Moore Cove Falls 9-16-10
Moore Cove Falls might be second in popularity to Looking Glass Falls. The hike is less than 3/4 of a mile and is fairly easy for the most part - and kid friendly. The waterfall is a free fall of about 50' and the average flow is what is shown in these pictures. Some time in mid to late 2011, the Forest Service improved and rerouted the trail in a few places and had a viewing platform built overlooking the waterfall. You can still get behind the waterfall by going around the deck. There are actually 2 waterfalls here if you are willing to explore a short distance.
Directions: From the intersection of Hwys 64, 280 and 276 north near Brevard, drive north on Hwy 276 north for about 6.5 miles and pull off in the paved area on the right side of the road. You'll see a wooden info center - if you cross the bridge you've gone too far. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off on the Hwy 276 exit and drive south for 8.2 miles, cross the bridge and pull off on the left. You will have passed Sliding Rock on the way down the mountain. The trail begins on the bridge side of the info board. Cross the wooden foot bridge across Looking Glass Creek and head uphill for a short distance. This is one of the sections of the trail that has been graded and improved. At the top of this incline, head to the right and follow the yellow blazes on the trees to the waterfall.
The trail is easy to follow and is a nice hike through the forest and along the creek. In mid April you will spot several different varieties of wildflowers along the way. All of the older foot bridges have been replaced as well as the boardwalk over the mushy area just before you get to the waterfall. There are some nice rocks up and to the right of the falls which offer a nice view, but the 2 trees pictured in the next photo have been cut down - I think they were dead. If you go behind the waterfall you will notice a trail leading up the other side. Do not let your children go up here! It leads to a ledge near the top of the falls and people have fallen to their deaths from here. The last was in 2008. The picture following that was taken in December 2011 and shows the new viewing deck. Below that is a video I shot a few winters ago.
The other waterfall I mentioned is really close to Moore Cove Falls and isn't shown on the trail map or mentioned at the Visitor's Center. Just as you leave Moore Cove Falls, look down the bank on the right and head to the closed camp site. Go through the campsite and cross the creek. There's a lesser trail that leads up the left side of this creek a very short ways to the waterfall. You'll have to cross the creek again just before the waterfall. This area can be mucky and slippery and you might have to get your feet wet. This waterfall doesn't have a name, but I've been calling it Little Moore Cove Falls. It's kind of a miniature version of Moore Cove Falls and you can walk behind this one also.
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