Graveley Falls - Headwaters State Forest
9-9-18 - Graveley Falls is another great example of how a waterfall doesn't have to be big to be beautiful. The relatively easy 0.6 mile hike to this 20' high cascading waterfall can be enjoyed by the entire family. There is a short, steep scramble right at the end to get to the base of the falls, but this shouldn't be a problem for most folks. The sandy pool at the base of the falls is just deep enough to cool off on a hot summer day. You can keep your feet dry on most days while at this waterfall, but if you want to explore all of the photo possiblities, bring water shoes.
Directions: From the center of town in Brevard at Broad and Main Streets, turn on to East Main St (US276 south). Drive 7.3 miles on 276 and turn right on East Fork Rd. This is also the back entrance for the Connestee Falls development. Drive 7 miles on East Fork Rd and turn sharply left on to Glady Fork Rd. Drive 2.6 miles on Glady Fork Rd and the gravel drive with the cable across it on the left serves as the trail head. I don't have mileage, but if you continue down Glady Fork for a very few more miles, it ends at F Van Clayton Memorial Hwy near Sassafras Mountain in South Carolina, so if you happened to be over there, you could come in that way. Also, the other end of East Fork Rd is in Rosman, NC, so you could also come in from there too.
Graveley Falls Trail Head
The trail head isn't marked yet, but it has a "Do Not Enter' and a 'Do Not Block Gate' sign on the cable. Just on the other side of the cable is a new Headwaters SF sign welcoming foot traffic. No bikes or horses are allowed on the trails! There is no official parking area for the waterfall, so you'll have to pull off the road anywhere on public property as long as your vehicle is completely off the road. You should begin looking as soon as you pass a road on the left (I think it's Walden Ridge Trail) at about 2.4 miles down Glady Fork Rd. There was no one else here when we visited and I was able to pull off on the right just before the cabled road. If for some reason there are a lot of cars here, continue past the drive and keep looking. At 3.1 miles down Glady Fork Rd, there's a new Headwaters SF access on the left where you can get turned around - or, you could park here and walk the 0.5 miles back up Glady Fork Rd. As a side note, this access at 3.1 miles has a new kiosk with nothing on it yet (as of this writing), but there's an old road leading up to somewhere.
Begin the hike on the cabled road. At 0.1 miles into the hike, the road splits. Take the fork to the right and down hill. (I'm not sure where the road to the left and up goes - yet.)
fork in the road - go right!
The hike is a nice stroll through the woods which are a combination of hardwoods and white pine. The South Prong of Glady Fork is down through the woods on your right, but is silent as it passes through this level section of the forest. You'll pass a couple of older overgrown roads and paths, but stay on the main road. At 0.5 miles, pass a path on the right heading down towards the creek. Not too far past this, the road ends and 2 trails continue towards the sound of falling water. The trail to the right goes a short distance to the top of Graveley Falls. You can go down for a look if you stay away from the very top and stay on dry rock only! People die when they start splashing around at the tops of waterfalls. Use common sense folks!
The trail to the left leads past a nice trail view of the falls (first photo on this page). Continue a short distance past this and look for the short and steep trail down to the base of the waterfall. Be careful on the slanted rock at the bottom - it's very slippery when wet.
There's also a nice 'S' shaped narrow cascade below Graveley Falls. If that slanted rock isn't too wet and slippery, you can get scoot down it for a look. Or, you can cross the creek right there below the pool and look to your left on the other side of the rocks and climb down into the little chasm and shoot from there.
back to Headwaters State Forest page