If you head northwest on Highway 276 out of Brevard, NC, the road closely follows the Davidson River. There are lots of recreation areas just off the highway and cars are parked wherever there is enough room to pull over. Actually, many people park where there is not enough room to pull over, causing all sorts of traffic jams. You constantly pass swimsuit-clad pedestrians who somehow confuse the laws of the road with the laws of physics by stepping into oncoming traffic. Moore Cove Falls is one of those attractions. The trailhead is about five miles northwest of Brevard, just past Looking Glass Falls. There is no parking lot, so park wherever you can. There’s a picture of the pull-off above.
There is nothing difficult about this trail. It’s heavily trafficked and well-trodden. The elevation is minimal and there are stairs in the steepest places. The path is more like a well-worn mountain bike trail than a purely hiking one. I think the trail is about 1¼ miles from the trailhead to the falls, making it a 2½ mile out-and-back. The canopy is dense, so you’re walking in the shade. You’re never really that far from the road, so the pristine nature of the area is interrupted by the occasional motorcycle group.
Honestly, the hike was so quick that I forgot to take pictures of the trail. There is an overlook next to the 50-foot waterfall if you want to stay dry, but most people walk around and down to the bottom of the cascade. There’s an overhang as well, so you can sit in the shade of you prefer. This is a great picnic spot. There is also fly fishing in Looking Glass Creek, so you could really spend the day here. There is supposed to be another, smaller waterfall higher up Moore’s Cove Creek, but I couldn’t find the unofficial trail.
Like all attractions in the area, this is crowded on warm weekends. Lots of people bring their small children so they can swim in the falls. There are several camping spots just off the trail. I don’t know if that’s really encouraged or even allowed, but I couldn’t help but think that this would make a great overnight spot for families with little kids. The hike is easy, there’s a spectacle at the end of the walk, and you’re never very far from the car or bathrooms/showers at the nearby Davidson River Campground & Recreation Area.
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