040 – Waterfall on Barnett Branch

Accessibility – Easy

Height: Approx 25′

Distance – 1.0 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 6

GPS Info: LAT 35.3731 LONG -82.7750

Last updated – 04/01/2017

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The Waterfall on Barnett Branch is one of three along the Barnett Branch trail but none of them are on Barnett Branch. The three waterfalls are relatively close together and should be done as a single hike due to the proximity. Getting to the waterfall is easy enough but for the most part, this waterfall is unknown. The first time I stopped in the ranger station and asked about a trail map for Barnett Branch Trail Waterfalls, I was told there isn’t a waterfall there! The waterfall is about 25 feet high and all but on the trail.

From the convergence of US64/NC280/US276 in Brevard drive North on US276 11.7 miles to FR1206, Yellow Gap Rd. The turn is on the right. Coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway the left hand turn onto FR1206 is 3.3 miles from the stop sign at the base of the ramp. FR1206 is a single lane gravel road that sees a lot of traffic in the summer months so watch your speed and don’t be surprised if you have to make use of the turn outs to allow approaching vehicles to pass. The Barnett Branch Trail intersects FR1206 1.3 miles later. There is parking near the trail crossing for several vehicles but you don’t want to block the trailhead. If these are filled, you will have to park along FR1206. There are numerous campsite along this stretch so you may have to park near one of them.

As you reach the intersection with the Barnett Branch Trail, you will want to take the trail off the left side of the road. This will be the side where there is a small pull out for several vehicles to park. The trail is narrow and it is a mountain biking trail so stay alert. The upstream hike is no more than 15-20 minutes at a moderate pace. The waterfall will be on your left as you approach and a short trail leads to the base. You will know you’re in the correct place when you see the steps leading off to the right.

The hike is kid friendly and the trail is not too steep. At just over a mile round trip to this waterfall it makes for a short enjoyable hike. Getting a good shot of the falls may prove challenging and require getting your feet wet. The best vantage I could find was standing in the creek as far down from the falls as I could get. The vegetation around the falls makes this one tricky to photograph. Once you’re done here, we’ll continue upstream to the Middle Falls on Barnett Branch

Waterfall on Barnett Branch from trail – June 2015
Waterfall on Barnett Branch – Creek view – June 2015