171 – Cold Creek Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height: Approx 25′

Distance – 0.60 (out and back)

Beauty – 2

Photo rating – 3

Solitude – 8

GPS Info: LAT –.—- LONG –.—-

Last updated – 03-19-2017

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Cold Creek Falls and Woods Cove Falls share a common element. I don’t know exactly where they are to give directions. On my only visit thus far I was a passenger so I have no mileage to guide you in. I can give some clues and maybe that will help. If you already read the Woods Cove Falls hike and feel that one is a touch vague, this one is even worse because not only is the driving vague but so is the hike! Additionally after making the steep descent, we were all surprised by what we didn’t see. Maybe after a good rain this one might be worth a stop but the descent will be treacherous to say the least if it’s wet.

Here goes. We got to the pull out by following Tanasee Gap Road from the combined parking area for Double Branch Falls and Bernie’s Falls at FR9999. If you check out either of those listings you can get to the starting point for Woods Cove and Cold Creek Falls.

Starting from FR9999 continue toward NC281 (away from NC215) on Tanasee Gap Road. When you leave Transylvania County the name changes to Tanasee Creek Road. Woods Cove is in Jackson County. I don’t have the mileage but I can give you an estimate of the right place. The gated road that leads to the falls is on the left side of Tanasee Creek Road on a steep downhill grade. This point is not too far from where Tanasee Creek Road intersects Wolf Mountain Road. If you get to Wolf Mountain Road, you went too far. There is a pull out near the graded road and there is more flagging tape along this road than I’ve ever seen. It isn’t signed as private property but it very well might be.

If these vague directions get you to the right place, follow the logging road past the gate and down the hill. If you want to know the right place to strike out through the woods, I can’t tell you. We left the road about halfway between the gate and the trail to Woods Cove following an abundance of flagging tape. If you get too far to the left you’re going to end up at the creek above the falls with no way down that I could see. Hang on to whatever you can and make your way lower until you reach the creek at the base.

When we arrived what used to be a freefall of 30 feet onto a stack of huge boulders had dried up. The water was shifted to the left of the previous drop and came down a pile of rocks tucked back in the corner. The old expression, ‘there’s nothing to see here,’ holds true. I took some pictures to save you the trouble of having to find it. The first two are what the falls look like now. In the third you can see the dried remains of the cliff dwelling community in the upper left. The falls used to come over this ledge! As I said, maybe after a hard rain.

More to come???


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