Upper Little Lost Cove Creek Falls
9-15-07 Several people have emailed me saying they couldn't find the side trail down to this waterfall over the last couple or 3 years. I didn't realize it had been 4-5 years since I had been so I included it in my most recent trip to the area. The old pictures are actually better with more water flow so there will be some of each trip. I found out about the upper waterfall first, then was told about the lower waterfall about a year later. I hope these new directions and hints will be easier to follow!
Directions: I come in this area off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 311.1. Turn left if you are heading south on the BRP (right turn coming from Linville Falls) on SR 1518 which is Old Jonas Ridge Rd. This is an intersection, but I didn't see a green road name sign this last time. The road is gravel, then paved, then back to gravel. Follow it for a little less than 2 miles, past a Christmas tree farm on the right and to a little white church on the left. The road curves to the right, but continue straight past the church on the narrower FR464. From the church drive 4 miles on FR464 and look for FR464A which cuts sharply back to the left. If the gate is open, you can try driving the 0.8 miles to the overused unattractive camp site and park here. I had parked at the top and walked in on my previous 2 trips, but this time I drove in to check the condition of the road. I had to move a couple of limbs out of the road, but it's in very good shape. I was in my Jeep, but any 2WD truck, Subaru, or vehicle with decent clearance would have made it. You have to cross through the creek part of the way down, but that's no problem.
Once at the campsite, stay to the left and walk around the Jeep mounds the best way that you can. The 2 big dips usually have muddy water in them, then the trail becomes an old road. The side trail to the right down to the waterfall is 1/2 mile from this point. When I'm estimating how long it will take me to hike a certain distance on a trail, I usually figure I hike at 2 mph, so 1/2 mile should be about 15 minutes. Since this is downhill and easy, it took me about 10-12 minutes at a steady pace. Part of the way down you will hear the sound of the creek to the right and down in the shrub. Look for an area after that where the trail widens and has a thin layer of moss growing around it with quite a bit of loose small rough stone. The trail will bear to the left a bit and the side trail down to the waterfall is a short distance after that. On the Sept 07 trip there was flagging tape, a small rock, and the same small log running parallel to the trail marking the spot to go down. This trail is steep, but there are a lot of rhododendron to hang on to on the way down. The trail is fairly well defined and had flagging tape also. Don't count on it though. It's almost straight down to the base of the upper falls pictured above. When you get to a view of the falls, the trail turns left and heads along the ridge down creek to the lower falls. Drop straight down to see the upper falls. The next shot was taken on this last trip from the big rock and shows the difference in water volume.
To get to the lower waterfall, continue down the trail I mentioned above. It's primitive, but I thought it was easy to follow and there was flagging tape again. You'll soon be able to see the top of the waterfall - avoid it and keep going!! It's very steep in this area and the trail does a nice job of feeding you down the bank below the waterfall. You'll have to cross the creek and climb up the boulders for the best view. This waterfall is over 50' high and the water really does flow sideways down the rock. The last picture is from the most recent trip. Good luck!
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