Cove Creek Falls in Pisgah National Forest features a 50-foot cascade. The surrounding area is packed with waterfalls and not many of them require long hikes to visit. You can use my map to find this location and then learn more about the other attractions nearby.
There is a group camp near this location, but the gate is almost always closed. Use the map point below to navigate to the forest road and then park across the street from the gate in the gravel pull-off. I’ll add that you will pass public privies in the park, but I can’t promise that they’ll be unlocked.
Walk around the gate and down the road until it fords a shallow creek. There is a footbridge to the right of the road. Walk for a couple of hundred yards and you’ll come to a small, unnamed (as far as I know) waterfall on your right. You will hear it easily and see several side trails down to the cascade. This is worth visiting.
Continue up the road and you will see the trailhead for Caney Bottom. This is a popular mountain biking trail, so be careful of traffic. Follow the blue blazes and it will lead you to the yellow-blazed Cove Creek Trail. Eventually, Caney Bottom will turn right and you’ll stay straight on Cove Creek until it reaches the top of the falls.
The trail to the falls is about 1¼ miles. The hardest hiking is the scramble down to the top, middle, and bottom of the falls.
After viewing the falls, you have 3 choices.
- You can go back the way you came for the shortest route.
- You can follow a path downstream at the base of the waterfall and reconnect with Caney Bottom to make a slightly longer loop.
- You can go back to the trail, turn right, and take it until it properly intersects with Caney Bottom to make a 4-mile loop. This last way features another small waterfall featured in the last photo above.
Even though most of this hike is easy, I recommend taking trekking poles for the scramble down to the bottom of the falls. Some sections are steep and it can become very slick when wet.