220 – Summey Cove Falls

Acessibility – Medium

Height – Approx 70′

Distance – 0.1 miles (out and back) – scramble + river crossing

Beauty – 4

Photo rating – 2

Solitude – 2

GPS Info: LAT 35.2631 LONG -82.8901

Last Updated: 09-07-2017


 

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Summey Cove Falls is one of two waterfalls along FR140 that gets the designation of  ‘nearby waterfalls’ in the third edition of Kevin Adams’ NC Waterfalls. The waterfall appears as a footnote on the Kiesee Falls/Upper Kiesee Falls listing and there is a good reason for this. The waterfall is probably 80 feet tall, making it the tallest along FR140, as it tumbles down the thickly-forested nearly vertical drop from NC215 but there is no good vantage to see all of it much less photograph it. From FR140 you can see non-photogenic hints of it while after crossing the river you can see bits and pieces. Since I needed something to include in my listing, I did some climbing and took about the best pictures I could hope for. I could have climbed higher but with my Upper Kiesee Falls hike looming, I didn’t explore further.

To get to the falls from the Blue Ridge Parkway, reset your trip odometer while you’re sitting at the stop sign at the base of the ramp. Make a right and pass under the BRP and continue South for 6.5 miles. FR140 is located on the far side of a narrow bridge so use the ‘narrow bridge’ sign as your warning to slow down. As of 09-07-2017, the bridge over Courthouse Creek is under repair so the turn to FR140 is just after the single lane area ends. The left turn is right after the bridge. Coming from US64, the drive is 10.2 miles up NC215 to the right hand turn just before the narrow bridge. If the road is open, which it has been on both of my 2017 visits, you can drive 1.4 miles to a wide area. If you park on the left side of the road you can see hints of the falls through the trees.

If you want to get a better look you can scramble down the embankment, wade across the river, climb through the rhodos near the confluence with the river, scale up the very slipper rocks and end up with a decent view of a 12 foot section that tells you nothing of the whole. It didn’t look like it would be difficult to get higher up the falls to isolate some other sections but that’s up to you. No kids, no dogs. Good luck getting a good shot.

DSC_14568
A small part of Summey Cove Falls – September 2017
DSC_14570
For all my complaining, this isn’t an awful shot – September 2017

 

 

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