123 – Slippery Witch Falls

Accessibility – Easy+

Height – 80′-90′

Distance – .3 (out and back)

Beauty – 8

Photo rating – 9

Solitude – 9

GPS Info: LAT 35.0692 LONG -83.0128

Last updated: 03/06/2016

Slippery Witch Falls is the furthest waterfall upstream of the trio of falls on Mill Creek very near the creek’s crossing with NC281. D.E.W. Falls is immediately upstream of the meeting with NC281 and John’s Jump Falls is immediately downstream. Slippery Witch Falls is upstream of D.E.W. Falls. All three hikes can originate from the same parking area. If you add White Owl Falls to the daily itinerary, you have four easily accessible waterfalls that are relatively close together. The different hikes are short and all of the falls are remarkably secluded considering their proximity to NC281. That said, there are two ways to get to Slippery Witch Falls. Pressed for time, we chose the latter and didn’t follow though on the plunge to the base.

On my February 2016 visit, we bypassed the parking area on the left for John’s Jump and D.E.W. Falls and instead continued less than 0.1 of a mile to Whitewater Church Road. Make a right and follow this until the road forks at the church and make a right. This is Upper Whitewater Church Road. Follow this to the next split and bear right. This is where Cash Road comes in from the left. The road will wind around to the right before reaching a small bridge. This bridge crosses Mill Creek and from the deck of the bridge, you can see the top of Slippery Witch Falls. You can park before the bridge. There is a trail to the base of the falls in the woods. I didn’t find it on my first visit but with additional time, I located it on my March 2016 trip. As it turned out, the hardest part of the trail was finding it at the top of the hill. If you enter the woods before the telephone pole with the utility box and head into the woods and away from the creek you will come to the trail. From there it descends to the base of the falls and empties into a clearing on the left side of the falls. The trail was worn enough to follow easily and other than a few steep places, there was no trouble getting to the base.

As far as photography, there is a great place to set up in the middle of the creek behind a large log but to get to it, you’re going to have to walk in the creek. The water level was up so there was no way to rock hop it. Put on your water shoes and head out. You can shoot straight on with a wide-angle lens. In most of your shots you will see the bridge at the top of the falls. I didn’t have my wife and daughter with me on this hike but the trail is most definitely kid friendly once you find it.

If you’re going to visit this one, I suggest you do it sooner rather than later. The entire area is staked out and a lot of the properties are posted with for sale signs. With a neighborhood going in along Upper Whitewater Church Road, there is a chance that in the not too distant future, this waterfall will not be accessible. I didn’t see any no trespassing signs on my visit but this could change at a moment’s notice.

Slippery Witch Falls from behind the log – March 2016
Slippery Witch falls – March 2016
The log and the collection pool – March 2016
The collection pool – March 2016