Accessibility – Moderate+
Height – 40′
Distance – 1.8 miles (out and back)
Beauty – 7
Photo rating – 6
Solitude – 8
GPS Info: LAT 35.32100 LONG -82.78370
Last Updated – 11-23-2018
Located off the upper end of FR477, Jacks Cove Falls is located in next significant drainage west of Moore Creek (Moore Cove Falls). The falls is low volume and the falls is close to the headwaters of the creek so you want to go after some rain or there will not be much to see but a nice black rock with some water sculpted areas. I happened to see it after a wet week and there was a decent flow coming over the falls. I’m sure it would have looked better shortly after the rain but that’ll be for another day.
To get to the trailhead start from the convergence of US64/NC280/US276 in Brevard and head North on US276 for 11.1 miles to FR477, Avery Creek Road. The turn is on the right after you pass the Cradle of Forestry. Do not take the lower end of FR477 near the stables unless you want to take a long drive on a rough road. FR477 is a narrow road with a steep drop off the right side (heading in). About a mile from the intersection with US276 there is a small wet weather falls that drops next to the road. I’m sur with some water on it, the sloped rock would look good. On my passing there was a meager flow but with the leaves it looked nice. Follow FR477 for 2.3 miles to where FR5012 intersects from the right.
Park at the intersection with FR5012 (Bennett Gap) without blocking the gate. The hike starts past the gate following the grassy (leaf-covered) FR5012 down the hill. As the road makes a bend to the right an overgrown road departs from the left. Ignore this and stay on FR5012. At 0.4 of a mile from the gate another road intersects from the left. On the way in we went to the right and followed this road for 0.25 of a mile to a sharp right hand switchback. At this point we left the road and went down the left side of the obvious ridge at the apex of the turn.
In places the hillside is steep but there were ample things to hold onto to get us down to the creek. As you come down the hillside to the creek there is an obvious trail that mirrors the creek as it heads to the falls. At this elevation the creek is wide and little more then the headwaters. The falls is very close to the headwaters. As you follow the trail toward the falls the creek narrows, collecting the water into a narrower channel before sending it over the 40 foot drop.
The trail passes close to the top of the falls before veering away and heading lower. It is easy enough to follow even though it is narrow and overgrown in places. Once you get far enough below the falls find a place to head down to the creek. The further you get from the falls the easier the descent. It was pretty obvious where most people have left the trail to get a closer look. The falls is relatively free of clutter, which is nice since there are a lot of hemlocks in the area.
On the hike out, we didn’t relish the climb up the steep drainage that we took to get to the creek so we followed the trail along the creek back to the wider section and crossed to the other side. Two parallel ridges come down the far side and we went up between them, heading for the second logging road we passed. It is much shorter but it does get steep as you get closer to the road. I will say it was pretty obvious close to the creek how to advance but as the slope increased, it was more a matter of feel. I ended on the other road at 35.32066 -82.78152. I crossed the creek at 35.32132, -82.78257. As for how you go about getting in and getting out, that’s up to you. I don’t mind steep hillside scrambles and I like to explore so trying different means of ingress and egress are fun.