Cedar Rock Falls 6-2-07
9-27-14 These 3 waterfalls are accessed from the State Fish Hatchery & Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. All are small, but worth the hike. Cedar Rock Falls is one of my favorite small waterfalls and Upper Cedar Rock Falls is just above that. Grogan Creek Falls is about a mile past Cedar Rock Falls and has been recently improved by someone cutting away a lot of the rhododendron that was partially blocking the view of the falls. The hike to all 3 falls is easy to moderate and kid friendly, but requires a little scrambling near the falls to get good views and photos. These trails are also mountain bike trails, so beware! Most riders are very courteous and realize that hikers have right of way, but it's easier for a hiker to step out of the way and allow the bikers to pass. The hike to Cedar Rock Falls is just under a mile. Grogan Creek Falls is a 2 mile hike.
Directions: From the intersection of NC 280 / US64 / US276 near Brevard, drive 5.2 miles north on 276 and turn left on the paved FR475 towards the Pisgah Center. Drive 1.4 miles and turn left into the Pisgah Center parking area. This is a popular parking spot for backpackers, day hikers, bikers, and people fly fishing so it will be busy during warm weather. All 3 of these waterfalls are accessed from the Cat Gap Trail. To get to the trail head, walk towards the Pisgah Center, look to your left and you will see a gated road. Cross the gate and the Cat Gap Trail is just a few yards up on the right.
The trail to the 20' high Cedar Rock Falls is a fairly easy hike and is just under a mile. Follow the orange blazed trail for about 1/3 of a mile and cross Cedar Rock Creek on a foot bridge. Cross the road and pick up the orange blazes heading up. Hike for another 10-15 minutes - depending on your pace - and begin looking for a side trail to the left. The creek will be down to the left, but you won't be able to see it. The side trail heads off the main trail at a 'V' and is easy to pass if you aren't paying attention. It heads at an angle towards the sound of the waterfall and you'll come out along the rock wall in the above picture. It's an easy scramble down to the base, but be careful if you head out on the boulders, they will be slippery!
Not too far past the side trail to Cedar Rock Falls, you'll get to a camp site down on the left, then a split in the trail. Head down to the camp site for Upper Cedar Rock Falls. It's only 10' high, but very scenic.
Upper Cedar Rock Falls
The other waterfall in this area is on Grogan Creek and is about a mile from this point. At the above mentioned camp site is the intersection with the blue blazed Butter Gap Trail. Take this trail to the right (west) and pass several nice primitive camp sites. In just over 1/2 a mile, you'll come to the intersection of the Long Branch Trail which will take you to the waterfall on Long Branch. Stay on the Butter Gap Trail to the left (south). In less than 1/2 mile, you'll hear and may catch glimpses of another cascade on Grogan Creek. The rhododendron is very thick here and I haven't been down to investigate that falls. Continue on the trail for a short distance to where the creek gets closer to the trail and the 15-20' Grogan Creek Falls will be very obvious. Stay away from the top of the waterfall! Look for the scramble trail down to the base.
Grogan Creek Falls
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