062 – Waterfall on Long Branch

Accessibility – Easy

Height: Approx 15′ drop and 60-80′ rockslide

Distance – 2.0 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 8

GPS Info: LAT 35.2790 LONG -82.8247

Last Updated: 09/04/2016

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The waterfall on Long Branch makes for a nice waypoint if you are taking the alternate route to the Waterfall on Grogan Creek of simply looking for a waterfall to enjoy by yourself. The hike to the falls follows an old logging grade on the mostly uphill journey of about a mile so round trip this one is about 2 miles. If you take it to Grogan Creek the out and back is around 5.5 miles. The difficulty lies in getting a good view of the falls. Long Branch flows right down to and then under the logging road but the rhododendron are so thick you can’t see much of anything. However you can hear it and this is how you know you’re in the right place. The configuration of the waterfall is similar to Bridleveil Falls in DuPont. There is an initial drop, in this instance about 12-15 feet and then a long sloping rockside of 60-80 feet where the water spreads out.

Starting in Brevard, follow US276 North 5.3 miles from the intersection of US64/NC280/US276. Make the left onto FR475 passing the Fish Hatchery. At 1.9 miles the pavement ends and the gravel portion begins. The road is rough in spots and has numerous turn outs to allow for two way traffic. Drive 4.2 miles on FR475 until reaching the intersection with FR5095. The road is gated by the Forest Service. When you park, make sure you don’t block the gate.

The hike begins at the gate and follows FR5095 on a mostly uphill journey toward the falls. The hike is roughly a mile. You know you’re in the right place when you hear the creek. This is the second creek crossing you’ll come to and through the thicket you can see glimpses of the creek. There is a very steep scramble trail to the right of where the creek intersects the road. The trail is easily spotted and other than having to climb over a large log at the outset, the way it is pretty tame. The trail ends at the right side of the lower section of the waterfall.

The logging road is about as easy as it gets other then the constant uphill so this one is kid friendly. The only difficulty for smaller children might be the scramble up to the falls. If they’ve done this kind of off-trail hiking before this will be nothing they haven’t seen, although this is one of the few scrambles where you go UP to see the waterfall. Use your judgment. I know what my daughter can and can’t do. You’ll have to make you own determination.

You can shoot from the end of the trail or you can move out toward the middle of the falls on a collection of rocks. The view is decent and the waterfall is nice because no one comes here. There is a collection area where logs and debris are piled up on the right side of the falls. The first pic is from a dreary February day in 2014. The rest are from Labor Day Weekend 2016. Other than shooting an iso of the upper drop, everything is going to be portrait on this one.

Long Branch on a Gloomy Winter Day – March 2015
Much better lighting at Long Branch – August 2016
The falls on Long Branch – August 2016
The Upper drop at Long Branch – August 2016
Long Branch in Portrait – August 2016