285 – Lower Waterfall in Cherry Cove

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – 15′ creek-wide sliding rocks

Distance – 4.0 miles out and back (all 3 falls)

Beauty – 2

Photo rating – 4

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.3329 LONG -82.8033

Last Updated – 08-27-2018

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In the next drainage south of Bennett Cove, Cherry cove drains this section of the Blue Ridge and as the creek flows down the drainage is creates several waterfalls. The most visited is Cherry Cove Falls. The three falls on this hike are below Cherry Cove Falls and infrequently visited. The Lowest of the falls is a sliding rock with a drop at the base into a shallow cluttered pool.

To get reach the parking area on Headwaters Road, toke US276 North from the intersection of US64/NC280/US276 in Brevard, follow US276 10.3 miles to the turn for FR475B (Headwaters Road) on the left. From the Blue Right Parkway the right turn to FR475B is about 4.7 miles. At certain times of the year FR475B is gated but that won’t matter for this hike since the parking area is before the gate. After leaving US276. FR475B ascends to an open area with a large pullout on the left and logging road heading to the right. Park here. The hike begins across FR475B on the gated FR5032.

Pass the gate and follow the FR5032 (Cherry Cove Rd). The grade is undulating but more uphill than down. The road is easy to follow as it makes its way higher and thankfully on my August 2018 visit it had been recently mowed. At nearly half a mile from the parking area the road makes a hard right switchback up the hill toward No-Name Cove. Approximately 50 feet before the switchback you will see several large boulders on the left side of the road. They are covered in moss and downfall. These were likely placed here to prevent vehicle access many years ago. Once you get past the boulders, the road is easy to follow.

The overgrown road intersects the creek flowing out of Bennett Cove about a quarter of a mile from FR5032. It’s the first creek crossing you come to and if you were to follow the creek upstream, you would come to the Bennett Cove Falls. From here the trail continues to Cherry Cove, passing the logging grade that heads deeper into Bennett Cove. As you near the creek that drains Cherry Cove, look for a path into the woods on the right. It is little more than a narrow passage. It will lead about fifty feet to a small sliding falls with a low drop at the base. The area in front of the falls is open but a huge tree is lying on the falls, which for this waterfall give it some character!

If you’re going to explore further into Cherry Cove, reverse course, return to the logging grade, cross the creek and look for a logging grade heading up the river right side of the creek. If you try and bushwhack up the river left, you’ll likely fall off a cliff before you get to see any more waterfalls!

Dead hemlocks and whatnot in Cherry Cove – August 2018