Accessibility – Moderate
Height – 40′ (two drops)
Distance – 0.75 miles (out and back)
Beauty – 7
Photo rating – 7
Solitude – 9
GPS Info: LAT 35.29504 LONG -82.70211
First Visit: 10-12-2019
Most recent visit: 12-07-2019
NOTE: Laughing Falls will never win a place on anyone’s top 10 list but it will always hold a special place in my heart since this was #500 on The 500 List. Months before my October 12 2019 visit I had picked this one as where I would finish the list. It wasn’t that it was a special place but it was a short hike, convenient to Brevard where my first hike took place 7 years to the day before I completed the list.
Laughing Falls is one of those places (like Big Bearwallow Falls on NC215) that I always planned to visit after visiting something else but never seemed to have time to get to. It was a good thing I consistently missed it since as The 500 List got shorter, I needed a hike that most anyone could do. The falls was much nicer than I expected even in low water. I have since returned a second time and I liked it even more.
Trailhead Directions: From the intersection of US64/NC280/US276 in Brevard, take NC280 East for 0.8 miles and make a left into Old NC280. Remain on Old NC280 for 0.2 of a mile to Turkey Creek Road and make a left. This is SR1360. Follow this until it ends at a wide area at a gate. Park where without blocking the gate heading up the hill or the one leading down to the creek.
The Hike: From the paring area walk past the gate heading down and to the right. Almost immediately you will see the creek crossing the road. There is no way to rock hop it so you will have to cross the creek as best you can, start up the hill on the other side and take the trail to the left that leads into the woods. The trail is obvious as it begins to ascend through a tunnel of rhodos. There was little downfall on my visits and the trail was easy to follow.
Around 0.3 of a mile from the parking area you can see the falls down on the left but getting to it will require some negotiating with the hillside. On my first visit we used a rope to get down the final 15 feet but on my second visit I found a way to the base by angling downstream from where I left the trail. If you avoid the steepest part of the hillside, it is not difficult to get to the creek but you will need to be careful.