Chasteen Creek Cascade

10-21-06  Bobbie and I were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at this 15-20' cascade. The 4 mile round trip hike was fairly easy with the trail following Bradley Fork and Chasteen Creek. If you are a wildflower nut, you could make this hike an all day affair in the spring. The trail is rich with many different varieties and you could spend hours admiring the blooms. The trail shares with horseback riders, so please remember that hikers should yield to horses.

Directions: From Cherokee, drive north on US441 to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, passing the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Depending on where you are coming from and time of the year, you might choose to just take the Parkway to the south end and turn right on to 441. Continue past the visitors center for just over 3 miles and turn right over the river at the sign for the Smokemont Campground. Turn left just after crossing the river and continue into the campground and all the way back to the D section. Parking for hikers is at the end on the right near the trail head. This was full on our visit (as was the campground), so we had to continue around to the left and park in the group camping spots.

The hike starts on the Bradley Fork Trail. Take it for a little over a mile and look for the signed turn to the right for the Chasteen Creek Trail. Continue on the Chasteen Creek Trail for almost 3/4 of a mile. You will have crossed over to the right side of the creek. Look for and take an obvious side trail to the left that leads a short way up to the waterfall. I knew the waterfall wasn't very big from the description in Kevin Adams' book, but we really enjoyed the hike. We were on the tail end of the fall color and now it's on my list for a spring wildflower hike.

 

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