Discovery Falls

Height: 75 feet
Trail Type: Gravel and dirt
Hike Distance: 1 mile round trip
Difficulty: 8
Beauty: 9

Overview:

This waterfall was discovered by Rich Stevenson, who I credit for getting me into waterfalls in the first place. You should check out his website ncwaterfalls.com for more pictures and hikes to falls in North Carolina. He found Discovery Falls by following the creek upstream without really knowing what to expect. I imagine he was pleasantly surprised to come across this 75-foot monster.

The creek feeding the falls spreads out as it slides down the rock and gets more gentle as it gets closer to the base. By the time it reaches the end of its slide, the falls transitions from drops over jagged rocks to a slide over wrinkled rock.

Directions:

From the intersection of US 64 and US 276 in Brevard, head north on US 276 for 10.3 miles and turn left onto the gravel Headwaters Road/FR 475B. This is the same road that passes Slick Rock Falls farther south. Drive 1.6 miles to a sharp, downhill hairpin and park in the pullout. You will see the gated FR 5043 and a forest management sign talking about preserving the watersheds.

Hike Description:

Follow the old logging road for a bit until you come to a wooden bridge crossing a creek. A small path cuts off to the right just before the bridge. When Rich discovered the falls, there was no path at all. Since then, enough people have cut some semblance of a trail.

However, I don’t think the forest service ever touches it, so it’s in constant danger of getting lost. On my visit, there were several downed trees blocking the way, so I had to improvise a bit. It wasn’t enough that I couldn’t pick up the trail farther ahead, but it’s something to note if you ever visit. There’s also a very steep ascent as you get closer.