waterfall on Clawhammer Creek  12-31-13

12-13-14  The waterfall on Clawhammer Creek isn't much to write home about, but the hike is nice and you're not likely to see anyone else on the trail. You can combine this hike with the one to the waterfall on Avery Creek and make a nice half day of it. The hike up Clawhammer Creek is just over a mile and is fairly easy. To see the 15' waterfall pictured above, you have to leave the trail and continue up the creek through the woods for about 100 feet. To get a decent shot of the falls, you have to scramble down a steep bank to creek level.

Directions:  From the intersection of NC 280 / US64 / US276 near Brevard, drive north on US276 into the Pisgah Forest for 2.2 miles and turn right on the gravel Avery Creek Rd (FR477). There's a sign indicating the Pisgah Riding Stables are up this road. Drive 2.2 more miles up FR477, passing a group camp area on the right, some dispersed camping sites on the right and left, and the stables. Look for a small pull out on the right at 2.2 miles and the marker for the blue blazed Avery Creek Trail. Park here. Space is limited - if there's none here you can continue up the road for about 1/4 mile and park at the Buckhorn Gap trail head, then walk back, or check your Pisgah map to see how you can take the Buckhorn Gap trail to the Avery Creek trail, then back to Clawhammer Creek.

The Avery Creek trail begins by heading down hill to pick up Avery Creek. In less than 10 minutes, the trail turns right and crosses the creek on a foot bridge. After the crossing, the trail splits. Avery Creek trail heads left, but you'll take the Clawhammer Creek trail to the right. In about 5 more minutes, the trail will bear to the left and slightly uphill to follow Clawhammer Creek. In another 15-20 minutes, the trail crosses Clawhammer Creek on another footbridge, gets a little steeper and heads away from the creek. Go a short distance and look for 2 blue blazes on a tree. This is where you have to leave the trail a go maybe 100' up creek to see the waterfall. When I hiked this trail in late 2014, there were several branches down, so just pick the path of least resistance. There's not much of a view of the waterfall from the bank, so you'll have to scramble down for a better view and picture. I came back down creek a bit to a spot where I had rhododendron branches to hold on to.


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