120 – Middle Falls on Rockhouse Creek

Accessibility – Easy+

Height – 8′

Distance – 1.0 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 4

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 35.296274 LONG -82.800623

Last updated: 02/16/2016

The easiest way to get to Middle Falls on Rockhouse Creek is from the parking area for Slickrock Falls. From there it is a half a mile hike along FR475B in the direction of US276. When I visited this waterfall in February of 2016, FR475B was gated off at FR475, so I had the opportunity to hike to Slickrock Falls first. As much as I enjoy driving on FR475B, the opportunity to walk it was even better. The waterfall is one of two accessed from the base of the same steep scramble. The other waterfall is visible from FR475B at the apex of a tight hairpin turn to the right (if driving toward Slickrock Falls).

From the intersection of US64/US276?NC280 in Brevard, follow 276 5.3 miles to the split with FR475. Make a left on 475 and follow it past the fish hatchery. At the 1.5 mile mark on FR475, bear to the right onto FR475B. The road will head uphill into the woods. FR475B is narrow and winding. It is also open to two-way traffic so bear this in mind. The parking area for Slickrock Falls is 1.1 miles from the 475/475B split. There is a parking area on the right near the steps to Slickrock Falls. If coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway turn right onto FR475B and follow it 5.5 miles to the pull off on the left for Slickrock Falls.You will get some great views of Looking Glass Rock off to your left before you get into the switchbacks leading to Slickrock Falls.

The walk up FR475B is kid friendly but if the road is open to vehicular traffic, stay alert since it is very narrow. The hike is around 0.5 miles. Before getting to the best place to head down to the falls, you will see the creek and the waterfall on the far side of a tight hairpin turn. As you head around the bend, you will see the other waterfall to the inside of the bend. The best place to make the descent is by the tree with the placard saying this area is closed to camping. There are two trails down to the clearing so take your pick. They aren’t terribly steep but they do lack handholds. When you reach the clearing head to the right. There is a short trail into the brush that leads to the falls.

The waterfall is maybe 8 feet high and there is a large boulder on the right side that hides some of the falls. You can get a decent shot from next to the three trees on the bank of Rockhouse Creek. Sadly the trees block the optimum position for a shot. After You’re done here, head across the clearing to visit the Waterfall on a Tributary of Rockhouse Creek. On my February visit the dog-hobble was in full force and getting into position for a decent shot wasn’t easy. The vegetation was thick and the terrain steep. I took a few from down in the valley and a few more from FR475B. Follow this link to the pictures of the Waterfall on a Tributary of Rockhouse Creek.

Middle Falls on Rockhouse Creek – March 2016
The foreground boulder at Middle Falls on Rockhouse Creek – February 2016
Middle Waterfall on Rockhouse Creek – February 2016