441 – Townhouse Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height – 30′

Distance – 2.1 (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 5

GPS Info: LAT 35.34289 LONG -83.58637

Last Updated – 02-24-2019


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Townhouse Falls is a 30 foot high waterfall on Townhouse Branch a short distance upstream from where the branch dumps into the Nantahala River. The hike is just over two miles round trip and not too terribly challenging. The waterfall is tucked back in a narrow valley with thick vegetation on both sides. On my visit the water was way up and this limited the photo options due to the spray coming off the falls. In slightly drier times, this would make a much better photo subject.

To reach the trailhead from the Nantahala Outdoor Center, cross the auto bridge that is next to the NOC. When you get to the railroad tracks, follow them downstream toward Wesser Falls. Shortly after the falls a road will descend to the right. Pass the gate and use the road to continue downstream. Walking the railroad tracks is not allowed. The road will peter out, forcing you to follow along the shore of the lake but most of the land is flat as long as the water is low. At 0.7 of a mile from the public restrooms, Townhouse Branch passes through a tunnel under the railroad tracks. Climb the bank and cross the tracks. An old road heads into the woods. Almost immediately it splits. Another streams comes in at this point and there is a small waterfall on it as well. Take the lower road. It will follow the creek a short distance to the falls.

The land on the river right is very steep so you’re going to have to stay on river left to take any pictures. Maybe if the water were low you could shoot from the creek. I did really like this waterfall and the ease of access will make it one I return to on future trips to Nantahala Gorge. The high water obscured a lot of the detail in the rock, turning this into a big white blob. My guess is this one would have a lot of character in lower water.

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