Big Bearwallow Falls
6-28-16 Big Bearwallow Falls is a nice 30' high waterfall that very few people visit despite the fact that it is very close to the road. I first visited this waterfall back in 2007 after my pal (and waterfall guru) Bernie Boyer found the falls and took me there. When Kevin Adams added it to the latest edition of his North Carolina Waterfalls book, I decided to revisit the falls and add it to the site. Be warned - there is no trail to this waterfall and it is not easy to get to. Do not attempt to find this waterfall with small children and do not attempt this of you are not comfortable with off trail exploration!
Directions: From the intersection of US64 and NC215 near Rosman at the Headwaters Outfitters, drive 2.6 - 2.7 miles north on NC215 to a narrow pull off area on the left. There's enough room here to safely park unless you have a larger vehicle. You'll know you are at the right pull off if you see a mailbox ahead on the right with 2826 on it and you see a big tree on the left over the guard rail with red paint on it. You probably won't be able to see the red paint until you are parked. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, drive 14.5 miles south on 215 and look for the pull off on the right.
The bushwhack begins by descending the very steep bank towards the creek. Unfortunately, people have dumped trash here in the past and you will have to be very careful of broken glass. The waterfall is less than 0.2 miles down creek from this point and you have a couple of options on how to proceed. You can stay in the creek and try to whack your way down to the waterfall, but you'll have some smaller cascades and downed trees to contend with. Your best option might be to cross to the other side, head a bit to the left and climb the bank to the old overgrown logging road. This road connects on to 215 just north of where you parked, but it is gated and posted. Do not park here or attempt to go in from here! I checked the Transylvania County GIS site and this road is private property for just a very short distance, so if you head back up the bank and to the left, you should still be on national forest property. Once you are on this old road, follow it down for maybe 10 minutes at the most and you should hear the waterfall down the steep bank. This sounds easy, but there are quite a few downed trees to crawl over or under and shrubs to get through. I came to one area where several fallen trees were blocking the path and I had to go up and around them. The waterfall is a very short distance beyond this point. I also had to avoid a yellow jacket nest in the ground along the way. Once you determine that the falls is below you, aim for the base of the falls and you should have the view in the above picture. Good luck and stay safe!
Bernie, Harry, and me in 2007
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