060 – Waterfall on Clawhammer Creek

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 15′

Distance – 2.0 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 2

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.???? LONG -82.????

Last updated – 04/01/2017

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The hike to the Waterfall on Clawhammer Creek is approximately 1.0 mile each way along a very nice trail in a quiet section of forest. Other than some downfall blocking the trail about 0.6 of a mile from the trailhead, this trail was a joy to hike. The only problem was getting to the base of the falls to get a shot. The trail down was slippery and on this day, I wasn’t in the mood to get covered in mud to shimmy down. The scramble looks like it would be difficult under the best of conditions so doing it on a dreary 55 degree March day didn’t seem appealing. I’m hoping to have another go at this one in the summer of 2016. The waterfall can be done as a solo hike or paired with the Waterfall on Avery Creek, which would add less than 0.5 of a mile to the trek.

From the confluence of 64/280/276 in Brevard, take US276 North for 2.1 miles to FR477 (Avery Creek Road) and make a right. FR477 is easy to find since there is a sign for the Pisgah Riding Stables. FR447 is a gravel road with pullouts to allow two-way traffic. Follow it 2.2 miles to a small pull out on the right side of the road. There is enough room for two or three cars and nearby you will see the marker for the blue blazed Avery Creek Trail. In the warmer months there might not be any spots. If so, you can drive further up FR477 about 0.25 of a mile to the Buckhorn Gap Trailhead. If you need to park at Buckhorn Gap you can either hike down FR477 or follow the Buckhorn Gap Trial to the Avery Creek Trail and approach the falls from upstream. I haven’t hiked this route so make sure you have a map and know where you’re going.

If you can park at the Avery Creek Trailhead, follow the trail down hill to a bridge over Avery Creek. If you make a right you will be heading toward the Waterfall on Clawhammer Creek. If you were to make as left you would head upstream to the Waterfall on Avery Creek. About 0.25 of a mile the trail meets up with Clawhammer Creek and turns left to follow it upstream. Half a mile or so from the bend, the trail crosses Clawhammer Creek on another footbridge. Th etrail goes up a steep grade and moves away from the creek, which is now down and to the left. Look for 2 blue blazes on a tree for where you deviate from the trail. You’re going to have to go off trail for about 100-150 feet. You will hear the falls through the rhodos. It’s think and steep in here and I didn’t find a good place to make a descent. When I return in the summer, I may just creek-walk up from the bridge to avoid the scramble. Time will tell.