Shuck Ridge Creek Falls
6-15-13 Seeing the 25' Shuck Ridge Creek Falls requires a 9 mile round trip hike and then a very steep scramble to get to the base for a view and a dip in the clear, cold pool. The hike is easy to moderate for the most part - until you get to the top of the waterfall. There used to be a shorter hike that started from the end of FR229 at Gloucester Gap, but 229 was closed a few years back due to landslide damage and it doesn't look like it will reopen to vehicle traffic. You can still walk up it, but it's 2.5 miles of uphill hiking and the route I talk about here is easier and more scenic. It begins at the same parking spot for Toms Spring Falls (Daniel Ridge Falls).
Directions: From the intersection of NC280 / US64 / US276 near Brevard, drive 5.2 miles north on US276 and turn left on the paved FR475 towards the Pisgah Center. Drive 3.9 miles and park in the dirt lot on the right. FR475 turns to gravel after Cove Creek Group Campground at 3.2 miles. Begin the hike at the red gate.
Begin the hike on the gravel road on the other side of the gate. Cross the bridge over the Davidson River. A side trail leads off to the left heading towards some primitive camp sites, but keep going a little farther and turn left at the fork on to the red blazed Daniel Ridge Loop Trail. (Staying straight would take you to Toms Spring Falls.) This is also a mountain bike trail, so watch out for riders. This used to be an old road and is shown as FR137 on the trail map. It passes several primitive camp sites and in about 0.4 miles comes to a short section of trail that had to be rerouted a few years back. A short distance after that, the trail forks. Stay to the right and follow the trail until it makes a sharp right hand turn just before an old washed out bridge at Right Fork. From here the trail begins to climb with the creek on your left and in 3/4 of a mile comes to a trail intersection. The Daniel Ridge Loop Trail goes right, but you'll stay left on the blue blazed Farlow Gap Trail. Cross Right Fork and continue up the switchbacks. In a little over a mile, cross a small creek that has a waterfall down creek from the trail. During good water flow, I think it's worth a look.
waterfall along Farlow Gap Trail
A short distance after that, cross Daniel Ridge Creek. About 3/4 of a mile from here, the trail crosses the top of Shuck Ridge Creek Falls. To get to the base, continue on the trail and look for a very steep path on the left. Part of it is over exposed rock, so be very careful here! A section of rope would be handy if you happen to have one.
Shuck Ridge Creek Falls
There's also some interesting falling water on Shuck Ridge Creek above the Farlow Gap Trail. There's no kind of trail at all up the creek, so it's a bushwhack and boulder climbing the entire way. Harry and I went up back in 2006. I didn't have a GPS then, so I'm not sure how far we went, but probably not more than 1/2 a mile.
Harry at a waterfall up creek from Shuck Ridge Creek Falls
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