317 – Roy Talyor Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – 18′

Distance – 0.4 (out and back) w/creek walk

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 7

Solitude – 8

GPS Info: LAT 35.27920 LONG -83.01250

Last Updated – 09-21-2018


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Roy Taylor Falls is a 15 foot high waterfall on Sols Creek, upstream of the better known Upper Sols Creek Falls. The waterfall is accessed from Charleys Creek Road along the way between NC281 and NC215. Despite being less than 0.5 of a mile round trip this waterfall is not easy to reach and most of the routes to it are severely overgrown. I’m sure there are other ways to get to this waterfall but I’m going to recount the way I went. We did try a few other routes but in the end, the creek was the best trail we could find.

To get to the trailhead parking coming from NC215, follow Charleys Creek Road for 1.4 miles to a parking  area on the let before you cross over the creek. There is room for a few cars and despite the out of the way location we were only in the parking area for a minute before another car pulled in. It shocked me but it turned out they were looking for Upper Sols Creek Falls! After giving them directions, Jen and I embarked on our first adventure of the weekend.

I’m not sure what the best route to this waterfall is but the way we came out took about twenty minutes and covered about 0.25 of a mile, half creek-walking and half on a trail that was barely visible at times. We followed some indications of a logging grade on river right after the unnamed tributary joined Sols Creek but the high cliffs on that side prevented our reaching the base from river right and as we soon learned, river left was an overgrown tangle of rhodos and who knows what else. Come at it however you’d like but I think the creek was the easiest way from where the tributary joins in.

Heading upstream from the parking area, the trial enters at open field and hints at an easy hike. On the far side of the clearing the road becomes a narrow path that soon becomes indistinguishable from the surrounding woods. There was just enough of a trail to follow Sols Creek upstream. In around 0.1 of a mile a tributary joins Sols Creek on river right. Just upstream of the confluence on the tributary there is a 12-14 foot high waterfall tumbling down a dark rock face. This is the Waterfall on the Trib or Sols Creek.

After a fruitless attempt at reaching the falls via an old logging grade high above the creek on river right we backtracked to the confluence of the tributary and Sols Creek and headed up the creek bed, only exiting once or twice when downfall blocked the way. It wasn’t a difficult creek walk and as you near the falls, head toward river right side of the creek. You’ll have to climb over a large boulder but once you’re on top of it, the view of the falls is amazing. See the first pic below. You can climb down and explore the exposed rock area and even venture under the falls to cool off. On a sunny September Day, Jen and I spent a long time enjoying this hidden gem. Surprisingly Roy Taylor Falls in The Roy Taylor Forest is missing one thing, the Roy Taylor Falls Trail. Too bad, this is a great waterfall that is close to the road but the difficult access is going to keep most away.

DSC_17087A
The view from the boulder – September 2018
DSC_17098A
The view from the exposed rock – September 2018

 

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