall is located in the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest, just outside the town of Elk Park.  It's an easy hike of less than a half-mile round trip to see the falls.

To visit the falls, take US-19E into Elk Park.  Turn right on Little Elk Road, make an immediate left onto Old Mill Road and then an immediate right on Elk River Road.  Follow Elk River Road about 4 miles to the end at a parking area for the waterfall.  The road changes to gravel when it enters the National Forest.

The trail to the waterfall is about a quarter mile and pretty easy.  The trail leads to exposed bedrock at the top of the waterfall and then climbs down to the base of the waterfall, where you can climb out onto the rocks for good views.  This is a really nice waterfall, considering the ease of access.  It's also very popular and has limited parking, so if you plan to visit on a nice day, try to get there early.  The large pool at the base of the waterfall is a popular swimming hole and some people climb around the waterfall to jump in.  Jumping off the waterfall is very dangerous.  People have died here and it's strongly discouraged by the forest service.  If you insist on jumping, use extreme caution as a miscalculation or slip could be fatal.


Here's another picture of the waterfall in the snow:

English Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.91130,-81.96417 (Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 322)
Waterfall GPS: 35.91325,-81.96110

English Falls is a remote waterfall on a tributary of North Fork Catawba River in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located on the border between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round trip, but exceedingly difficult.

To visit the falls, head north from Marion on US-221.  In about 9 miles, turn left on NC-226 north and go about 5.5 miles up the escarpment to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Turn right to go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 8.7 miles and pull off on the grassy shoulder of the Parkway near milepost 322.

From the pull-off, hike north on the parkway past the guard rail.  As the road curves to the left, go right into the woods.  Head down through the thick shrubs until you come out at the creek above the waterfall.  Cross the creek wherever is easiest.  There are some steep cliffs that you'll have to manuever around and get to the base of the cliffs and then to the base of the waterfall.  Be sure to have a topo map as there is no trail.  Also beware of yellow jackets - I got stung here and another friend also got stung here another time.

Enloe Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.60907,-83.22268 (Parking area along Straight Fork Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.61128,-83.26120

Enloe Creek Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The hike to the falls is about 7 miles round trip and strenuous, requiring off-trail hiking to find it.  See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for more detail.

Entrance Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05083,-83.04821

Entrance Falls is a cascading waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.  This waterfall lies at the entrance to the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream past Nasty Falls.  The river right side is exposed rock to climb down.  From here, it's a short ways to Entrance Falls that marks the beginning of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.

Exit Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05053,-83.04731

Exit Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.  This waterfall lies at the exit of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream past Nasty Falls.  The river right side is exposed rock to climb down.  From here, it's a short ways to Entrance Falls that marks the beginning of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.  Just upstream of Entrance Falls is a path on river-left that leads into the woods.  Follow this trail as it circumnavigates the canyon.  It starts out easy but becomes exceedingly steep as you get down towards the river.  There were ropes to assist in the decent.  The very last part is pretty much a full-on rappel.  The trail ends at sandy beach at the base of Exit Falls.  You can get to the top by climbing through a cave near the base of the waterfall.

Fall Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.54075,-79.98260 (Pull-off on DeShazo Road)
Waterfall GPS: 36.54114,-79.98481

Fall Creek Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on Fall Creek in Rockingham County.  The waterfall is located in an currently-undeveloped section of Mayo River State Park.  The hike to the falls is less than a half-mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head north on US-220 from Mayodan.  3.5 miles north of where US-220 and US-220 Bus merge, take the Smith Road exit and turn left on Smith Road.  Drive 4.9 miles on Smith Road and turn left on Anglin Mill Road.  In 0.4 miles, turn right on DeShazo Road, which changes to gravel.  In just under 1 mile from the turn, look for a grassy spot to pull off on the right immediately after the bridge over Fall Creek.  From the parking spot, cross the road where a bunch of wooden posts indicate state park property.  Follow the trail less than a quarter-mile to the waterfall.

Flat Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.20970,-83.02836 (End of FSR-4662)
Waterfall GPS: 35.22039,-83.03287

Flat Creek Falls is a spectacular 200-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 7 miles round trip and extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 (Blue Ridge Road) from the intersection with US-64 in Lake Toxaway.  Drive about 9.2 miles on NC-281 (it changes from Blue Ridge Road to Canada Road in about 6.8 miles) and turn right on Rock Bridge Road, a narrow gravel road.  Bear right at the first fork in about three-quarters of a mile and then bear right again at just under two miles.  You will now be on Forest Service Road 4662 (Flat Creek Road).  There is a Forest Service Sign at this second junction, but sometimes its obscured by foliage.  Once on FSR-4662, go about 2 miles to the end and park.

The way to the falls that I describe is very difficult, but stays on National Forest property as best I can tell.  There is a slightly easier way to visit that involves trespassing, so I won't describe.  None of this hike is on official trails and its very easy to get lost in this rugged area.  A GPS and topo map is recommended.  From the parking area, cross Flat Creek either by wading or crossing on the logs over the creek.  Once across follow the old logging road to a campsite.  Look for a path to the right that crosses some jeep mounds.  This trail starts off pretty easy but gets more overgrown and difficult to follow.  As the trail circumvents a drainage, a downed tree made finding the path difficult.  Eventually, this trail comes out on another old logging road.  Be sure to mark the spot where you come out as it will be difficult to find on the return.  There is a plastic pipe in the ground at the turn, but it can tough to spot.

Turn right and follow this old road.  In about three-quarters of a mile, there is a split - go right.  As you get closer to the falls, a faint path to the right leads to the top of the waterfall.  There aren't really great views from here.  Continue on the logging road for about 1.5 miles from the turn off on a very faint path right at about the point where the road would enter private property.  Follow this path for a couple hundred feet and look for a spot to go down to the right.  There is absolutely no trail and it is incredibly steep.  Just keep heading down and in a general east direction towards Flat Creek.  Eventually you'll come out on a path - turn right and follow the path upstream, staying on the right side of the river.  As you near the waterfall, you'll have to make a wet crossing of Flat creek and then scramble up rocks to the base.  Although a difficult hike, this waterfall is fantastic and worth the effort.

Fungi Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27424,-82.26170 (Gated Game Land Access Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27629,-82.25113

Fungi Falls is a tall waterfall on Ostin Creek in Polk County.  The waterfall is located in Green River Game Lands.  The hike to the falls is a bit over 2 miles round trip and very difficult.

To visit the falls, take exit 59 from I-26 near Saluda.  Go north on Holbert Cove Road and drive a total of just under 5 miles to a gated road on the right.  Park here without blocking the gate.  I believe the road may be open during hunting season, in which case you could drive to the end and cut about 1.5 miles off the hike.

From the trailhead, hike (or drive if the gate is open) down the gated game lands access road to the end in about three-quarters of a mile.  Note that the road borders private property so stay on the road until the end.  At the end of the road, hike over the jeep mound and cross Ostin Creek.  There's some semblance of a path heading downstream, but it is difficult to follow.  You will pass by the top of Fungi Falls and may be able to hear it.  As the path bears right around a ridge, look for a smaller path to the left and take this path.  It heads down to a small tributary.  Cross the tributary and follow it down to Ostin Creek.  There's no path and it's extremely steep, so very difficult bushwhacking.  The base of Fungi Falls is right where the tributary flows into Ostin Creek.  The views aren't great and you can't see the entire waterfall.

Gage Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28636,-82.97369 (Pull-off on FR-4648)
Waterfall GPS: 35.29245,-82.97491

Gage Creek Falls is a small but scenic waterfall on Gage Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nanatahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a mile round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 8 miles and turn right on NC-215 north just before Rosman.  Drive just under 14 miles and turn left on Charleys Creek Road.  Go about 5.2 miles and turn right on the gravel Harris Cemetery Lane right before a bridge over Gage Creek.  In about a quarter-mile, bear right at the fork onto Forest Road 4648 and go just under three quarters of a mile and pull off before the road fords Gage Creek.

From the pull-off hike up the old road to the right (not FR-4648) and cross Gage Creek in about 0.1 miles.  The old road picks up on the other side and continue to follow Gage Creek upstream.  The waterfall is in less than a half-mile.  It's not a big waterfall, but I thought it was very scenic and worth the rather easy hike to visit.

Glassmine Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.73430,-82.34435 (Mile Post 361.2 on Blue Ridge Parkway)
Waterfall GPS: 35.73524,-82.33179

Glassmine Falls is an 800-foot waterfall on Glassmine Branch in Buncombe County.  The waterfall is located on land that is part of the Asheville watershed and so access is prohibited.  However, you can see it from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

To visit the falls, get on the Blue Ridge Parkway going northbound from Asheville.  The overlook is at mile post 361.2, in between Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell.  Although it's high, the watershed is small and there might not be a waterfall during dry times.  It's also rather far away, but the overlook makes a worthwhile stop even if you don't come to see the waterfall.

Glen Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.03345,-83.23560 (Glen Falls Scenic Area parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.03153,-83.23840

Glen Falls is a spectacular series of waterfalls on East Fork Overlook Creek in Macon County, just outside Highlands.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, turn onto NC-106 east from the US-64 in downtown Highlands and drive 1.8 miles.  At the sign for Glen Falls Scenic Area, turn left onto Holt Road and then an immediate right onto Glen Falls Road (gravel).  Follow this road for 1.1 miles to the parking area at the turnaround.

From the parking area, follow the Glen Falls Trail (#8) as it heads downstream along East Fork Overlook Creek, soon reaching to top of the waterfall.  You can't see much of the waterfall from here, but the views looking out over Blue Valley are fantastic.


Continue down the stairs and switchbacks to reach the upper portion of the falls, which is about a 70-foot total drop with a split free fall and cascades.


This would impressive by itself, but there's more.  Continue heading down to reach the second falls, a 60-foot cascade.  I think this is the most scenic part of the waterfall.  The path continues down to a lower falls, but I haven't been down to that one yet.

Glen Burney Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.13263,-81.68043 (Glen Burney Trail Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.12347,-81.68413

Glen Burney Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on New Years Creek in Watauga County.  The waterfall is located along the Glen Burney Trail in land owned by the town of Blowing Rock.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip or a little longer if including Glen Marie Falls.  See my Glen Burney Trail page for directions and more description.

Glen Marie Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.13263,-81.68043 (Glen Burney Trail Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.12151,-81.68448

Glen Marie Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on New Years Creek in Caldwell County.  The waterfall is located along the Glen Burney Trail in land owned by the town of Blowing Rock.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2.5 miles round trip and includes Glen Burney Falls and the Cascades.  See my Glen Burney Trail page for directions and more description.

Gragg Prong Upper Waterfall:

Gragg Prong Upper Waterfall is a series of short drops and slides along its namesake creek in Avery County.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek Page for directions and more description.

Gragg Prong Lower Waterfall:

Gragg Prong Lower Waterfall is a long sliding waterfall over exposed bedrock along its namesake creek in Avery County.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek Page for directions and more description.

Grassy Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.19108,-82.62330 (High Falls Parking Area)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19527,-82.60854

Grassy Creek Falls is a sliding waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in DuPont State Forest.  The hike to the falls is about four miles round trip and moderate in difficult.  See my DuPont State Forest page for more details and description.

Green Mountain Creek Waterfall:

Waterfall on Green Mountain Creek is an unnamed roadside waterfall along US-221 outside Blowing Rock in Watauga County.  I haven't found this waterfall listed in a book or online, but my wife and I found it while exploring the area.  The waterfall is thus unnamed, but it's on Green Mountain Creek.  It's about ten feet tall and quite scenic for a relatively unknown roadside waterfall.

To visit the waterfall, head south on US-221 from Blowing Rock for about 8 miles.  Right at the Caldwell-Watauga County line, park in the pulloff on the side of the road.  The waterfall is visible on the right side of the road if you're heading south from Blowing Rock.  You can hop down to the creek from the road for the best views of the waterfall.

Grogan Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28431,-82.79172 (Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education Parking Lot)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27187,-82.80870

Waterfall on Grogan Creek is 20-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  It's located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round trip and moderate; you'll pass Waterfall on Cedar Rock Creek on the way.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 for 5.2 miles and turn left on Forest Road 475 at the sign for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Pisgah Fish Hatchery.  Go about 1.5 miles and turn left into the large parking lot for the wildlife center/fish hatchery.

Walk to the back of the parking lot and onto the gated road and then turn right onto the orange-blazed Cat Gap Loop Trail (#120) right after the bridge.  In about a mile, you'll pass Waterfall on Cedar Rock Creek and then a campsite.  Shortly after the campsite, turn right on the blue-blazed Butter Gap Trail.  The trail passes through Picklesimer Fields and then heads upstream along Grogan Creek.  About a mile from the turn, you should be able to hear the waterfall down and to the left.  Scramble down from the trail to the base of the waterfall.

Harper Creek Falls:

Harper Creek Falls is a beautiful double waterfall on its namesake creek in Caldwell County.  There are great swimming holes beneath both sections of the waterfall, which is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek Page for directions and more description.

Hebron Colony Falls:

Hebron Colony Falls is a waterfall over the Hebron Rock Colony along Boone Fork in Watauga County.  The waterfall is located in Pisgah National Forest, but the only way to visit is through Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Blowing Rock.  See my Julian Price Memorial Park page for directions and more description.

Hickory Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.69116,-82.19653 (Parking at Curtis Creek Campground on FSR-482)
Waterfall GPS: 35.69358,-82.18821

Hickory Branch Falls is a 30-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Curtis Creek area in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 1 mile round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head east on US-70 from Old Fort for about 2 miles and turn left on Curtis Creek Road.  Curtis Creek Road changes to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 482 when it enters the forest.  Drive a total of 5 miles to the Curtis Creek Campground and park on the left just after crossing over Curtis Creek on a bridge.

The hike begins just beyond the campground on the orange-blazed Hickory Branch Trail (#213).  Cross the road from the parking area and walk in between two campsites to the trailhead.  The trail heads up and then down a ridge and then crosses Hickory Branch.  Once across, turn left and follow the creek upstream.  There's another creek crossing and then the trail swings around a small tributary.  As the trail approaches Hickory Branch again, look for a side path that heads down to the creek and upstream to the base of the waterfall.  A tree had fallen right on it when I visited so I had to get to the other side of the creek for a picture.

Hidden Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.39393,-80.26679 (Hanging Rock Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.39913,-80.26033

Hidden Falls in Stokes County is a small waterfall along Indian Creek in Hanging Rock State Park.  The waterfall is about a thirteen-foot tiered drop.  Although it's not a very impressive waterfall, it's right on the way to Window Falls and worth a quick stop.  See my Hanging Rock State Park page for directions and more description.

High Falls (Beech Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 34.99875,-83.55669 (Lower parking along FSR-56)
Trailhead GPS: 35.01413,-83.55614 (Upper parking at end of FSR-56)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01479,-83.52786

High Falls is a spectacular 100-foot waterfall on Beech Creek in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is part of the strenuous 8.5-mile Beech Creek loop hike.  See my Southern Nantahala Wilderness page for directions and more description.

High Falls (Little River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.19108,-82.62330 (High Falls Parking Area)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19282,-82.61361

High Falls is a 100-foot waterfall on Little River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in DuPont State Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a mile round trip or longer if you include other waterfalls on the river.  See my DuPont State Forest page for more details and description.

High Falls (South Fork Mills River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.36656,-82.73875 (Parking Area at end of FSR 476)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34926,-82.73215

High Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on South Fork Mills River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty, including a river wade.

To visit the falls, get on US-276 north from the intersection of US-64 east of Brevard.  Drive 11.8 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 1206 (Yellow Gap Road).  Go 3.3 miles on this gravel road and turn right on FSR 476 (Wolf Ford Road).  Follow this road for about 1.3 miles to the end and park before the gate.

Begin hiking down South Mills River Trail (#133), which is an extension of FSR 476 past the gate.  In just over a half-mile, there is a deep pool called Otter Hole that looks like a good place to swim when the weather is warm.  In about a mile, the trail turns to the right and crosses the river on a big bridge.  Don't cross on the bridge.  Instead continue going straight and cross Billy Branch and continue following the river downstream on the same side of the river.  There's no official trail, but the path is pretty easy to follow.  In about a half-mile, cross West Ridge Branch.  Soon after this, the trail curves to the left and then soon you'll come to the river crossing.  There is a rope strung across the river to assist in wading.  Once across, continue to follow the path downstream and soon you should be able to hear the waterfall and see it through the trees.  A steep scramble path leads to a nice area at the base of the falls.  Despite the name, the waterfall is not particularly high.  I guess it's the highest waterfall on this river and that's where it got the name.

High Falls (Thompson River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.07795,-82.99367 (Pull off on Brewer Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.07030,-82.99432

High Falls is a 50-foot waterfall on Thompson River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 3.7 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and turn left onto Brewer Road and park along the side of the road.

Right at the turn for Brewer Road, start hiking up the gated logging road.  In about a mile from the start, you will see a path that splits to the right.  This is the trail to High Falls.  After this side trail, the main trail switchbacks down and leads to a ford over Thompson River.  If you reach the ford, you've too far.  Follow the side trail, which curves around a ridge and follows Thompson River upstream.  In about a half-mile from the turn, there is a side trail on the left as the trail starts to curve right.  You should be able to hear High Falls from here.  Take the side trail to the left that leads steeply down to the river at the base of High Falls.  You can't really see the waterfall from here, so you'll have to wade across the river for a good view of the falls.

High Falls (West Fork Tuckasegee River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.21035,-83.14788 (Shoal Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.20414,-83.15984

High Falls on West Fork Tuckasegee River is a 120-foot waterfall in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located on property owned by Duke Energy, but the public is allowed access.  The hike to the falls is a little less than 4 miles round trip.

To visit the falls, head north from US-64 in Cashiers on NC-107 for 8.4 miles.  Turn left on Shoal Creek Road; it's a sharp turn, almost 90 degrees.  Right away, you should see a gated road on the right.  Park along the gravel road here, without blocking the gate or the road.

From the parking area, hike down the gated road.  Pay attention to the signs.  This is private property, but the landowner is nice enough to allow the general public access to view the natural resources.  Please be respectful and abide by the rules.  In just over a quarter mile, there is a fork - go left.  The trail loops around and follows West Fork Tuckaseegee River upstream.  In about 1.5 miles from the start, you'll pass Thurston Hatcher Falls across the river.  It's about another quarter-mile to the base of High Falls.  The picture below is what it normally looks like.


The waterfall is below the dam on Lake Glenville and most of the water is diverted for hydroelectric generation.  A few times a year, Duke Energy opens the dam for whitewater kayakers.  The following picture is what it looks like during a whitewater release (and what it used to look like before the dam was constructed).


Here's a video of the falls during a whitewater release:

High Shoals Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.60225,-81.62949 (Jacob Fork Parking Area in South Mountains State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.59448,-81.63553

High Shoals Falls is a 50-foot waterfall on Jacob Fork in Burke County.  The waterfall is located in South Mountains State Park.  The hike to the falls is under 2 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, take exit 104 from I-40 in Morganton onto Enola Road.  In about 0.7 miles, turn turn left on Old Colony Road and then right onto Old NC-18.  Follow this road for 10 miles, then turn right on Ward Gap Road and go 1.5 miles.  Turn right on South Mountain Park Road and follow this into the park and park at the last parking area at the end of the road (Jacob Fork Parking Area).

The High Shoals Falls Trail begins at the far end of the parking lot.  The trail is initially an old road then becomes more of a trail as it follow Jacob Fork upstream.  As you approach the waterfall, the trail becomes steeper and there are a number of steps to reach the viewing platform for the waterfall.

Hooker Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.20319,-82.61900 (Hooker Falls Parking Area in DuPont State Forest)
Waterfall GPS: 35.20191,-82.62338

Hooker Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on Little River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in DuPont State Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip and easy.  See my DuPont State Forest page for directions and more details.

Horseshoe Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.22208,-82.97241 (Pull-off on Wolf Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.23081,-82.96668

Horseshoe Falls is an 80-foot waterfall on a tributary of Tanasee Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty with a bushwhack at the end.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 from Lake Toxaway for about 11 miles and turn right on Tanasee Creek Road.  The turn is right after the bridge over Tanasee Creek where it starts to form Tanasee Creek Lake.  Go 1 mile and turn left/straight onto Wolf Mountain Road.  The pull-off will be on the right in 0.4 miles.  Note that Wolf Mountain Road becomes 4WD shortly after the pull-off.

An old logging road starts from the end of the parking area and follows Tanasee Creek upstream high above the creek.  In just over a half-mile you'll come to an open section after crossing a small creek.  Go right to stay on National Forest property.  Continue another 3/4 of a mile and you'll come to another creek crossing.  Horseshoe Falls is upstream on this creek.  Cross the creek and bushwhack up the river-left side.  You'll have to maneuver around some cliffs to come out at the side of the waterfall.

House Creek Tributary Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.81146,-78.69106 (Horton Street Parking for House Creek Trail)
Waterfall GPS: 35.81474,-78.68794

Waterfall on Tributary of House Creek is a seasonal waterfall in Wake County.  The waterfall is located just off House Creek Trail, a part of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway, near Lake Boone Trail.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a mile round trip and easy.  This waterfall only exists after a heavy rain, but when it's flowing, it's quite scenic considering it's inside the Raleigh Beltline.  See my Capital Area Greenway page for directions and description.

Hunt Fish Falls:

Hunt Fish Falls in Avery County is a waterfall along Lost Cove Creek in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  It consists of 2 drops of about 10 feet.  It's not a huge or impressive waterfall, but the swimming opportunities are great and as such, it's a very popular spot, especially on a warm summer weekend day.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Indian Camp Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.08847,-82.93984

Indian Camp Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Bearwallow Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in Gorges State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about 4 miles round trip and very difficult, including bushwhacking.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Indian Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.46445,-83.43410 (Deep Creek Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.47275,-83.42731

Indian Creek Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is located in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The hike to the falls is an easy 1.6 miles round trip. See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for directions and more detail.

John's Jump:

Trailhead GPS: 35.06716,-83.00762 (Pull off on NC-281)
Waterfall GPS: 35.06782,-83.00720

John's Jump is 25-foot waterfall on Mill Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 5 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and pull into a grassy parking area on the side of the road on the left.  The parking area is less than 0.1 miles past the trailhead for D.E.W. Falls.  From the north side of the grassy parking area, a short, but steep trail leads down to the base of the waterfall.

Jumping Fish Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.48429,-78.90368 (Raven Rock Bridle Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.48136,-78.91014

Jumping Fish Falls is a 5-foot waterfall on Avents Creek in Harnett County.  The waterfall is located in Raven Rock State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round trip and moderate.  See my Raven Rock State Park page for directions and more information.

Juney Whank Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.46445,-83.43410 (Deep Creek Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.46651,-83.43504

Juney Whank Falls is a waterfall on Juney Whank Branch in Swain County in two sections, totalling 90 feet.  The waterfall is located in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The hike to the waterfall is 0.8 miles round trip.  See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for directions and more detail.

Kiesee Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27117,-82.88791 (Pull-off on FSR-140)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27917,-82.88204

Kiesee Falls is a scenic waterfall on Kiesee Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is less than two miles round trip, but extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about 10 miles.  Near Rosman, turn right on NC-215.  Drive for 10.5 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 140 (Courthouse Creek Road).  Drive 2.3 miles on the gravel road to the second sharp left hand curve and find a place to pull over.  If there's no room at the here, drive a short ways further to find a bigger pull-off.

The hike to the falls begins on the old path leading up from the curve.  There is a yellow Closed to Vehicles sign to know you're on the right path.  The first half-mile is pretty easy to follow until you come to a split.  Left leads to Upper Kiesee Falls.  Go right and the trail soon becomes little better than nothing.  You'll have to bushwhack around rhododendron and keep following the path upstream along Kiesee Creek.  In about 0.2 miles from the split, the path ends.  You have to climb down on the rocks and cross the creek and head upstream on the opposite side.  It's mostly a bushwhack through dog hobble.  Soon you'll come to a small waterfall just downstream of Kiesee Falls.  Climb up from here on the overgrown path to a point where its an open cliff face.  Some people climb up the cliff face and scale across and then go down to the base of the waterfall.  I think I found an easier way.  Carefully go down the exposed rock face towards the creek and use the many down trees in the creek here to get upstream to the base.

Kiesee Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27117,-82.88791 (Pull-off on FSR-140)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27954,-82.88155

Upper Kiesee Falls is a waterfall on Kiesee Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 1.5 miles round trip and difficult.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Kiesee Falls above.  When you reach the fork at 0.5 miles, bear left and go about another quarter-mile to another split.  It was marked with a cairn when we visited.  Bear right and follow the path down to the creek.  The last section is a steep, slick rock and makes it difficult to get down to see the waterfall.  Once down, rock hop across the creek for the best views.

Lanier Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.46375,-78.91360 (Raven Rock Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.47909,-78.93066

Lanier Falls is a small drop on Cape Fear River in Harnett County.  The waterfall is located in Raven Rock State Park.  It's more of a rapid than a waterfall, but it's marked on the topo map and rather impressive considering how far east it is.  The hike to the falls is about 5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.  See my Raven Rock State Park page for directions and more information.

Laurel Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.25405,-81.85268 (Pull-off on US-321)
Waterfall GPS: 36.25259,-81.85287

Laurel Creek Falls, also called Trash Can Falls, is a 15-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Watauga County.  The pool at the base of the waterfall is a popular swim hole with students at nearby Appalachian State University.  The hike to the falls is very short.

To visit the falls, head west of Boone on US-421.  At the junction, go west on US-321 for 5.4 miles to a pull-off on the right.  It's just a little ways past the bridge over Watauga River.  Park here and be sure to be completely off the road.  Cross the road and there's a makeshift path the leads upstream along Laurel Creek to the waterfall.  There are some cascades right above the road.  The waterfall and swim hole is just above these cascades.  I believe the nickname for this waterfall came from the fact that there used to be a dumpster at the pull-off and this was used as a landmark to find it.  It seems much too nice to be called Trash Can!

Leatherwood Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.09581,-83.85854 (Fires Creek Picnic Area)
Waterfall GPS: 35.09631,-83.85898

Leatherwood Falls is a 30-foot waterfall on Leatherwood Branch, a tributary of Fires Creek, in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Fires Creek Recreation Area in Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The waterfall is visible from the picnic area, but the view isn't great.

To visit the falls, go north on Tusquitee Street from Hayesville and cross Hiwasee River.  Turn left on Fires Creek Road and drive 4.6 miles.  Turn right on Fires Creek Wildlife Road and go just under 2 miles to Fires Creek Picnic Area on the left.  Leatherwood Falls is visible across Fires Creek from the picnic area.  The water level was too high to wade when we visited, so not really a great view.

Linville Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.95595,-81.92844 (Linville Falls Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.94967,-81.92657

Linville Falls is a beautiful waterfall on Linville River in Burke County.  The waterfall is located in the Linville Falls area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The hike to the falls is around 2 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty, depending on which overlook you go to.  See my Linville Falls page for more description and directions.

Little Bradley Falls:

Little Bradley Falls is a pretty 35-foot tiered waterfall on Cove Creek in Green River Game Land.  The falls are just a short distance outside of Saluda in Polk County on the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

To visit the falls, take exit 59 on I-26/US-74 for Saluda and turn onto Holbert Cove Road (SR-1142) heading away from Saluda.  At just over 3 miles from the exit, stop at the pull-off on the side of the road, just before the road crosses Cove Creek.

The trail to Little Bradley Falls is just over a mile one way.  From the parking area, cross the street at the bridge over Cove Creek and pick up the red-blazed trail that follows the creek upstream.  About half way down the trail, it crosses the creek.  It is possible, but a little tricky, to cross the creek on rocks and logs without getting your feet wet.  If the water is too high or you don't feel comfortable, just wade across.  The trail continues past the ruins of some old chimneys before reaching the base of the waterfall.

Little Canyon Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05059,-83.04761

Little Canyon Falls is a 8-foot waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.  This waterfall lies within the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream past Nasty Falls.  The river right side is exposed rock to climb down.  From here, it's a short ways to Entrance Falls that marks the beginning of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.  Just upstream of Entrance Falls is a path on river-left that leads into the woods.  Follow this trail as it circumnavigates the canyon.  It starts out easy but becomes exceedingly steep as you get down towards the river.  There were ropes to assist in the decent.  The very last part is pretty much a full-on rappel.  Once at the base of Exit Falls work your way through the cave hear up to a spot about half-way up Exit Falls.  Continue on to an overhanging ledge and climb up and bushwhack up and to the left.  You'll come out at the top of Exit Falls.  Use the rope to rappel down, carefully cross the top of Exit Falls and climb up the rocks on river-right.  You will come out to a spot where you can view Little Canyon Falls.  Alternately, you can swim from the top of Exit Falls to the base of Little Canyon Falls.

Little Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.49243,-83.37091 (Cooper Creek Trout Farm)
Waterfall GPS: 35.50634,-83.37268

Little Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The hike to the falls is about 3 miles round trip, but the trailhead is on private property at the Cooper Creek Trout Farm.

To visit the falls, head north on US-19 from Bryson City for about 3 miles and turn left on Cooper Creek Road.  The road changes to gravel in about 1.5 miles.  Drive a total of about 3.5 miles to Cooper Creek Trout Farm at the end of the road.  This is private property, but the owners allow public access.  Visitors must sign in and out before hiking and must be off the property at closing time when the gate is locked.  View their website for more information before visiting: http://www.coopercreektroutfarm.com/

From the parking area, continue down the road, which enters the park shortly and becomes Cooper Creek Trail.  Hike 0.6 miles to a crossing of Little Creek and turn left on Deeplow Gap Trail.  This trail follows Little Creek upstream, crossing the creek and then ascending via switchbacks.  In under a mile from the turn, the trail crosses the creek again at the base of the waterfall.

Little Fall Branch Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.75760,-82.97753 (Turnaround on FSR 3526)
Waterfall GPS: 35.75514,-82.97633

Waterfall on Little Fall Branch is a 40-foot waterfall in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Harmon Den area of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is an easy half-mile round trip.  The path leading to the falls explodes with wildflowers in late April.

To visit the falls, take exit 7 (Harmon Den) from I-40, shortly before the Tennessee state line.  If coming from the east, turn right after exiting onto Cold Springs Creek Road; if coming from the west, turn left.  Cold Springs Creek Road immediately turns to gravel as it enters the forest and becomes Forest Service Road 148.  In 3.7 miles, turn right on Fall Branch Road (FSR 3526) on go 0.3 miles, passing the picnic area and horse camp.  The road is gated at the end - park in the turnaround.

Hike past the gate and you'll cross over Little Fall Branch.  Immediately after cross, turn left and follow the creek upstream.  There's no official trail, but it's easy to follow the makeshift path where others have gone.  In a little over a quarter-mile, you'll reach the base of the waterfall.  If you visit in the spring when wildflowers are blooming, it may take a lot longer than expected to reach the waterfall as you'll be stopping so frequently to view the beautiful wildflowers!

Little Lost Cove Creek Upper Waterfall:

The Upper Waterfall on Little Lost Cove Creek is a nice waterfall on its namesake creek in Avery County.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Little Lost Cove Creek Lower Waterfall

The Lower Waterfall on Little Lost Cove Creek is a 50-foot sliding waterfall just downstream of the Upper Waterfall in Avery County.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Log Hollow Branch Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.32642,-82.80194 (Pull-off on FSR 475B)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32384,-82.80789

Waterfall on Log Hollow Branch is a 30-foot cascading waterfall in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is an easy 1-mile round trip hike on an old road.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 in Pisgah Forest for 10.3 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 475B (Headwaters Road).  If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, go south on US-276 for 4.6 miles and turn right on FSR 475B.  Drive 1.6 miles on the gravel road to a pull-off in a sharp left-hand curve.  There is a large informational Forest Service sign at the pull-off.

Hike down the gated Forest Road 5043 for about a half-mile to the second bridge on this old road, which is over Log Hollow Branch.  You can see the waterfall from the bridge, but for a better view, hike up the short path just over the bridge for a closer view of the waterfall.

Log Hollow Branch Northern Tributary Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.32642,-82.80194 (Pull-off on FSR 475B)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32760,-82.80911

Waterfall on Northern Tributary of Log Hollow Branch is a 50-foot waterfall on an unnamed tributary of Log Hollow Branch in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The hike to the falls is a moderate 1-mile round trip, half on an old road and half off-trail.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to the trailhead for Waterfall on Log Hollow above.  Hike down the gated Forest Road 5043 for about a quarter-mile to the first bridge on the road.  Just before the bridge, there is a faint path heading upstream along the tributary.  It's not an official trail, but pretty easy to follow.  Follow this path for about a quarter-mile to the waterfall.  It gets a little steep towards the end, but nothing too bad.  This tributary can have pretty low water flow, as can be seen in the picture below, so the best time to visit would be right after a good rain.

Log Hollow Branch Southern Tributary Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.32642,-82.80194 (Pull-off on FSR 475B)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32121,-82.81118

Waterfall on Southern Tributary of Log Hollow Branch is a 75-foot waterfall on an unnamed tributary of Log Hollow Branch in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The hike to the waterfall is an easy 2-mile round trip on an old road.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to the trailhead for Waterfall on Log Hollow above.  Hike down Forest Road 5043 for about a mile and the waterfall is right along the side of the road.  Like the Waterfall on Northern Tributary of Log Hollow Branch, this waterfall can have very low water flow, so the best time to visit is after a good rain.

Long Branch Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28075,-82.83446 (Gated FSR 5095)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27892,-82.82491

Waterfall on Long Branch is a waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  It's located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 for 5.2 miles and turn right on Forest Road 475 at the sign for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Pisgah Fish Hatchery.  Go about 4.2 miles and park at the gated Forest Road 5095 without blocking the gate.

Hike past the gate and continue on Forest Road 5095 for just under a mile to where the road crosses Long Branch.  The waterfall is just upstream from this point, but you can't see it from here.  Just before the crossing, look for a steep trail heading up along the creek that's barely visible.  Climb up here to the base of the waterfall and get out onto the rocks and logs in the water for the best view.  When we visited, it had been raining heavily all day, so the waterfall was flowing more than usual.  The upper drop was so forceful that it looked like the water was exploding out.  However, the wet conditions made it difficult to get to a spot for a good picture without branches and foliage in the way.  It's hard to see the upper freefall portion of the waterfall in the picture below.

Looking Glass Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.29634,-82.76948 (Parking area on US-276)
Waterfall GPS: 35.29620,-82.76887

Looking Glass Falls is beautiful 60-foot waterfall on Looking Glass Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 for 5.7 miles, approximately a half-mile past the turn for Forest Service Road 475.  There is a parking area on the right side of the road.  Alternately, if coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, go south on US-276 for 9.4 miles; the parking area will be on the left.

The waterfall can be seen from the road and there is a handicapped-accessible viewing platform.  For a closer look, head down the stairs to two additional viewing platforms.  Looking Glass Falls is a beautiful and very easy to visit waterfall, one of the most popular in the area.  As such, expect a crowd most of the time.

Lower Falls (Big Sandy Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 36.38376, -81.02645 (Upper Trailhead Parking at Stone Mountain State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 

Lower Falls is a small sliding waterfall on Big Sandy Creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located in Stone Mountain State Park.  The hike to the falls is about 2 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty, though getting to the base of this waterfall can be quite difficult.  See my Stone Mountain State Park page for directions and more description.

McGalliard Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.76410,-81.57006 (McGalliard Falls Park parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.76519,-81.56881

McGalliard Falls is a 45-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Burke County.  The waterfall is located in McGalliarrd Falls Park, a Valdese City Park.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, take exit 112 from I-40 at Valdese.  Go north on Eldred Street for 1.2 miles and bear right on Laurel Street for 1.4 miles. Turn left on Meytre Avenue and then right on Falls Road in about a half-mile.  The entrance to the park will be on the right.

From the parking area, hike down the short trail to the waterfall.  There's an old grist mill and water wheel right next to the waterfall.

Melrose Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.22192,-82.30707 (Pull-off on US-176)
Waterfall GPS: 35.22050,-82.29873

Melrose Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on Big Fall Creek in Polk County.  The waterfall is located on land owned by Pacolet Area Conservancy and public access is allowed.  The hike to the falls is about 1.5 miles round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, take exit 59 from I-26 near Saluda. Head south on Ozone Road for just under a mile and turn left on US-176 E.  Follow US-176 for 3.3 miles to an old road on the right.  The road is blocked by boulders to prevent vehicular traffic.  The pull-off is in between two bridges over North Pacolet River.

Hike up the old road towards the waterfall.  There are two forks in the trail - at the first bear left and at the second bear right.  In about three-quarters of a mile, you'll reach the waterfall.  A steep path leads down to a rock outcrop near the middle of the falls with decent views.

Middle Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.00693,-83.32907 (Pull-off on NC-106)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01056,-83.33121

Middle Creek Falls is a beautiful 75-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a mile round trip and very difficult.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-106 from Highlands.  In 9.3 miles from the intersection with US-64, pull off on the right side of the road at a yellow school bus sign.

From the parking area, a steep path heads down the bank crossing under a powerline clearing and reaching a split.  Left goes to Upper Middle Creek Falls.  Go straight and follow the path towards a ridgeline.  It's hard to follow.  Soon you'll come to the top of Middle Creek Falls, but you can't see much from here.  Look for a very overgrown path that swings away from the creek and heads downstream.  There was flagging tape when we visited.  Eventually, you should come out at a spot roughly in the middle of the waterfall with a nice view of the main drop.

Middle Creek Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.00693,-83.32907 (Pull-off on NC-106)
Waterfall GPS: 35.00799,-83.32857

Upper Middle Creek Falls is a 40-foot waterfall in several sections on its namesake creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a half-mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Middle Creek Falls above.  At the split right after crossing under the powerline clearing, turn right and follow the path to the base of Upper Creek Falls.  You can scramble around on the rocks to find the best point to view the waterfall.

Middle Falls (Big Sandy Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 36.38376, -81.02645 (Upper Trailhead Parking at Stone Mountain State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 36.38046, -81.04069

Middle Falls is a small sliding waterfall on Big Sandy Creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located in Stone Mountain State Park.  The hike to the falls is about 1.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty, though getting to the base of this waterfall can be quite difficult.  See my Stone Mountain State Park page for directions and more description.

Middle Falls (Snowbird Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 35.26448,-83.93800 (End of FSR 75)
Waterfall GPS: 35.26225,-83.98170

Middle Falls on Snowbird Creek is a scenic waterfall in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Snowbird Backcountry Area in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 10-miles round trip and challenging.

To visit the falls, head north from Robbinsville on US-129 for a mile or so and turn left on NC-143 W.  Go about 3.5 miles and turn right to stay on NC-143 W.  In 2.2 miles, turn left onto Snowbird Road.  Go 3.1 miles and turn right to get on Big Snowbird Road.  This road changes to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 75.  Drive approximately 6 miles to the end of this road for the trailhead.

From the trailhead, begin hiking down Big Snowbird Trail (#64) as it follows Snowbird Creek upstream.  In about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, you'll see the remains of an old car with bullet holes and will have to cross Sassafras Creek.  There's no bridge, but we made it across dry.  Go right to stay on Big Snowbird Trail and you'll pass Big Falls on Snowbird Creek and then come to a footbridge over the creek.  Across the bridge, the trail splits.  Either way will go to Middle Falls, but we went right to take Middle Falls Trail (#64A).  Big Snowbird Trail has a number of wet creek crossings and we opted to stay dry.  The trail steeply climbs up the ridgeline above Snowbird Creek then is more or less level for another mile, where it back down to creek level.  At the split go straight/left, where right continues on Big Snowbird Trail.  In a short ways, turn left again and go less than 0.1 miles to a scramble path on the right that leads down to the creek at the base of the falls.

Midnight Hole:

Trailhead GPS: 35.7518,-83.1101 (Big Creek Trailhead)
Waterfall GPS: 35.73813,-83.12716

Midnight Hole is a 6-foot waterfall on Big Creek in Haywood County. The waterfall is located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hike to the falls is about 2.8 miles round trip and moderate. Although the waterfall itself is not very big, the pool at the base of the falls is a great swim hole. Midnight Hole is also right on the way to Mouse Creek Falls. See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for directions and more description.

Mill Shoals:

Mill Shoals is two waterfalls, one on North Fork French Broad River and the other on Shoal Creek, located in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located on private property belonging to Living Waters Ministry, but the folks here are nice enough to allow public access to see the waterfalls.  If you visit, please be respectful of the property owners.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 9 miles and turn right on NC-215 North.  Go about 7.8 miles and there will be a pull-off on the side of the road, right before Clinic Road.  Coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, go south on NC-215 for about 9 miles to the pull-off.

Hike down to the creek behind the mill to come out at Mill Shoals in less than a tenth of a mile.  The trail continues downstream about a quarter-mile to Bird Rock Falls.  The waterfall straight ahead is French Broad Falls on North Fork French Broad River (first picture below).  The waterfall to the right, next to the old mill, is Shoal Creek Falls (second picture below).  Together, these two waterfalls are Mill Shoals.  Both are only about 15 feet high, but the two waterfalls together makes a lovely scene.


Mingo Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.53406,-83.27618 (Parking area on Mingo Falls Bridge Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.53182,-83.27512

Mingo Falls is a gorgeous 120-foot waterfall on Mingo Creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is locate in the Qualla Indian Reservation outside Cherokee.  The hike to the falls is less than half a mile, but there are a number of stairs to climb.

To visit the falls, head north on US-441 from the junction with US-19 2.2 miles.  Turn right on BIA-441 and then left on Big Cove Road in less than a quarter mile.  Follow Big Cove Road for 4.8 miles and turn right on Mingo Falls Bridge Road,  The parking area is across the bridge.

The trail to the overlook for the waterfall is only about a quarter-mile, but involves climbing up more than 100 stairs.  After the stairs, it levels off and reaches a wooden overlook for the falls.  This waterfall is really beautiful and we visited during dry times.  I'd really like to return when the water level is up.

Mingo Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.53406,-83.27618 (Parking area on Mingo Falls Bridge Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.53179,-83.27403

Upper Mingo Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Mingo Creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is locate in the Qualla Indian Reservation outside Cherokee.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip, but moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Mingo Falls above.  At the top of the stairs, make a sharp left on an steep, overgrown path going away from the trail to Mingo Falls.  In about 0.1 miles, the path switchbacks back towards the waterfall.  There will be a path that comes in from the left; go straight until you get to a rocky area with a fence.  Use caution here as you're close to the top of Mingo Falls.  Scramble over the rocks and follow the path that leads upstream along Mingo Creek a short distance to the waterfall.  Although much smaller than Mingo Falls, Upper Mingo Falls is a really pretty waterfall too.

Mooney Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.02902,-83.49766 (Pull-off on FR-67)
Waterfall GPS: 35.02846,-83.49767

Mooney Falls is a waterfall in two sections on Hemp Patch Branch in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest near Standing Indian Mountain.  The hike to the falls is less than a half-mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head west from Franklin on US-64 for 12 miles and turn left onto Old Murphy Road.  Drive 1.9 miles and turn right onto Forest Road 67 towards Standing Indian Campground.  Drive 7.4 miles to a pull-off on the right at the trailhead.  There's a sign here for Mooney Falls.

From the trailhead, follow the trail down a short ways to a split.  Going left goes to the upper cascading portion of the falls.


Turn right at the split to reach the lower 20-foot drop.

Moore Cove Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.30509,-82.77444 (Parking area on US-276)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31181,-82.77776

Moore Cove Falls is a nice 50-foot waterfall on Moore Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.  The hike to the falls is a pleasant 1.5 mile round trip hike.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from US-64 for about 6.7 miles, approximately one mile past Looking Glass Falls.  There is a parking area on the right side of the road immediately before the highway crosses Looking Glass Creek on a beautiful old bridge.  Alternately, if coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, go south on US-276 for 8.3 miles; the parking area will be on the left.

From the parking area, hike across the creek on the footbridge and follow Moore Cove Trail (#318).  This easy three-quarter-mile trail leads along Moore Creek to the waterfall through a beautiful cove forest.  In the spring time, this is a great area for wildflowers.  There are footbridges over creek crossings, but a few spots can get muddy.  The trail ends at a viewing deck for the waterfall.  Moore Cove Falls plunges about 50 feet over a rock outcrop with a spacious cave behind the waterfall.  Visitors are allowed to go in the cave area for a picnic or to view the waterfall from behind it, but asked not to climb to the top of the falls for safety and environmental considerations.  It's a really cool waterfall, particularly the rock outcrop and cave, and very easy to access.  As such, it's probably the second most popular waterfall after Looking Glass Falls, so don't expect to find solitude.

Moravian Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.08721,-81.18960 (Moravian Falls Campground Office)
Waterfall GPS: 36.08626,-81.19019

Moravian Falls is a 40-foot waterfall in two sections on Moravian Creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located on private property owned by Moravian Falls Campground, but the owners are nice enough to allow the public to access the falls.  Please check in at the campground office before visiting.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-18/NC-16 from US-421 in Wilkesboro.  In just over three miles from US-421, turn right on NC-18 south.  In a half mile, turn left on Falls Road and the campground office will be on the right in 0.5 miles.  After checking in, the waterfall is right across the street.  There is a house and a replica mill next to the waterfall that kind of takes away from the scene, but it's nice for a roadside waterfall.

Mount Hardy Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.30342,-82.90864 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.30401,-82.91984

Mount Hardy Falls is a 100-foot waterfall on a tributary of West Fork Pigeon River in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in Middle Prong Wilderness in Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2.5 miles round trip and moderate

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about nine miles and turn right on NC-215 north.  Drive about 17.5 miles on NC-215 N to a large pull-off on the left side of the road.  The pull-off is just under a half-mile north of the parkway.  If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, take NC-215 N and go 0.4 miles to the pull-off on the left.

From the pull-off, continue down NC-215 a short ways and you should see the Mountains-to-Sea Trail duck into the woods on the left.  You'll cross a creek almost immediately as you enter Middle Prong Wilderness and then cross a larger creek (which is Bubbling Spring Branch).  Once across, follow the MST to the right as it parallels NC-215 on a ridge above the road.  The trail then turns away from the road and heads through an open field.  Hike through the field and bear left to head back into the woods to an easy creek crossing at the headwaters of West Fork Pigeon River.  Look for the tributary coming in from the right.  Get off the MST and bushwhack upstream along this tributary to the base of the waterfall about 0.1 miles upstream.

Mouse Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.7518,-83.1101 (Big Creek Trailhead)
Waterfall GPS: 35.73507,-83.13356

Mouse Creek Falls is a 45-foot waterfall on Mouse Creek, a tributary of Big Creek, in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Big Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round trip and moderate.  Along the way, you'll pass Midnight Hole, a small waterfall with a great swim hole at the base.  See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for directions and more description.

Nasty Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05119,-83.04944

Nasty Falls is a small waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream to Nasty Falls.  I think the name came from the Whitewater community.  There's a bunch of logs and junk at the base, making it look "nasty".  I though the side view from the top was nicer.

Nellie's Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.20970,-83.02836 (End of FSR-4662)
Waterfall GPS: 35.20130,-83.03303

Nellie's Falls is a scenic 30-foot waterfall on Flat Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is under 2 miles round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 (Blue Ridge Road) from the intersection with US-64 in Lake Toxaway.  Drive about 9.2 miles on NC-281 (it changes from Blue Ridge Road to Canada Road in about 6.8 miles) and turn left on Rock Bridge Road, a narrow gravel road.  Bear right at the first fork in about three-quarters of a mile and then bear right again at just under two miles.  You will now be on Forest Service Road 4662 (Flat Creek Road).  There is a Forest Service Sign at this second junction, but sometimes its obscured by foliage.  Once on FSR-4662, go about 2 miles to the end and park.

Begin the hike by crossing Flat Creek, either by wading or crossing on the logs.  Once across take the second left after a hundred feet or so and follow the path heading slightly up.  The trail parallels Flat Creek heading upstream.  At the first junction, bear left to head closer to Flat Creek.  In another quarter-mile, stay straight when another path heads left down to the creek.  In another quarter-mile, the trail basically ends.  Go left and follow a path that leads upstream along Flat Creek.  The path ends at a small cascade below the main falls.  Cross the creek here and head past the big rock to come out at the base of Nellie's Falls.

North Harper Creek Falls:

North Harper Creek Falls is a beautiful 200-foot sliding waterfall on its namesake creek in Avery County, although the entire thing cannot be seen from one point.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

North Shoal Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.17658,-84.23215 (Pull-off on Prospect Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.17823,-84.23449

North Shoal Creek Falls is a beautiful 30-foot waterfall on North Shoal Creek in Cherokee County.  The waterfall is located in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest near Apalachia Lake.  The hike to the falls is under a mile round trip and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, head west from Murphy on US-64 for 7.6 miles and turn right on NC-294 west.  Go 8.7 miles and turn right on Hiwasee Dam Road.  Drive 9.9 miles, crossing Hiwasee Dam, and turn left on Morrow Road.  In 1.6 miles, turn left on gravel Prospect Road.  Drive about 0.6 miles and look for a pull-off.

From the pull-off, bushwhack down towards the lake in a general northwest direction.  It's very open and not too steep, so not bad at all for a bushwhack. One down at lake level, there is a path following North Shoal Creek upstream a short ways to the waterfall.

Otter Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.14970,-81.80905 (Otter Falls Trail parking off Skyland Drive)
Waterfall GPS: 36.14823,-81.80804

Otter Falls is a waterfall on Valley Creek in Watauga County.  The waterfall is located in a small park owned by the town of Seven Devils.  The hike to the waterfall is 1 mile round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-105 from Boone.  At 9.8 miles from US-321, turn right on Seven Devils Road.  Drive 1.3 miles and turn left on Skyland Drive (there's a sign for Otter Falls at the turn).  In three-quarters of a mile, the parking area will be on the left.  It's a small parking area, so try to arrive early to secure a spot.

From the parking area, follow the Red Trail (there's a near the beginning, but it doesn't matter which way you go) about a half-mile to the Blue Trail.  This is also a loop, but the most direct way to the falls is the right path.  You'll pass an overlook and then turn right on the Orange Trail to head down to the falls.

Paradise Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.22556,-83.00348 (Pull-off on NC-281)
Waterfall GPS: 35.22437,-83.00537

Paradise Falls is a waterfall on Wolf Creek in Jackson County, right below the Wolf Creek Lake dam.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is a challenging 1.5-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard.  Just before Lake Toxaway, bear right on NC-281 north and drive 12.6 miles.  Shortly after passing Tanasee Creek Lake and Wolf Creek Lake, there will be a large pull-off on the left.

From the pull-off, you should see a steep trail heading down.  You'll have to cross Wolf Creek a ways upstream of the falls and then continue steeply down.  There's no real trail but it's obvious where others have gone.  As you get closer the waterfall, there will be a split.  Going right leads to the upper portion of the waterfall.  You can get a nice view of the top of the waterfall and the interesting rock formations on the cliffs up here, but be very careful as the rocks in the area are steep and slippery.

Going left and basically straight down leads to the base of the waterfall.  There is a huge pool here that makes a fantastic swim hole when the weather is warm.  Unfortunately, the flow of the creek is controlled by the dam and so most times, the water flow is light.  I would love to come back here when the water is flowing a little better - this would be a spectacular waterfall given the fascinating geology of the surrounding rocks.  Always be very careful down here as the water level is subject to significant changes without notice if the dam overflow gates are adjusted.

Pearson's Falls:

Pearson's Falls is a beautiful 90-foot waterfall on Colt Creek, just outside of Saluda in Polk County.  The falls are located on private property, owned by the Tryon Garden Club, but are publicly accessible.  There is a $5 fee per person to visit the waterfall.

To visit the falls, take exit 59 on I-26/US-74 for Saluda and turn on Ozone Road.  Turn left on US-176 east and go about 3 miles and turn right on Pearson Falls Road.  The entrance to the falls will be on the left in about a mile.  The property is well signed and easy to find.

After paying the entrance fee at the guard shack, go to the parking area.  From here, the short Pearson Family Trail leads upstream along Colt Creek, reaching the base of the falls in about 0.3 miles.  Although the trail is short and well-maintained, there are roots and rocks and other tripping hazards.  There are restrooms near the parking area and picnic tables throughout to enjoy a picnic lunch in the glen.  Do not cross any of the fences near the creek or falls as they are erected to ensure visitor safety.

Philips Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.97285,-81.76556 (Parking on Brown Mountain Beach Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.96856,-81.77135

Philips Branch Falls is a 50-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Caldwell County.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 1 mile round trip and moderate in difficulty, though the scramble down to the base is tricky.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Picklesimer Rock House Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.01241,-83.24913 (Pull off on FSR 79)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01872,-83.25346

Picklesimer Rock House Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on a tributary of Abes Creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-28 for 6 miles.  Just before the Georgia state line, make a sharp right-hand turn onto Blue Valley Road.  This road turns to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 79 as it enters the forest.  Go about 4 miles from the turn off NC-28 to a pull-off on the side of the road next to a gated road heading right.  The pull-off is just over a half-mile past the Blue Valley Primitive Campground.

Hike up the gated forest road (you can't see the gate from FSR 79).  In about a half-mile the road runs through a wildlife clearing and then comes to a creek.  Turn right at the creek and head upstream a short ways to the waterfall.  This waterfall has a huge grotto so you can walk behind it and view it from various angles.  It's not a stretch call this a rock house - it really is big enough to live under here!

Pinhook Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.25598,-82.93982 (Pull-off on Charleys Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.25872,-82.93341

Pinhook Falls is a 15-foot cascading waterfall on Pinhook Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round trip and difficult, requiring walking in the creek.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 8 miles and turn right on NC-215 north just before Rosman.  Drive just under 14 miles and turn left on Charleys Creek Road.  Go 1.7 miles to a small pull-off on the left side in a right-hand curve in the road.

From the pull-off, walk back up Charleys Creek Road a short ways and take an overgrown gravel road on the right heading into the woods.  In a couple hundred feet, the road fords Pinhook Creek.  Just before the ford, there is some semblance of a path following the creek upstream.  Follow this as long as you can and then get in the creek and continue heading upstream.  The waterfall is less than a half-mile upstream from the ford and you're getting close if you see an open area (that's private property) on the left.  There's an old log structure right next to the waterfall, probably the remains of an grist mill.

Pot Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.56577,-81.72229 (Parking at end of Old CC Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.56116,-81.71712

Pot Branch Falls is a small waterfall on its namesake creek in Rutherford County.  The waterfall is located in the South Mountains Game Land.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head west from Morganton on US-64 for about 15 miles.  Turn right and then immediately left on NC-226 south.  Drive 7.5 miles and turn left on Jonestown Road.  Go 1 mile and turn left on Melton Road.  In just over a half-mile, bear right on Old CC Road, which becomes gravel.  It's about 3 miles on Old CC Road to an open parking area.

From the parking area, hike down the old road past the gate.  In about a quarter-mile, turn right to cross Pot Branch and follow it downstream to the waterfall.  The waterfall is small, but very scenic as it falls through a narrow chasm in the rocks.  The waterfall makes a great swimhole but be very careful as the rocks are slippery and avoid the top of the waterfall.  We saw a girl fall from the top and seriously injure her foot.

Potholes:

Trailhead GPS: 35.01520,-83.12671 (Parking area on Bull Pen Road/FSR 1178)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01618,-83.12636

The Potholes are a series of rapids along the Chattooga River on the Macon/Jackson county line.  The waterfall is located in the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River area in Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, if you're coming from Cashiers, head south on NC-107 for just under 7 miles from US-64 and turn right onto Bull Pen Road, which becomes Forest Service Road 1178.  Go just under 5.5 miles and you will cross Bull Pen Bridge, a one-lane iron bridge.  After the bridge, the road curves left and then right.  There is a parking area on the side of the road where it turns right.  If you're coming from Highlands, take Horse Cove Road, which becomes Bull Pen Road/FSR 1178 for 7.5 miles to the parking area on the right.

You can see the Potholes from the Bull Pen Bridge (also called the Iron Bridge) or you can climb down from the east side of the bridge for a view from river level.


The waterfall is not that big or impressive, but it's a pretty scene with the old bridge above.  The rocks around the falls are also a nice spot to relax and enjoy the river.

Rain Forest Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.12538,-83.79408 (Pull-off on FR-340)
Waterfall GPS: 35.12706,-83.77968

Rain Forest Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on Bald Springs Branch in Clay County.  The waterfall is located in the Fires Creek Recreation Area in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is 2 to 3 miles round trip and extremely difficult.

To visit the falls, go north on Tusquitee Street from Hayesville and cross Hiwasee River.  Turn left on Fires Creek Road and drive 4.6 miles.  Turn right on Fires Creek Wildlife Road and go just under 8 miles to a pull-off on the right.  The road becomes gravel and changes to FR-340 as you enter the forest.

From the pull-off, hike up FR-340 a short ways to a split, where FR-340C goes to the left.  Stay on FR-340, which is gated at this point, and cross Long Branch on a bridge.  It is about a mile to where the road makes a sharp turn to the left.  Get off the road and bushwhack down to Fires Creek - Bald Springs Branch should flow in right across the creek.  Wade the creek, which may be difficult in high water, and bushwhack up Bald Springs Branch on the river-left side.  It's very steep and overgrown with rhododendron, but when you get up, you should pick up some semblance of an old logging grade.  Lower Bald Springs Falls will be below you at creek level.  Continue on the old logging grade for about 0.2, passing Bald Springs Falls and then bushwhack down to creek level to the falls.  You should be able to hear it from above.  It's a nice waterfall, but incredibly difficult to reach and there is a lot of deadfall at the base.

Rainbow Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.09077,-82.96588

Rainbow Falls is a beautiful 125-foot waterfall on Horsepasture River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  However, the only legal access to the waterfall is through Gorges State Park.  The open area around the falls and the heavy mist and spray produced makes this an ideal waterfall for viewing a rainbow.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Ranger Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08129,-83.23596 (Cliffside Lake Recreation Area parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.08784,-83.22444

Ranger Falls is a 30-foot waterfall on Skitty Creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Cliffside Lake Recreation Area in Nantahala National Forest, just outside of Highlands.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Highlands for just over 4 miles.  You will pass Bridal Veil and Dry Falls in the Cullasaja River Gorge on the way.  Just after Van Hook Glade Campground, turn right into Cliffside Lake Recreation Area.  Stop at the fee station to pay the day use fee and continue just over a mile to a parking area on the right.

From the trailhead, pick up the Ranger Falls Trail at the far end of the parking lot.  The trail ascends moderately for just under half a mile to a split.  Straight continues to Flat Mountain.  Turn left and descend towards Skitty Creek and begin to follow the trail upstream.  Eventually, the trail crosses Skitty Creek at the base of the waterfall.  The water level was very low when I visited, so not a great picture.

Roaring Fork Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.76850,-82.19534 (outside Busick Work Center)
Waterfall GPS: 35.75998,-82.19167

Roaring Fork Falls is a 100-foot sliding cascade along its namesake creek in Yancey County.  The waterfall is located in the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Mount Mitchell.

To visit the falls, head east out of Burnsville on US-19 east for about 4 miles and turn right on NC-80 south.  Go about 11.5 miles and turn right on South Toe River Road.  Almost immediately, turn left on Busick Work Center Road and drive to the end.  There is a parking area just outside the gate for the work center.  Alternately, coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off on NC-80 north and go about 2.2 miles to South Toe River Road.

From the trailhead, hike up the gated forest road (FSR 5520), which is also Roaring Fork Falls Trail (#195)  for about a half-mile.  The road will cross Roaring Fork on a bridge.  Turn right just before this bridge and follow the short path up to the waterfall.

Rough Butt Creek Falls

Trailhead GPS: 35.32784,-83.04047 (Pull off on Caney Fork Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31990,-83.02307

Rough Butt Creek Falls is a 30-foot waterfall on it's namesake creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 3 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-107 from Cullhowee for about 2 miles and turn left on Caney Fork Road.  Drive 9.6 miles on Caney Fork Road.  Immediately after the road changes to gravel, find a place to park on the side of the road.

Backtrack on Caney Fork Road to where the road curves to the right.  Turn left on the Rough Butt Road. a small gravel drive.  The road ends at a ford over Caney Fork.  There used to be a bridge, but it washed out.  Ford the creek and pick up the old road on the other side, which is FSR-4669.  Hike along this road for under a mile to where the road fords Rough Butt Creek.  Immediately after crossing the creek, climb the steep bank on the left and follow Rough Butt Creek upstream.  It's not much of a trail, but pretty easy to follow, though there are a couple tricky spots.  The path ends at the base of the falls.  I had to wade in the creek to get a good view of the waterfall.

Roy Taylor Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27633,-83.01432 (Pull-off on Charleys Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27932,-83.01258

Roy Taylor Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Sols Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, go north on NC-281 from US-64 in Lake Toxaway for 16.7 miles.  Right after crossing Sols Creek, turn right on Charleys Creek Road.  Drive 1.5 miles to a gravel parking area on the left just before a bridge over Sols Creek.

From the parking area, continue up Charleys Creek Road 200 feet or so past the bridge and make a sharp left on an overgrown logging road following Sols Creek upstream.  Follow this road less than half a mile and you should be able to see and hear the waterfall through the trees.  Bushwhack down to creek level - it's pretty steep and lots of rhododendron, but it's also very short.

Rufus Morgan Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.14660,-83.54738 (Pull-off on FSR 388)
Waterfall GPS: 35.14273,-83.54792

Rufus Morgan Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on Left Prong Rough Fork in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is an easy to intermediate 1-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Franklin for about 4 miles and turn right on Old Murphy Road.  In a quarter-mile, turn left Wayah Road.  Drive 6.4 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 388.  Note that our car GPS didn't have this road listed and had us "off-roading" to the trailhead.  Drive 2 miles down FSR388 and park at the trailhead for Rufus Morgan Trail.

Hike Rufus Morgan Trail (#29) up the ridgeline and through a landslide area to where it crosses Left Prong Rough Fork.  There are some pretty cascades here and you can see Rufus Morgan Falls upstream through the trees.  After the crossing, the trail splits, where left makes a loop to go back to the parking area and right heads up to the waterfall.

Sam Branch - Lower Waterfall

Trailhead GPS: 35.33962,-82.90110 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34104,-82.89801

Lower Waterfall on Sam Branch is the lowest and most easily accessible waterfall on Sam Branch in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Shining Rock Wilderness.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a mile round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-215 (Logan Lake Road) from the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple miles south of Graveyard Fields.  Go four miles on NC-215 to a sharp left-hand turn and park along the side of the road.

Walk back a short ways to the start of the hairpin turn and hike up the path to the top of the bank.  The trail is steep here, but levels off.  Bear left and hike about 0.3 miles to Lower Waterfall on Sam Branch.  It's a series of cascades that stretches as far as the eye can see (and well beyond).  There are a lot of boulders and rocks in the creek, providing opportunities to climb out to view and photograph the waterfall from different angles.  The cascades and waterfalls continue up the creek for quite a ways.  I've never been beyond this point and understand that it is extremely challenging.  If you're not up for the strenuous hike to the upper waterfalls, Waterfall in Wash Hollow is right across the creek.

Sassafras Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.26448,-83.93800 (End of FSR 75)
Waterfall GPS: 35.25575,-83.96821

Sassafras Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on Sassafras Creek, a tributary of Snowbird Creek, in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Snowbird Backcountry Area in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 7-miles round trip and moderately challenging.

To visit the falls, head north from Robbinsville on US-129 for a mile or so and turn left on NC-143 W.  Go about 3.5 miles and turn right to stay on NC-143 W.  In 2.2 miles, turn left onto Snowbird Road.  Go 3.1 miles and turn right to get on Big Snowbird Road.  This road changes to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 75.  Drive approximately 6 miles to the end of this road for the trailhead.

From the trailhead, begin hiking down Big Snowbird Trail (#64) as it follows Snowbird Creek upstream.  In about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, you'll see the remains of an old car with bullet holes and will have to cross Sassafras Creek.  There's no bridge, but we made it across dry.  Go right to stay on Big Snowbird Trail and in about a quarter mile, turn sharply to the right to get on Sassafras Creek Trail (#65).  It's about three quarters of a mile to a scramble path leading down to the base of Sassafras Falls.  This is the highest waterfall in the Snowbird Backcountry Area.

Satulah Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.02400,-83.18648 (Overlook on NC-28)
Waterfall GPS: 35.02459,-83.19148

Lower Satulah Falls is waterfall on Clear Creek in Macon County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The only way to see this waterfall, as far as I know, is from a roadside overlook - no hiking involved.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-28 from Highlands.  Go 3.6 miles and pull off on the overlook on the right.  You can see the waterfall across the gorge from the here.  As far as I know, there's no way to get any closer.  The waterfall is probably 100 feet high, but it's hard to really tell from such a distance.


Although the view of the waterfall isn't that great, the view of Satulah Mountain and Blue Valley from here is fantastic and makes this spot worth a stop even if you can't really see the waterfall.

Schoolhouse Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.15766,-82.99869 (Cold Mountain Gap Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.16308,-83.00665

Schoolhouse Falls is a scenic 20 foot waterfall on Greenland Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head east on US-64 from Lake Toxaway and turn left to get on NC-281 north.  In just under a mile, bear left to get on Cold Mountain Road.  Go 5.7 miles to the end of the road and turn left onto the gravel road.  Go a short ways and turn right to reach the parking area.  This is the Cold Mountain Gap access to Panthertown Valley.

Pick up the Panthertown Valley Trail (#474) at the far end of the parking lot behind the kiosk.  It goes a short ways and then turn left on an old road.  The road heads down via switchbacks towards Greenland Creek.  Right after crossing the bridge over Greenland Creek, turn left on Little Green Trail (#485).  Follow this a short ways until you come to boardwalks.  Look for a campsite to the left.  The beach in front of Schoolhouse Falls is just beyond the campsite.

Scotsman Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.01731,-83.11242 (Pull-off on Forest Road 1178/Bull Pen Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01656,-83.11211

Waterfall on Scotsman Creek is a beautiful 50-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, head south on NC-107 from the intersection of US-64 in Cashiers.  In 6.9, turn right on Bull Pen Road.  This road starts paved and then turns to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 1178.  The pull-off for the waterfall trailhead is 4.3 miles from the turn off NC-107.  When you're approaching the trailhead, the road will turn sharply to the left with a primitive campsite to the right.  You will pass gated Forest Road 4564 on the right and Scotsman Creek will be to the left.  A few hundred feet past FR 4564, the road curves right.  Park along the side of the road in the right-hand curve.  There's not much of a pull-off here, so be sure to get your vehicle completely off the road.

The hike to the falls is short but challenging.  Right in the right-hand curve where you parked, you should see a faint trail heading down to the creek.  There was flagging tape when I was here.  It's not much of a trail and very steep, but you should be able to hear the waterfall, so just keep heading to the sound.  Waterfall on Scotsman Creek is a really beautiful waterfall.  The water splits into two free-falling streams and then cascades down.  The two streams flow around a small island and there's a nice big rocky area to relax and enjoy the falls.

Scotsman Creek Upper Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.01826,-83.11275 (Forest Road 4564)
Waterfall GPS: 35.01838,-83.11237

Upper Waterfall on Scotsman Creek is a smaller waterfall just a little ways upstream of the main waterfall.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.

To visit the falls, follow the directions for Waterfall on Scotsman Creek above.  You can park at the same trailhead or just up the road a short ways at Forest Road 4564.  This forest road is gated and very overgrown.  The upper waterfall is directly across from this road.  There's no trail down to the creek and its extremely steep and overgrown.  Fortunately, it's also very short - maybe 100 feet.  There was some flagging tape when we visited.  We were actually looking for the main waterfall and came across this one by accident.

Sculpted Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.05325,-83.05386 (End of Heady Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.05070,-83.04780

Sculpted Falls is a gorgeous 15-foot waterfall on Whitewater River in Jackson and Transylvania County (the county line runs down the river).  The waterfall is located in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest (in Jackson and Transylvania counties, respectively).  The hike to the waterfall is extremely difficult.  This waterfall lies within the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.

To visit the falls, head south from Cashiers on NC-107.  Drive about 5.5 miles and turn left on Heady Mountain Road.  Follow this gravel road for 1 mile to the end at a bridge over Whitewater River.  Park on the right immediately before the bridge.  This hike is very difficult and a GPS and topo map are needed.  You'll need to strike out through the woods and follow the river downstream.  There's no trail and just a maze of old logging roads and paths.  About a half-mile from the parking, get in the river and creek-walk downstream past Nasty Falls.  The river right side is exposed rock to climb down.  From here, it's a short ways to Entrance Falls that marks the beginning of the Upper Whitewater Slot Canyon.  Climb up to the rocks on the river-right side of Entrance Falls and look for a small overgrown path that leads down the rim of the canyon.  There is a small rock perch from which you can see Sculpted Falls.  It's very small and slanting down, so use extreme caution as a fall here would be fatal.

Second Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.32043,-82.84692 (MP 418.8 on Blue Ridge Parkway)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32228,-82.84671

Second Falls, also called Lower Falls, on Yellowstone Prong is a 50-foot waterfall in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Graveyard Fields area of Pisgah National Forest.

To visit the, head to Mile Post 418.8 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  From US-276, go south about 8 miles on the parkway.  From NC-215, go about 3.5 miles north on the parkway. Either way you come, park at the Graveyard Fields Overlook at Mile Post 418.8.  Note that this is an extremely popular stop on the parkway and it can be hard to find parking on a nice weekend day.

From the Graveyard Fields Overlook, get on the Graveyard Fields Loop Trail (#358) at the north end of the parking lot near the restrooms and hike down to the footbridge over Yellowstone Prong.  After crossing the bridge, turn right on the Mountains-to-Sea Access Trail (#358B) and follow the signs to the waterfall.  There are about 60 steps to descend to overlooks for viewing the waterfall.  In the summer, this is a popular swim hole and you can slide down the lowest part of the waterfall.

Setrock Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.75124,-82.22023 (Outside Black Mountain Campground)
Waterfall GPS: 35.74977,-82.22818

Setrock Creek Falls is tiered waterfall along its namesake creek in Yancey County.  The waterfall is located in the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Mount Mitchell.

To visit the falls, head east out of Burnsville on US-19 east for about 4 miles and turn right on NC-80 south.  Go about 11.5 miles and turn right on South Toe River Road.  Follow this road for just under 3 miles (it will become Forest Service Road 472 and change to gravel along the way).  Park just outside the entrance to Black Mountain Campground.  Unless you're a registered camper at the campground, you must park outside.

From the trailhead, head into the campground and across the bridge and bear left once across the river to access Setrock Creek Falls Trail (#197).  The trail crosses Briar Bottom Camp Road and leads to the waterfall in about a quarter-mile.

Shacktown Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.12492,-80.59226 (Pull-off on Styers Mill Road)
Waterfall GPS: 36.12423,-80.59317

Shacktown Falls is a 10-foot waterfall on North Deep Creek in Yadkin County.  The waterfall is located in Shore-Styers Mill Park.  The hike to the waterfall is very short and easy.

To visit the falls, head west from Winston-Salem on US-421 north for about 16 miles to exit 253.  Turn right on Old Stage Road and go 0.2 miles to Shacktown Road.  Turn left and go 0.3 miles to Styers Mill Road.  Turn right and go about 0.5 miles to a pull-off on the left just before a bridge over North Deep Creek.  From the parking area, walk past the gate and you can see the waterfall.  Several paths lead down to the base.

Shower Bath Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.15951,-82.97356 (Cold Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.15960,-82.97362

Shower Bath Falls is a seasonal roadside waterfall on a tributary of Toxaway River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is on private property, but you can easily see it from the road.

To visit the falls, head east on US-64 from Lake Toxaway and turn left to get on NC-281 north.  In just under a mile, bear left to get on Cold Mountain Road.  Go 3.8 miles and the waterfall will be on the right.  It looks best after a heavy rain.

Shuck Ridge Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28462,-82.82874 (Parking area off FSR 475)
Waterfall GPS: 35.29555,-82.86156

Shuck Ridge Creek Falls is a secluded waterfall on its namesake creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

There are two ways to visit the falls.  The first is via the the Art Loeb Trail and the second is via the Daniel Ridge Loop Trail.  The trailhead for the Art Loeb Trail is at Gloucester Gap.  To reach Gloucester Gap, go north on US-276 from US-64 near Brevard for 5.2 miles and turn left on Forest Road 475.  Go about 6 miles to a four-way intersection at Gloucester Gap and park here.  Forest Road 471 (Catheys Creek Road) goes left and the closed Forest Road 229 goes to the right.  When FR229 was open, you could drive most of the way, but now you'll have to hike.  The trailhead for Daniel Ridge Loop Trail is also along Forest Road 475, 3.9 miles past the turn from US-276.  There is a good sized parking lot here, on the right.  If you want to combine both trails, shuttle a car to both trailheads.

From Gloucester Gap, hike up either the FR229 or the Art Loeb Trail.  The Art Lobe trail is very steep and quite overgrown, so it almost feels like bushwhacking despite being on an official trail.  In about 2.5 miles, you'll reach the summit of Pilot Mountain.  Fortunately, it's all downhill from here.  From Pilot Mountain, continue on Art Loeb Trail for about 1.5 miles to Farlow Gap and get on the Farlow Gap Trail (#106).  This trail is much better maintained and a lot easier to follow, though its quite steep going down towards the beginning (if you don't shuttle, you'll have to go back up this part on the way back).  In about a mile, the trail will cross over Shuck Ridge Creek and the waterfall is just below.  It's a steep scramble down to the base for a good view of the falls.  If you didn't shuttle head back the way you came.

From Daniel Ridge Loop trailhead, cross the bridge over Davidson River and go straight on Daniel Ridge Loop Trail (#105).  In about 1.5 miles, you'll come to an intersection with Farlow Gap Trail (#106).  Turn left to get on this trail and go about 2 miles to the Shuck Ridge Creek.

Shunkawauken Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.27142,-82.21430 (Pull-off on White Oak Mountain Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27213,-82.21471

Shunkawauken Falls is a 150-foot waterfall on Horse Creek in Polk County.  The waterfall is located on private property, but you can view it from the road.

To visit the falls, head east on I-26 from Hendersonville.  Take exit 67 in Columbus; go right at the fork for US-74 E and then take the exit for NC-108 to Columbus.  Go about a half-mile on NC-108 (W Mills St) and turn left on Houston Road.  You'll have to go right to stay on Houston Road.  In about a mile, turn left on White Oak Mountain Road.  This road is very steep and windy - if you get car sick, you won't enjoy this drive.  It's about 1.8 miles to a small gravel pull-off on the left, right before the falls.  If you reach the falls, you've gone too far and it's tricky to turn around on this road.  From the pull-off, walk up the road a short ways to see the waterfall.

Sidepocket Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.08069,-82.95892

Sidepocket Falls is a 50-foot waterfall on Horsepasture River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The only access to the waterfall is through Gorges State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about 3 miles round trip and difficult.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Silver Run Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.06692,-83.06698 (Pull-off on NC-107)
Waterfall GPS: 35.06617,-83.06542

Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot waterfall on Silver Run Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest outside of Cashiers.

To visit the waterfall, head south on NC-107 from Cashiers for four miles from the intersection of NC-107 and US-64.  There is a pull-off on the side of the road here and a Forest Service Sign for access to the waterfall.  From the pull-off, hike the short and easy Silver Run Falls Trail (#435) to the waterfall.  This scenic waterfall is easy to access and relatively close to Cashiers so expect a crowd when you visit.

Silver Run Upper Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.06692,-83.06698 (Pull-off on NC-107)
Waterfall GPS: 35.06714,-83.06430

Upper Silver Run Falls is a 15-foot waterfall on Silver Run Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest outside of Cashiers.

To visit the falls, follow the directions for Silver Run Falls above.  When you reach Silver Run Falls, notice the cliff face near the falls with a bunch of roots on it.  Climb up here and once at the top, follow the faint path through the rhododendron along the creek heading upstream.  Shortly, you'll come out at the base of the upper waterfall.  It's not quite as scenic as the main waterfall, but you're much more likely to have the waterfall to yourself.

Silvervale Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.04834,-81.59481 (Pull-off on Waterfalls Road)
Waterfall GPS: 36.04844,-81.59462

Silvervale Falls is an 80-foot cascading waterfall on Greenfield Branch, a tributary of Puncheon Camp Creek, in Caldwell County.  The waterfall is on private property, but can be viewed roadside.

To visit the falls, head south on US-321 from Blowing Rock for about 6 miles and turn right on Waterfalls Road.  Drive 1.8 miles to the waterfall.  There's a small pull-off on the side of the road before and right after the waterfall.  It's a scenic waterfall, but unfortunately seems to attract vandals and graffiti.

Skinny Dip Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.32218,-82.82801 (MP 417 on Blue Ridge Parkway)
Waterfall GPS: 35.32236,-82.83391

Skinny Dip Falls is a 30-foot waterfall in three sections along Yellowstone Prong in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

To visit the falls, head to Mile Post 417 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  From US-276, go south about 6 miles on the parkway.  From NC-215, go north about 5.3 miles on the parkway.  Either way you come, park at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook at Mile Post 417.  The views of Looking Glass Rock are fantastic here and it's worth a stop even if you're not heading to the waterfall.

From the parkway overlook, cross the parkway and take the short spur trail that leads to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST).  You'll pass the "dragon" tree on the way.  At the MST, turn left to head down some stairs and follow the trail for less than a half-mile to a bridge over Yellowstone Prong with views of the waterfall.  It's difficult to see the entire waterfall from one point.  This waterfall is a popular swim hole in warmer months.  Popular enough that few people ever skinny dip here anymore.

Soco Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.49286,-83.16969 (Pull-off on US-19)
Waterfall GPS: 35.49246,-83.16953

Soco Falls is a scenic double waterfall on Soco Creek and a tributary in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Qualla Indian Reservation.  The hike to the falls is very short, but getting down to the base is a little tricky.

To visit the falls, head south on US-19 from Maggie Valley for about 6 miles to a pull-off on the left side of the road, about 1.5 miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There is a small sign about a half-mile before the turn.  Alternately, if coming from Cherokee, go north on US-19 for about 10 miles and the pull-off will be on the right.

The trail begins at the break in the guard rail and leads down to a wooden overlook with views of the falls, as seen in the first picture below.  You can't really see both waterfalls from here.


To get to the base, climb down the steep path before the overlook.  The last time I was here, there were ropes to assist with the descent.  It's a tricky scramble down, but you'll have good views of both the falls.

Sols Creek Upper Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.26427,-83.02070 (Pull off on Charley's Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.26348,-83.01920

Upper Waterfall on Sols is a 60-foot waterfall in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round-trip, but it's a difficult and steep bushwhack.  There's another way to get here by creek-walking up Sols Creek from NC-281, but I've never gone that way.

To visit the falls, go north on NC-281 from US-64 in Lake Toxaway for 16.7 miles.  Right after crossing Sols Creek, turn right on Charleys Creek Road.  Drive 0.4 miles and pull off on the right side of the road just before a left-hand turn.  It's not real obvious, but it's a grassy area just wide enough for a vehicle to get completely off the road.

A narrow stretch of National Forest property extends from here down to Sols Creek.  There's no trail so bushwhack into the woods towards the creek.  It starts out relatively flat, then gets quite steep as you descend to Sols Creek.  There are some ropes tied to trees to help with the climb and also to reassure that you're going the right way.  When you get down to creek level, follow a faint path leading upstream a short ways to the base of the waterfall.

South Harper Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.98851,-81.82485 (Pull-off on FSR 58)
Waterfall GPS: 35.98062,-81.81048

South Harper Creek Falls is a large waterfall in two sections on Harper Creek in Avery County.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round-trip, depending on whether you go to the base and/or the overlook.  It is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Split Rock Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.08841,-82.93933

Split Rock Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Bearwallow Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in Gorges State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is about 4 miles round trip and very difficult, including bushwhacking.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Steels Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.91264,-81.83909 (end of Forest Service Road 228)
Waterfall GPS: 35.91898,-81.84737

Steels Creek Falls is a really cool waterfall on its namesake creek in Burke County.  There are a number of potholes in the rock, giving this waterfall a very unique look.  The hike to the falls is less than 2 miles round-trip, but it's a challenging hike, particularly to get out on the rocks for a good view.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Still Falls

Trailhead GPS: 35.82001,-81.95909 (End of FSR-106)
Waterfall GPS: 35.81663,-81.97302

Still Falls is a waterfall on an unnamed tributary of Black Fork Paddy Creek in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Linville Gorge.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and moderate.

To visit the falls, head east from Marion on US-70 for 3 miles.  Turn left on NC-126 east and drive 7.6 miles.  Turn left on Old NC Hwy 105, which turns to gravel as it heads towards Linville Gorge.  Drive about 6 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 106, which is gated in the winter.  Drive 2.6 miles on this road, passing some radio towers towards the end and park where you can before the gate.

The hike begins along the forest road past the gate, which is also part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.  Hike just over  half a mile and turn left on a path at a tree with blue paint.  This turn is shortly after the road forks and comes back together.  Follow this path as it switchbacks down to cliffs above Black Fork Paddy Creek.  Turn right and follow the cliffs for a way.  The trail will descend for a bit and then level off as you approach the cliffs and the waterfall. It was dry when I visited and the waterfall wasn't much more than a wet rock.

Still House Falls

Trailhead GPS: 35.16535,-82.95544 (Pull-off on McIntosh Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.16896,-82.95668

Still House Falls is a 30-foot waterfall on Fork Creek in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is only about 1 mile round trip, but it's all bushwhacking and extremely challenging.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard.  Just before Lake Toxaway, bear right on NC-281 north for 1.4 miles.  Turn left onto Slick Fisher Road and drive 2.1 miles.  Turn left on McIntosh Road and go 0.6 miles to a grassy pull-off on the right side of the road.

From the pull-off, cross McIntosh Road and head into the forest.  In order to stay on National Forest land and avoid trespassing, you will need a topo map and compass and/or a GPS.  There's nothing close to a trail to follow and the way is extremely overgrown.  Although it's not steep, this is one of the worst bushwhacking treks we've done - it took us an hour to go 0.4 miles.  Eventually, you should come to a small creek.  Cross the creek and head up the ridgeline.  There should be a trail up here.  Go right and follow the trail to the base of Still House Falls.  The final descent is quite steep, but there's a rope to assist.  After the bushwhacking, this part will seem easy.  Still House Falls is a really cool waterfall - it's a shame it's so hard to get to.  The water is funneled through a narrow opening at the top and shoots out a couple feet, hits a rock ledge and then falls the rest of the way down.  There is a huge grotto behind the waterfall, once the location of an illicit still (hence the name).  Although the distillation equipment is gone, someone had a built a makeshift oven here.

Stone Mountain Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.38376,-81.02645 (Upper Trailhead Parking at Stone Mountain State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 36.38098,-81.03507

Stone Mountain Falls, also called Little Falls, is a tall sliding waterfall on Big Sandy Creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located in Stone Mountain State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a mile round trip and moderate in difficulty, including a large number of stairs.  See my Stone Mountain State Park page for directions and more description.

Tanasee Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.25800,-82.94275 (Parking area on Charleys Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.25525,-82.94065

Tanasee Creek Falls is a waterfall in two sections on Tanasee Creek in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round trip and difficult, including a creek wade.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard for about 8 miles and turn right on NC-215 north just before Rosman.  Drive just under 14 miles and turn left on Charleys Creek Road.  Go 1.9 miles to a small parking lot with a picnic area on the left.

From the parking area, follow Tanasee Creek downstream.  There is some semblance of a path for most of the ways on river-left side, but it may be easiest to creek walk as well.  When you reach the confluence of Pinhook Creek, cross Tanasee Creek and you're at the top of Tanasee Creek Falls.  Go downstream a short ways on river-right side and find the easiest path to get down to creek level at the base of the waterfall.

Teacups Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.91264,-81.83909 (end of Forest Service Road 228)
Waterfall GPS: 35.92468,-81.84713

Teacups Falls is a series of cascades and sliding waterfall on Steels Creek in Burke County.  The hike to the falls is little around 3 miles round-trip and moderately challenging.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Thompson River - First Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.07795,-82.99367 (Pull off on Brewer Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.06344,-82.98760

The Second Waterfall on Thompson River is a 20-foot sliding waterfall in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 3.5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty, including a river wade.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 3.7 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and turn left onto Brewer Road and park along the side of the road.

Right at the turn for Brewer Road, start hiking up the gated logging road.  In about a mile from the start, you will see a path that splits to the right.  This trail leads to High Falls.  Continue on the main trail, which begins to descend via a couple switchbacks and leads to a ford across Thompson River.  You'll need to cross the river here.  Unless the water level is way down, you'll need to wade.  If the water level is high, this could be a dangerous crossing, so avoid this area in times of high water.  Once across the river, continue following the logging road for about another half-mile.  On the left, you should see a path that leads down to the river below the waterfall and you may be able to see the waterfall through the foliage.

Thompson River - Second Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.07795,-82.99367 (Pull off on Brewer Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.04997,-82.98378

The Second Waterfall on Thompson River is beautiful 35-foot waterfall in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 5 miles round trip and very challenging.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to the First Waterfall on Thompson River, but continue on the logging road for another mile, or about 1.5 miles from the ford.  You'll pass some side paths that lead to campsites or other waterfalls, but stay on the main path.  The old road roughly parallels Thompson River, but on a ridge high above the river.  After about 1.5 miles from the ford or about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, look for a side path to the left that's just after some old logging cable sticking up in the road.  The last time I was here, there was some marking tape and you could hear the waterfall from the trail and we were able to see down to river level from the main trail.  This turn is about a half-mile before the turn for Big Falls.  Follow this very steep trail down to the river and the waterfall will be just upstream.  Rock hop or wade into the river for the best views.


Thorps Creek Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.99522,-81.76087 (Mortimer Campground)
Waterfall GPS: 35.99733,-81.75896

Waterfall on Thorps Creek is a small 15-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Caldwell County.  It's an easy quarter-mile hike to the waterfall, conveniently located by the Mortimer campground.  The waterfall is located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Thunderhole Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.11433,-81.69803 (Pull-off on FSR-4071)
Waterfall GPS: 36.11031,-81.70012

Thunderhole Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Caldwell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round-trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head south on Main Street/US-321 business from US-221 for 0.4 miles and turn right on Globe Road, which becomes gravel.  Drive about 3.5 miles turn Forest Road 4071, a sharp right turn.  Note that this road is not marked on most maps, so don't rely on navigation software.  FSR-4071 is gated during the winter.  I think it used to be a 4WD road, but the Forest Service has improved it and we had no trouble in a RAV4.  Drive about 2.5 miles on FSR-4071 to the permanent gate and park without blocking the gate.

Hike beyond the gate to a concrete ford over China Creek.  Just after the ford, look for a trail on the left following China Creek downstream.  This is China Creek Trail (#250) but there are no signs or blazes.  In about a half-mile the trail comes to a crossing of China Creek just upstream of the confluence with Thunderhole Creek.  Do not cross, but continue to Thunderhole Creek and cross here. Turn right to follow Thunderhole Falls Trail (#253) a short distance to the waterfall.  You can see the waterfall from the trail, but it's a very steep climb down to view it from the base.  A rope was tied to a tree to assist in the descent.

Thunderhole Lower Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.11433,-81.69803 (Pull-off on FSR-4071)
Waterfall GPS: 36.10345,-81.69616

Lower Thunderhole Falls is a small waterfall on its namesake creek in Caldwell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about a mile round-trip and moderate in difficulty with several creek crossings.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to Thunderhole Falls above.  Where you reach the crossing of China Creek, cross here and continue following the trail downstream.  There are two additional creek crossings (it's Thunderhole Creek now).  After the second, the trail heads up a ridge above the creek.  Look for a steep path leading down to exposed rocks at the waterfall.  Although the waterfall is not big, the swim hole at the base is great.

Thurston Hatcher Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.21035,-83.14788 (Shoal Creek Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.20621,-83.16506

Thurston Hatcher Falls, also called Rough Run Falls, is a tall waterfall on Rough Run in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located on private property, but its possible to access it legally.  The hike to the waterfall is about 3 miles round trip, a little longer if you continue on to High Falls.

To visit the falls, head north from US-64 in Cashiers on NC-107 for 8.4 miles.  Turn left on Shoal Creek Road; it's a sharp turn, almost 180 degrees.  Right away, you should see a gated road on the right.  Park along the gravel road here, without blocking the gate or the road.

From the parking area, hike down the gated road.  Pay attention to the signs.  This is private property, but the landowner is nice enough to allow the general public access to view the natural resources.  Please be respectful and abide by the rules.  In just over a quarter mile, there is a fork - go left.  The trail loops around and follows West Fork Tuckaseegee River upstream.  In about 1.5 miles from the start, look for a trail to the right.  There was flagging tape when I was here.  Thurston Hatcher Falls is directly across the creek.  The other side of the river is private property, so don't cross to the other side.  But unless the dam is open or the water is high, it's easy to rock hop into the creek and get pictures of the waterfall.

Tom Branch Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.46445,-83.43410 (Deep Creek Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.46665,-83.42989

Toms Branch Falls is an 60-foot waterfall on a tributary of Deep Creek in Swain County.  The waterfall is located in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a half-mile round trip and easy.  See my Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for directions and more detail.

Toms Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.77452,-82.05678 (Parking area on Huskins Branch Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.77757,-82.06220

Toms Creek Falls is a 60-foot tiered waterfall on its namesake creek in McDowell County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, take exit 86 from I-40 in Marion and get on NC-226 north, which will become US-221 north.  Drive a total of 12 miles from the interstate and turn left on Huskins Branch Road.  This road is initially paved, turns to gravel and then back to paved.  Drive 1.2 miles on Huskins Branch Road and stop at a parking area on the right, just before a bridge over Toms Creek.

From the parking area, hike the short Falls Branch Trail (#214) to the base of the waterfall.  There's a wooden overlook or you can climb up to the creek at the base of the waterfall.  There was an old mica mine here, but the Forest Service sealed it up and now there's just Do Not Enter signs.

Toms Spring Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.28462,-82.82874 (Parking area off FSR 475)
Waterfall GPS: 35.28873,-82.82688

Toms Spring Falls, also called Daniel Ridge Falls or Jackson Falls, is a waterfall on Toms Spring Branch in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  The hike to the falls is an easy 1-mile round trip.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from the intersection of US-64 in Pisgah Forest for a little over 5 miles and turn left on Forest Service Road 475 at the sign for Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  Drive just under 4 miles to the parking area on the right.  The forest road is initially paved, but changes to gravel before you reach the parking area.

From the parking area, hike past the gate along the gravel road crossing Davidson River on a big bridge.  Shortly after the bridge, Daniel Ridge Loop Trail (#105) will split to the left.  Stay right and continue on the gravel road for less than a half-mile.  Right before you reach the falls, the other end of Daniel Ridge Loop Trail ends at the road from the left.  Continue on the road a short ways and the waterfall will be on your left.  You can see the waterfall from the road or follow a short side trail to view the falls up close.

Tory's Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.40173,-80.29929 (Tory's Den Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.40247,-80.29991

Tory's Falls is a 50 to 100 foot waterfall in Stokes County on a tributary of Vade Mecum Creek.  Although it's the highest waterfall in Hanging Rock, the creek is small and this waterfall dries up to a trickle if there hasn't been much rain.  The hike to the falls is about 0.4 miles round trip and easy.  See my Hanging Rock State Park page for directions and more description.

Triple Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.20319,-82.61900 (Hooker Falls Parking Area in DuPont State Forest)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19897,-82.61705

Triple Falls is a 100-foot waterfall in three sections on Little River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in DuPont State Forest.  The hike to the falls is about a mile round trip and moderate with some stairs to reach the base.  See my DuPont State Forest page for directions and more details.

Turtleback Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.08947,-82.95181 (Grassy Ridge Parking Area in Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.09256,-82.96620

Turtleback Falls is a waterfall on Horsepasture River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  However, the only legal access to the waterfall is through Gorges State Park.  When water levels are right, this is an ideal waterfall for sliding and swimming.  See my Gorges State Park website for directions and more description.

Twin Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31616,-82.75234 (Pull-off on FSR 477)
Waterfall GPS: 35.33644,-82.76015

Twin Falls is a double waterfall on Henry Branch and an unnamed tributary in Transylvania County.  The waterfalls are located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  It's a moderate 4 to 5 mile round-trip hike to the waterfalls.

To visit the falls, head north on US-276 from the intersection of US-64 in Pisgah Forest for 2.2 miles miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 477 (Avery Creek Road).  Drive 2.6 miles on this gravel road to a small parking area on the right side of the road that can fit five or six cars.

The hike to the falls is along the orange-blazed Buckhorn Gap Trail (#103).  The trail initially descends down to Avery Creek and joins up with the blue-blazed Avery Creek Trail (#327).  Buckhorn Gap Trail then splits off and crosses the creek and begins following Henry Branch upstream.  The trail is both a hiking and equestrian trail.  There are several spots where the trail fords the creek for horses and there is a small footbridge for hikers.  In about two miles, turn left on Twin Falls Trail (#604) and take the short spur to the falls.  Although there are two falls, it's not really possible to see both at once.  The waterfall on the left is the one on Henry Branch and is the more impressive of the two.


The other waterfall is on an unnamed tributary of Henry Branch.  When we visited, the water flow was rather low and there was a lot of downfall and foliage obscuring the view.

Upper Creek Falls:

Upper Creek Falls is a beautiful 50-foot waterfall on its namesake creek in Burke County.  It's located in the Wilson Creek area of Pisgah National Forest, but the trailhead is conveniently located right of NC-181 near Jonas Ridge.  See my Wilson Creek page for directions and more description.

Upper Falls (Snowbird Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 35.26448,-83.93800 (End of FSR 75)
Waterfall GPS: 35.27109,-83.99305

Upper Falls on Snowbird Creek is a waterfall in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Snowbird Backcountry Area in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 12-miles round trip and challenging.

To visit the falls, head north from Robbinsville on US-129 for a mile or so and turn left on NC-143 W.  Go about 3.5 miles and turn right to stay on NC-143 W.  In 2.2 miles, turn left onto Snowbird Road.  Go 3.1 miles and turn right to get on Big Snowbird Road.  This road changes to gravel and becomes Forest Service Road 75.  Drive approximately 6 miles to the end of this road for the trailhead.

From the trailhead, begin hiking down Big Snowbird Trail (#64) as it follows Snowbird Creek upstream.  In about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, you'll see the remains of an old car with bullet holes and will have to cross Sassafras Creek.  There's no bridge, but we made it across dry.  Go right to stay on Big Snowbird Trail and you'll pass Big Falls on Snowbird Creek and then come to a footbridge over the creek.  Across the bridge, the trail splits.  Either way will go to Middle Falls, but we went right to take Middle Falls Trail (#64A).  Big Snowbird Trail has a number of wet creek crossings and we opted to stay dry.  The trail steeply climbs up the ridgeline above Snowbird Creek then is more or less level for another mile, where it back down to creek level.  At the split go right to stay on Big Snowbird Trail.  The trail is steep and narrow for a short ways, then levels out and follows the creek upstream.  In a mile or so, the creek turns to the right and the trail gets more difficult again.  At a point where part of the creek is flowing under the trail, get out into the creek.  Even in low water, you'll have to wade to get a decent view of the falls.  This is the least impressive and most difficult waterfall to visit in the area and probably isn't worth it for most people.

Upper Falls (Yellowstone Prong):

Trailhead GPS: 35.32043,-82.84692 (MP 418.8 on Blue Ridge Parkway)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31821, -82.86683

Upper Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on Yellowstone Prong in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Graveyard Fields area of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 3 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the, head to Mile Post 418.8 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  From US-276, go south about 8 miles on the parkway.  From NC-215, go about 3.5 miles north on the parkway. Either way you come, park at the Graveyard Fields Overlook at Mile Post 418.8.  Note that this is an extremely popular stop on the parkway and it can be hard to find parking on a nice weekend day.

From the Graveyard Fields Overlook, get on the Graveyard Fields Loop Trail (#358).  The trail is a loop so you can go either way.  Going clockwise through the loop, get on the trail as the west end of the parking lot and follow the trail to a bridge across Yellowstone Prong.  Shortly after crossing, Upper Falls Trail (#358A) splits to the left.  If coming from Second Falls, follow Graveyard Fields Loop Trail as it follows the creek upstream to Upper Falls Trail.  Upper Falls Trail is about three-quarters of a mile.  As you approach the waterfall, it becomes more difficult and the trail splits.  Go right and scramble over the rocks to the base of the waterfall.

Violet Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.34841,-83.99731 (Pull-off on FSR-81F)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34908,-83.99993

Violet Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on Cold Branch in Graham County.  The waterfall is located in the Cheoah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a mile round trip, but quite difficult as it involves creek walking.

To visit the falls, head west from Robbinsville on Snowbird Road for just under 5 miles to NC-143.  Continue straight on NC-143 for about 4.5 miles to Santeetlah Gap.  Bear right on Santeetlah Road towards Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and make an immediate left on Old Santeetlah Road.  The road changes to gravel and becomes FSR-81.  Drive about 6.5 miles to Wolf Laurel Road (FSR-81F) and bear right.  There was no sign when we visited indicating the road number, but there was a sign for snow cabin.  Go just over a half-mile to a sharp right hand curve.  There is one spot to park in the outside of the curve.

Hike down the old road past the parking spot.  The road ends at Cold Branch in about 0.1 miles.  Get in the creek and follow it upstream to the falls.  It's less than a quarter-mile to the waterfall.  I visited in very low water conditions, so the waterfall was not looking its best, but the creek walk was pretty easy.

Wardens Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.15766,-82.99869 (Cold Mountain Gap Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.17179,-83.00628

Wardens Falls is a 30 foot waterfall on Tuckasegee River in Jackson County.  The waterfall is located in Panthertown Valley Backcountry Area in Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 3 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head east on US-64 from Lake Toxaway and turn left to get on NC-281 north.  In just under a mile, bear left to get on Cold Mountain Road.  Go 5.7 miles to the end of the road and turn left onto the gravel road.  Go a short ways and turn right to reach the parking area.  This is the Cold Mountain Gap access to Panthertown Valley.

Pick up the Panthertown Valley Trail (#474) at the far end of the parking lot behind the kiosk.  It goes a short ways and then turn left on an old road.  The road heads down via switchbacks towards Greenland Creek.  In just under a mile, right before the bridge over Greenland Creek, turn right on Devils Elbow Trail (#448).  Follow this for about a half-mile.  You'll pass under powerlines and reach a clearing with a fire ring.  Look for a path to the left that leads down towards Tuckasegee River.  The path comes out at the top of Wardens Falls.  Look for a scramble path to the right that leads down to the base.  It's real steep at the end.  You have to cross the river to view the falls well.  The water level was too high to cross when I visited, so I just waded as far as I could go.

Wash Hollow Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.33962,-82.90110 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.34180,-82.89762

Waterfall in Wash Hollow is a 50-foot sliding waterfall on a tributary of Sam Branch in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Shining Rock Wilderness.  The hike to the waterfall is less than a mile round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-215 (Logan Lake Road) from the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple miles south of Graveyard Fields.  Go four miles on NC-215 to a sharp left-hand turn and park along the side of the road.

Walk back a short ways to the start of the hairpin turn and hike up the path to the top of the bank.  The trail is steep here, but levels off.  Bear left and hike about 0.3 miles to Lower Waterfall on Sam Branch.  Cross the creek near the big boulders at the base of the waterfall and continue less than a tenth of a mile to where the trail ends at Waterfall in Wash Hollow.

Watauga Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.25365,-81.856840 (Pull-off on US-321)
Waterfall GPS: 36.25441,-81.85659

Watauga Falls is a small waterfall, more of a rapid really, on Watauga River in Watauga County.  It's marked on the USGS Topo map so I stopped to visit.  It's just a short ways from the road, but it's a steep scramble to get down.

To visit the falls, head west of Boone on US-421.  At the junction, go west on US-321 for 5.7 miles to a pull-off on the right.  It's about a half-mile past the bridge over Watauga River just past the guardrail.  From here, the waterfall is directly below.  It's a steep scramble down to river level.  The waterfall is really just a rapid.  It would be exciting to paddle it, but not too exciting for waterfall hunting.

West Fork French Broad Tributary Lower Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.18814,-82.95361 (Gravel road off Winding Gap Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.18581,-82.97306

Lower Waterfall on Tributary of West Fork French Broad River is a 30-foot waterfall in Transylvania County. The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Dismal Falls.  The hike to the falls is a moderate 2 miles round trip.  The tributary that this waterfall is on is not marked on the topo map, but its the next drainage to the northwest of Dismal Creek.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-281 from US-64, just east of Lake Toxaway.  Go 6.2 miles and turn left onto Winding Gap Road.  Almost immediately, there will be an old one-lane gravel road the forks to the right.  Drive down to the end of this at the gate and park in the turnaround without blocking the gate.  I think this was the old NC-281 before it was paved and straightened.

Hike down the old logging road past the gate.  The old road continues for about a mile and is pretty easy to follow, with a couple of easy stream crossings.  In about a mile, the road ends at West Fork French Broad River.  Cross the river, which should be an easy rock-hop unless water levels are way up.  Follow a path to the right and you'll come out at the base of this waterfall.

West Fork French Broad Tributary Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.18814,-82.95361 (Gravel road off Winding Gap Road)
Waterfall GPS: 35.18453,-82.97482

Waterfall on Tributary of West Fork French Broad River, also called Rhapsodie Falls, is a beautiful 70-foot waterfall in Transylvania County. The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Dismal Falls.  The hike to the falls is about 2.5 miles round trip and challenging.

To visit the falls, follow the directions to the lower waterfall above.  Once at the base of the lower falls, cross the creek and follow the very steep path upstream along the unnamed tributary through the rhododendron.  It's less than a quarter-mile to the base of this waterfall.

West Fork Pigeon River Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.33857,-82.90377 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.33794,-82.90354

Waterfall on West Fork Pigeon River is a roadside waterfall along NC-215 in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pigsah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness areas.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-215 (Logan Lake Road) from the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple miles south of Graveyard Fields.  Go just over four miles to a sharp left-hand turn followed by a bridge over West Fork Pigeon River and park along the side of the road just past the bridge.  The waterfall can be seen upstream from the bridge or you can climb out onto the rocks for a better view (first picture below).  If you cross to the other side of the bridge, there is a steep scramble path down to the base.  The historic High Arch Bridge with the waterfall flowing underneath makes for a lovely scene (second picture below).



West Fork Pigeon River Tributary Waterfall:

Trailhead GPS: 35.31112,-82.91449 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31145,-82.91456

Waterfall on Tributary of West Fork Pigeon River is a roadside waterfall along NC-215 in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Middle Prong Wilderness.

To visit the falls, head north on NC-215 from (Lake Logan Road) from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Go about 1.5 miles and park in a small pull-off on the right.  It's about a quarter-mile before the pull-off for Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades.  The waterfall is basically across the street from this pull-off.  The water flows down an unnamed tributary that's not on the topo map and flows under NC-215 and into West Fork Pigeon River just upstream of Bubbling Spring Branch.  I visited when the water level was way up, so I'm not sure if it would be of anything during dry times.

White Owl Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.07760,-82.99781 (Pull-off on NC-281)
Waterfall GPS: 35.07649,-82.99714

White Owl Falls is 15-foot waterfall on Thompson River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

To visit the falls, head west on US-64 from Brevard towards Lake Toxaway.  In Lake Toxaway, go left to stay on US-64/NC-281 and go about 2.5 miles, then turn left onto NC-281 south.  Drive 3.9 miles, passing Gorges State Park on the left, and pull into a gated road on the right.  Do not block the gate and be sure your car is completely off the road.

Begin hiking back up NC-281 (towards Gorges State Park) along the guard rail on the opposite side of the road as you parked.  At the end of the guard rail, there is a faint path that leads down through the rocks supporting the road bed.  Continue following the short, but steep path to Thompson River at the base of White Owl Falls.  Although it's a small waterfall, it is quite scenic.

Widows Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.39656, -81.06705 (Parking at Widows Creek Bridge)
Waterfall GPS: 36.39750, -81.06829

Widows Creek Falls is a scenic waterfall on its namesake creek in Wilkes County.  The waterfall is located in Stone Mountain State Park.  The hike to the waterfall is only about a quarter-mile round trip and easy.  See my Stone Mountain State Park page for directions and more description.

Wildcat Falls (Slickrock Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 35.41727,-83.97255 (Big Fat Gap Trailhead Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 35.42762,-83.99977

Wildcat Falls is a scenic waterfall on Slickrock Creek in Graham County.  The waterfall is located within the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness in the Cheoah Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 5.5 miles round trip and strenuous.

To visit the falls, head north on US-129 from Robbinsville for about 13 miles.  Turn left onto Forest Road 62, which immediately crosses Cheoah River.  After the bridge, you'll need to make a sharp right turn to stay on FSR-62.  It's a total of about 7 miles on this gravel road to the end at Big Fat Gap Trailhead parking.

From the parking area, pick up Big Fat Trail (#41) that begins behind the information kiosk.  This trail is very steep as it heads down following Big Fat Branch.  You'll be going down but will have to come back up on the way out.  In about 1.5 miles, the trail levels out and reaches an intersection with Slickrock Trail (#42).  Turn right and cross the creek almost immediately.  We visited in low water and it was an easy rock hop, but will be more difficult in higher water.  The trail follows the river left side for about half a mile before crossing again.  It's another half mile or so to some campsites at the top of Wildcat Falls.  You'll need to cross the creek one more time and follow the creek downstream to a spot where you can get out to the creek near the base.

Wildcat Falls (West Fork Pigeon River Tributary):

Trailhead GPS: 35.30808,-82.90904 (Pull-off on NC-215)
Waterfall GPS: 35.31401,-82.90435

Wildcat Falls is a tall waterfall on a tributary of West Fork Pigeon River in Haywood County.  The waterfall is located in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.  The hike to the waterfall is about 1.5 miles round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head west from Brevard on US-64 for about nine miles and turn right on NC-215 north.  Drive about 17.9 miles on NC-215 N to a pull-off on the right side of the road.  There is a primitive campsite here.  The pull-off is about three quarters of a mile north of the parkway.  If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, take NC-215 N and go 0.8 miles to the pull-off on the right.

From the pull-off, continue on the old road to a crossing of Bubbling Spring Branch.  This is usually an easy rock hop.  Continue on the old road, which is Flat Laurel Creek Trail (#346) for just under three-quarters of a mile to the waterfall at a concrete bridge over the tributary.

Window Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 36.39393,-80.26679 (Hanging Rock Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 36.40107,-80.25947

Window Falls in Stokes County is a waterfall along Indian Creek in Hanging Rock State Park.  The waterfall is a 20 or so foot plunge followed by small cascades over the rock face.  The waterfall is named for a four-foot aperture in the cliff face nearby that resembles a window.  See my Hanging Rock State Park page for directions and more description.


Wintergreen Falls (Grassy Creek):

Trailhead GPS: 35.21187,-82.58787 (Guion Farm Parking Area of DuPont State Forest)
Waterfall GPS: 35.19785,-82.58374

Wintergreen Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Grassy Creek in Henderson County.  The waterfall is located in DuPont State Forest.  The hike to the falls is just over three miles round trip and moderate.  See my DuPont State Forest page for more directions and description.

Wintergreen Falls (Toxaway River):

Trailhead GPS: 35.10853,-82.88325 (Frozen Creek Access of Gorges State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 35.09785,-82.92488

Wintergreen Falls is a beautiful waterfall on Toxaway River in Transylvania County.  The waterfall is located deep in the heart of Gorges State Park.  The hike to the falls is challenging ten-mile round trip hike, including a stretch off trail.  See my Gorges State Park page for more information.

Yellow Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.41945,-83.88937 (Pull-off on US-129)
Waterfall GPS: 35.41930,-83.88608

Yellow Creek Falls is a scenic waterfall on Yellow Creek, a tributary of Cheoah River, in Graham County.  The waterfall is located on private property, but public access is allowed.  The hike to the waterfall is a little over a mile round trip and easy.

To visit the falls, head north on US-129 from Robbinsville for about 11 miles to a small pull-off on the right side of the road.  The waterfall is located on property owned by Brookfield Smoky Mountains Hydropower and the National Wild Turkey Foundation.  From the trailhead, follow the easy path it heads upstream along Yellow Creek, passing some scenic cascades along the way.  You'll cross a tributary on a wooden bridge before reaching the base of this scenic waterfall.

Yellow Fork Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 35.81039,-81.93884 (Pull-off on Old NC Hwy 105)
Waterfall GPS: 35.80987,-81.95236

Yellow Fork Falls is a 40-foot waterfall on Yellow Fork Paddy Creek in Burke County.  The waterfall is located in the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Linville Gorge.  The hike to the waterfall is about 2 miles round trip and strenuous.

To visit the falls, head east from Marion on US-70 for 3 miles.  Turn left on NC-126 east and drive 7.6 miles.  Turn left on Old NC Hwy 105, which turns to gravel as it heads towards Linville Gorge.  Drive about 4 miles to a grassy pull-off on the right side of the road.

Cross the road and head into the woods and look for a path to the left.  It runs about a half mile around a summit and then turns to the right.  There was a cairn at the turn when I was here.  The path then leads into an open area and heads down a ridge.  Ending at the cliffs above Yellow Fork, turn left and go a short ways to a rickety ladder.  Carefully climb down the ladder and scramble down to creek level at the base of the waterfall.

External Links:

US Forest Service website for Elk Falls Area: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48554

US Forest Service website for Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=49016

NC Waterfalls website: http://ncwaterfalls.com/

Pearson's Falls website: http://www.pearsonsfalls.org/