Accessibility – Moderate
Height – 18′
Distance – 1.0 Miles (out and back)
Beauty – 8
Photo rating – 9
Solitude – 10
GPS Info: LAT 35.29215 LONG -82.97490
Last Updated – 09-15-2018
Wow! That was my first impression after a soggy hike in a steady drizzle to reach Gage Creek Falls. I had no idea what to expect but after a day of waterfalling along Charley Creek Road, I was absolutely amazed by this waterfall. I knew nothing about it other tan the hike but I left as a huge fan of a waterfall that was less that 20 feet tall. It isn’t just the waterfall but all of the smaller drops downstream that only add to the overall beauty and it is just far enough off the beaten path that it doesn’t see a lot of traffic. The other nice thing is there isn’t a lot of downfall on it, which is a surprise on these out of the way falls.
To get to the trailhead from NC215 make a left onto Charleys Creek Road. This is 13.5 miles from the intersection with US64 and 3.2 miles South of where NC215 meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. Follow Charleys Creek Road 5.2 miles to where a gravel road turns right just before you cross Gage Creek. If you are coming from NC281, the left onto the gravel road is 5.5 miles after turning onto Charley Creek Road. The turn is just after the road crosses the creek. The lower section of the gravel road ism’t too bad. After 0.3 of a mile the road splits, take the right fork up the hill. This section is bouncy and rough as it ascends. At 0.7 of a mile from the split the road reaches a ford of Gage Creek. Don’t cross the creek but park here.
A row of boulders blocks an obvious road heading up the side of the creek. The graded road reaches an intersection with another road coming down the hill on the right. At this point you have to cross the creek, heading for a small drainage on the far side. Climb the bank and at the top, there is a narrow path leading upstream. The route follows an old logging grade but the overgrown road is barely visible. The only clear way forward is the narrow path. There are some fallen trees to navigate and a couple of sections where the trail is very close to the edge. From the creek crossing to the scramble path to the falls is 0.4 of a mile of relatively easy hiking through some dense dog-hobble on a steadily uphill trek.
The scramble path is obvious on the right and although overgrown, it isn’t very hard to descend. The path splits several times on the way down, emerging onto various points along the creek. You can include or omit as many of the lower cascade as you want when photographing the falls.