waterfall on Slate Rock Creek
The hike to this 20' waterfall on Slate Rock Creek is a fairly easy 3/4 of a mile. The waterfall is visible from the trail, but it's a scramble down to the base for a better view. The hike is bigger kid friendly and the creek has several other nice cascades along the way and further up the trail past the waterfall. This trail is also a mountain bike trail, so pay attention and don't leave your gear in the trail if you stop for pictures or a rest. Check the Pisgah Trail map for more options here as the Slate Rock Trail connects to the Pilot Cove Trail and both can be done as a 7 mile loop if you include walking up the road as part of the hike.
Directions: From the intersection of NC 280 / US64 / US276 near Brevard, drive north on US276 for 11.6 miles and turn right on the gravel FR1206 - aka Yellow Gap Rd. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, head south on 276 for 3.2 miles and turn left on FR1206. Drive 6.8 miles on FR1206 and park where you are sure you won't get blocked in. The trail head is on the left just over the bridge and is marked with a carsonite trail sign indicating the Pilot Cove/Slate Rock trail loop. On your way to this trail head you will have passed another trail head for Pilot Cove at 5 miles from Hwy 276.
The hike to this waterfall should take you about 1/2 hour unless you stop for several other photo ops along the way. About 10 minutes into the hike, the trail ascends up some steps where there are some nice smaller cascades on Slate Rock Creek. Cross a small tributary shortly after that and continue up the trail towards the waterfall. Just before you reach the falls, cross another tributary with this smaller waterfall to your right.
Continue past this tributary a short distance to the waterfall on Slate Rock. You'll see a very steep and slippery scramble path down to the base of the falls. There has been a lot of erosion from folks getting down this way, so if you would, please backtrack down the trail about 15-20 yards just before you get back to the tributary and scramble down the rocks. The view of the falls is better from back here anyway :) Or, someone recently emailed me and said there was a faint trail at the tributary down to the creek. You can then wade the creek back up towards the waterfall.
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