836 – Hornet Falls

Accessibility – Hard

Height – 16′

Distance – 5.5 miles (shuttle)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 7

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 35.05202 LONG -83.04193

Last Updated – 01-20-2023

Last Visited – 07-21-2021

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Hornet Falls is a 16 foot high waterfall on Democrat Creek, a tributary of the Upper Whitewater River. I know I get vague at times and this is going to be another example. We set up a shuttle, leaving one car on Lost Cove Rd. We parked here: 35.05331, -83.05404. This is before the bridge over the Whitewater River. The land across the bridge is private property and heavily posted. A rough trail leaves the downstream side of the parking area and parallels the river. It is hard to follow in places, and it gets thcik. About a tenth of a mile in angle away from the river and you should pick up a more obvious path. I’ve ended up on it every time I’ve done the river. Follow this path to a crossing of the river, which you don’t want to do in high water.

On the other side, the trail wil head downstream then switchback to the left and climb away from the river. If you miss this turn I don’t know what will happen. At 0.4 from the river crossing you will come to an old school bus. Stay with the trail until you’re close to the GPS mark for the falls. Once we were there, we went perpendicular to trail and ended up at the base of Hornet Falls. This was the easiest one of the bunch. It’s only going to get more difficult and more vague as we go. Next stop, Green Party Falls.