11-15-15 Triple Falls is a rather unique waterfall in that it's 3 smaller falls making up one larger waterfall. You can access Triple Falls from either the Hooker Falls or High Falls parking areas. If you are planning to only visit Triple Falls, the shortest route will be from the Hooker Falls access. If you are including Hooker Falls and High Falls, this is probably still the best place to park. Use the High Falls access area if you plan to just visit Triple and High Falls or will be including either Bridal Veil or Grassy Creek Falls in the day's agenda. Triple Falls gets a lot of visitors - especially during the summer months - so go early if you are trying to get photos without people in them. All the trails described here are family friendly and easy to moderate in difficulty.
Directions to the Hooker Falls parking: From the intersection of US64 east of Brevard and Crab Creek Rd, drive 4.2 miles on Crab Creek Rd and turn right on to DuPont Rd. Drive 3.1 miles and turn right into the Hooker Falls Access parking area. Drive through the first parking lot and back to the second (newer) parking area. (If you come mid day in the summer, you may end up back in the old lot because the new one will be full.)
From the south side of the Hooker Falls parking lot, take the new foot bridge across the Little River and follow the trail under the road. Connect with the Triple Falls Trail that heads up river. Just before the trail begins heading uphill, you'll notice some side paths that lead out to the river. Fisherman use these, but anyone can go out on the rocks for a look. Look up the right side and see if you think it's safe to rock hop up to the base of the lower section of the falls. If you've done this type of thing before you probably won't have a problem in normal to low river flow. These rocks are especially slippery when wet, so use extra caution. Once you get to the base of the waterfall, do not attempt to climb up the rocks to get to the next level of the waterfall! This type of stupidity is strictly prohibited and you are subject to arrest if caught. The fellow in the next photo got to where he is from the stairs that lead down from the upper viewing area. To get to the main viewing area for the waterfall from down here, you have to backtrack to the main trail and head up from there. The trail (gravel road) gets very steep in this area, but it's not very far up to the view. The total hiking distance from the parking area is less than 1/2 a mile.
Directions to the High Falls parking: From the intersection of US64 east of Brevard and Crab Creek Rd, drive 4.2 miles on Crab Creek Rd and turn right on to DuPont Rd. Drive 4.2 miles (passing the Hooker Falls access) and turn left into the High Falls parking area on Buck Forest Rd. Bear right on the one way loop that brings you around to the parking and the visitor center.
The hike begins along the High Falls Trail which is located on the right side of the parking area near the visitor center. About 1/4 mile into the hike (less than 10 minutes or so), the Triple Falls Trail turns to the left. Take the Triple Falls Trail and in a little over a mile from the parking area, bear left on the trail to get to the main viewing area. The High Falls Trail goes to the right at this point. To continue the loop up to High Falls, turn right here and follow the trail past the top of Triple Falls. In just over 1/4 of a mile, the trail spilts. The Riverbend Trail to the left will take you towards the base of High Falls. Bear right on the High Falls Trail to get to the trail side viewing area for High Falls. To complete the loop, continue up the High Falls Trail for another 1/4 mile, pass the Covered Bridge Trail on the left (unless you want to see the covered bridge), and bear right on the High Falls Trail back to the High Falls parking area.
No matter which way you get to Triple Falls, look for the stairs that lead down to the top of the lower section of the falls. The stairs are just up the trail from the main viewing area. This area of the waterfall is fairly flat and kid friendly if you watch them at all times and they pay attention when you say 'don't go over there!' Stay away from the edge, don't try to climb up or down on the rocks, and be careful on the wet areas because these rocks are very slippery when wet. Swimming is strictly forbidden in this area. The 1st image below is looking at the 2 upper sections of the falls from this area. The 2nd image is looking down river near the edge of the top of the lower section.
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