No Name Cove Falls
7-28-16- There are 2 waterfalls on this creek with no name in this cove with no name. They are not on any maps and the folks at the visitor center will not have heard of them either. There's no official trail to them, but about half of the 1 mile hike is along a grassy forest road and unmarked trail. The last 1/2 mile of the hike is off trail - about half through open woods and the rest climbing steeply over fallen trees and such to reach the waterfalls. This area is not for small children! My friend Bernie Boyer found these waterfalls and several others early in 2007 when he was exploring the creeks that come off of the eastern and southern slopes of the Pisgah Ridge. He took me here shortly afterwards, but I never added the waterfalls to the site. I went back again in late April 2015 in July 2016 to get updated conditions and photos. On the last visit, the creek was barely a trickle, so I didn't even take any pictures. The photos here are a combination of the other 2 trips. Kevin Adams talks about these on pages 185-186 in the 3rd edition of his North Carolina Waterfalls book.
Directions: Head north on US276 from the NC280 / US276 / US64 intersection for 10.1 miles and turn left on the gravel FR475B. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, drive south on US276 for 4.7 miles and turn right on FR475B. Drive 0.1 miles on FR475B and park on the left at the dispersed camping site. The hike begins at the narrow gravel road (FR5032) on the right directly across from where you park.
There are 2 routes you can take to this waterfall and both of then begin by walking up 5032 towards the gate. If you are just going to these 2 waterfalls, before you get to the gate, take the trail to the right towards a camp site. Before you get to the camp site, look for a smaller path on the left that's only a very short distance up the trail. Follow this path for 1/4 mile and it will bring you out on the grassy FR5032. Across that will be a wildlife clearing which may or may not have been mowed. You'll be heading up through that field. You could have also stayed on 5032 the entire way, but this is shorter. If you happen to be going to Bennett Cove Falls first, you would stay on 5032 to get to this same point.
Head out through the field towards the back side. In July 2016, a wide path had been mowed earlier in the year, so we followed that to the back. We came across 4-5 yellow jacket nests in the ground, so watch out! If the field scares you, head to the right side of it next to the woods and see if that's any better. The creek is just a little more to the right if you want to just try following the creek up. If you do make it to the back of the field, you'll find some fallen trees you have to get around and you may be able to pick up a faint path leading up creek. If you go in winter, it should be more obvious. When you begin heading up hill more steeply, be sure you are close to the creek. There's a huge boulder in the creek just down from the waterfall, so you know you are getting close when you see it. In the photo above from 2015, I stayed on the left side to get that shot, but you might not see anything with the leaves fully out. From there, I went back down and did my best to get positioned for the shot below. The second shot is from March 2007 in the same general area.
If you made it this far without too much problem and want to see the other waterfall, head up the steep bank near the base of the falls away from the creek and get to a level where you feel comfortable heading forward. You may find remnants of an old road up there. The upper waterfall is between 0.1 and 0.2 miles above the lower falls. It's a 2 section waterfall, maybe 20-30' high. To see the upper section, go away from the creek and up. Do not try to climb up the lower part for any reason! That's how people die or get hurt. Stay safe out there!
upper No Name Cove Falls
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