819 – Upper Dam Falls

Accessibility – Easy+

Height – 6′

Distance – 3.4 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 2

Photo rating – 4

Solitude – 2

GPS Info: LAT 35.41974 LONG -82.67584

Last Updated – 01-18-2023

Last Visited – 04-09-2021

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Upper Dam Falls isn’t much, to look at, but you’re looking for an easy walk in the woods with some falling water to see, walking Hendersonville Reservios Road is nice. The grade is pretty moderate and it is wide open. If you go all the was to Upper Dam Falls, you will pass Dam Falls and Long Branch Falls (Mills River). Both times I’ve hiked past them was becasue I was hiking to or from somewhere else. The first time I saw them I was hiking down the Big Creek Trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Trace Ridge TH. The most recent time I was hiking a loop hike from Trace Ridge Trailhead. There are a lot of trails in this area, so you can add in some miles as well.

The trailhead is on Hendersonville Reservoir Road, 0.4 of a mile from the intersection with Wash Creek Road. There is a large parking area that will fill up on weekends. This is a popular spot for mountain biking. The TH is here: 35.42025, -82.65673.

The hike starts by passing the gate on Hendersonville Reservoir Road. It is the most obvious of the roads that intersect here. The initial part of the hike is down a gradual grade. At 1.1 miles you will come to Long Branch, which is on your ridge. There is a nice drop right at the road. In another half mile you will see the spillway for the dam, a.k.a. Dam Falls. Upper Dam Falls is on the opposite end of the small reservoir. There is a footbridge upstream of the tiny drop. The picture below was taken in 2021 and I was standing on a sandbar. The sandbar was gone in 2022.