038 – Cove Creek Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 50′

Distance – 2.72 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 8

Photo rating – 9

Solitude – 8

GPS Info: LAT 35.2943 LONG -82.8177

Last updated – 04/01/2017

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After stopping off at the Pothole Cascades and the Rockslide on Cove Creek, now it’s time to get to the main attraction. Cove Creek falls is the third waterfall on this hike. 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. Total distance to this waterfall round trip is 2.72 miles. If you add in the difficult to photograph Waterfall on Caney Bottom Loop trail it brings the total closer to 4.0 miles. If you’re pressed for time or have no interest in seeing a waterfall that’s very hard to see, you can skip the one on Caney Bottom Loop. After Cove Creek Falls, you’ll only be disappointed.

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. The trail down is steep and there are three side trails to the falls. The first two take you out above the falls. The third emerges at the base. You will have to scramble around a large outcropping of rock to get a good shot of the falls.

The hike is kid friendly as the large pool at the base is safe enough if you want to go in. The pool in front is shallow and there is very little current. In order to get a good shot you’re going to have to cross to the middle of the creek. The rock outcropping on the left where you came in blocks much of the falls. As demonstrated below, by moving into the creek for your shot you can eliminate a lot of the obstructions and the clutter at the base.

The trailhead for the Caney Bottom Loop Trail – June 2014


Cove Creek Falls from the rock outcropping – October 2014

Cove Creek Falls from the middle of Cove Creek – October 2014