Hunt Fish Falls
10-16-13 Even though Hunt Fish Falls isn't a very big waterfall, it's a very popular destination for day hikers and backpackers as well. There's a huge natural swimming hole below the falls and room to hang out on the bedrock surrounding the pool. Several primitive camping spots are nearby and you can combine this hike with other trails in the area to make a nice 2-3 day backpacking loop. The trail is less than a mile and moderate in difficulty because of steepness near the end, but is good for families with bigger kids. You may end up carrying a smaller child back up to the parking area. You can also access the waterfalls on Gragg Prong from this trail.
Directions: There are several ways to get here, so check your maps for the way that is best from the direction you are coming from. I usually come into this area off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 311.1 north of Linville Falls which is the intersection of SR1518 (Old Jonas Ridge Rd). Turn right on the gravel road if you are heading north on the BRP from Linville (left turn coming from the Grandfather Mountain area). There may or may not be a green road sign - there wasn't on my last visit to this area. The road begins as gravel, but turns back to pavement. Pass a Christmas tree farm on the right and at 1.7 miles from the Parkway, look for the Long Ridge Baptist church on the right. The main road curves to the right, but continue straight past the church on the narrower gravel FR464. Drive 6.2 miles on FR464 to the parking area on the left and the trail head (#263) for Hunt Fish Falls. You'll have passed some private property on the left, FR58 to the right, and several other trail heads along FR464 including Big and Little Lost Cove Cliffs. If you happen to be staying at the Mortimer Campground, turn right on NC90 coming out of the campground, drive about 2 miles on this gravel road and turn left on the other end of FR464 (Pineola Rd). The parking for Hunt Fish will be 3.1 miles up FR464 on the right.
The hike to Hunt Fish Falls begins on the signed trail at the parking area. The trail is between 3/4 of a mile and a mile and mostly downhill all the way. The trail gets steep at the end and meets the Lost Cove Trail (#262) above Hunt Fish Falls. Turn right here and go a short distance to a creek crossing. There's a waterfall up creek from the trail here, but usually not much water on it. You can get out on the rock above Hunt Fish Falls here or continue down the trail to get out on the rock area around the pool. Below is a video and more pictures of Hunt Fish.
If you would like to continue your adventure, you can continue past Hunt Fish Falls on the Lost Cove Trail and get to the waterfalls on Gragg Prong. You'll come to Gragg Prong Falls first, then continue up the trail to the upper waterfall. I used to have those directions on this page, but have given these 2 waterfalls their own separate page at this link.
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