Rough Butt Falls
11-20-04 - I'm not sure if I would have found this excellent waterfall if it weren't for the good directions posted by KT. If you plan to go, be prepared to get wet. There was a bridge across Caney Fork Creek that has been washed out and there's no telling how long it will be before it's rebuilt. This was the only was across, and it's now a wade through the creek in some knee deep water.
From Cashiers, head north on Hwy 107 for 17.6 miles and turn right on Caney Fork Road. It's after the right turn for Hwy 281. Drive 9.2 miles on Caney Fork, cross a bridge and park on the right hand side grassy shoulder past the last house on the left. You will have just passed a right hand turn with a couple of driveways and some 'no parking' signs. Do not drive in here. If the road turns to gravel you've driven too far. Walk back down Caney Fork Rd and to the left into the drives you just passed. Keep to the left and head up the gravel drive. There will be a fenced pasture and house on the left - Caney Fork Creek will be on the right. Just past the house, the drive ends at the washed out bridge across Caney Fork. Cross through Caney Fork and continue up the road. I'm not sure where the border of the Nantahala National Forest is, but you'll cross it. This forest road follows Caney Fork along a ridge. You may or may not be able to see that the creek splits after about 10 minutes up the road. Rough Butt and Piney Mountain Creeks come together to form Caney Fork. In about 15 minutes or so total from the washed out bridge, the road meets Rough Butt Creek. We crossed - again having to get our feet wet - and continued up the left side of Rough Butt Creek. There's a faint fisherman's trail and it was about another 5-10 minutes up to the waterfall. Parts of it are very slippery, so be careful!
The portion of the waterfall that we could see from the base is about 40' high. There's a nice pool in front and we'll definitely have to make a return trip when the leaves are back on the trees next year.
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