037 – Waterfall on Caney Bottom Loop

Accessibility – Difficult+

Height: Approx 30′

Distance – 4.0 miles (loop)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 4

Solitude – 9

GPS Info: LAT 35.2946 LONG -82.8140

Last updated – 04/01/2017

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After stopping off at the Pothole Cascades and the Rockslide on Cove Creek and making it to Cove Creek Falls, now it’s decision time. The Waterfall on Caney Bottom Loop adds about 1.25 miles to the hike and it is not the easiest thing to get to or photograph. The hike is straight-forward with a couple of options as far as route. Although most guide books take on on the blue blazed Caney Bottom Loop trail, there is a faster way by taking the trail to the right of the bathrooms in the group camp area. I’ve done the hike both ways and it is a lot shorter taking the alternate route. No matter the route, the hike is one of my top ten waterfall hikes. You can see the entire top ten lest here. The alternate route is easier if you stopped at the Rockslide on Cove Creek.

From the intersection of 64/276 in Brevard, follow 276 5.3 miles to the split with 475. Make the left onto 475 and follow it 3.2  miles. There is a parking area on the left just before the road turns to gravel. The lot will fill up and it isn’t uncommon to have to park on the side of 475. Across 475 from the parking area is a gated road to the group camp area. Walk around the gate and follow the road towards the group camp areas. The road passes through Cove Creek but you can take a side trail to the right to avoid getting your feet wet. When Caney Bottom Loop trail intersects the road, you have a decision to make. The trail heads off to the left following the blue blazed trail. It’s not a bad hike. you can also continue up the road until you see the bathrooms for the campground. To the right of the bathrooms is a trail that leads to the Caney Bottom Trail. Your choice. No matter which direction you choose, keep in mind that Caney Bottom Loop and Cove Creek Trail are mountain biking trails as well. When the trail splits, follow the yellow blazed Cove Creek Trail. Follow the Cove Creek trail for approx 0.75 mile to the carsonite sign for Cove Creek Falls. Instead of going right, remain on the Cove Creek Trail. The Cove Creek Trail connects to the Caney Bottom Loop trail again. Following the blur blazed trail, it will lead past a small cascade and then the 30-40 foot high waterfall. Getting to the base isn’t easy and there is a lot of debris cluttering the pool in front. I wasn’t bale to get a good shot on my only visit and I wasn’t impressed enough to make the hike again. Possibly in 2016.

The hike is kid friendly right up the point where you want to scramble down to the waterfall. My daughter referred to this one as a death scramble. I made it down and back but my pictures were dreadful. Truthfully it isn’t an awful waterfall it’s just very hard to access and photograph. The only shots I have are from above on the right bank and there is so much vegetation in the way there’s no detail. If and when I go back I will post some pictures.