Accessibility – Hard+
Height – 35-40′ (completely covered in downfall)
Distance – 5.5 miles (shuttle)
Beauty – 1
Photo rating – 0
Solitude – 7
GPS Info: LAT 35.03744 LONG -83.03204
Last Updated – 01-21-2023
Last Visited – 07-21-2021
From the base of Upper Blackberry Falls, we continued downstream on river right, which was based on my previous view from the base on another hike. This is the steepest part of the hike, and there are some tricky spots to negotiate. There are three drops that make up the lower falls. The upper piece is extrmely hard to reach. This was my FB comment: You can see the top of this part of Lower Blackberry Falls from where we were at the upper portion but getting to this spot was maybe the most trying moment of the hike. The drop is only 8-10 feet but still so scenic. The middle drop is by far the nicest but they are all amazing due to the color in the rock. Getting from drop to drop is dangerous and the rocks are slick. Use your best judgment. This one is not for the faint of heart.
Now you’re at the base of Lower Blackberry Falls. Follow the creek downstream until it meets the Whitewater River. Follow the river downstream, either on the bank, which is overgrown in rhodos or by walking in the river. We stayed in the river for 0.25 of a mile until we came to an open rock area with the water sliding over the smooth surface. We climbed out of the river and headed inland until we picked up the overgrown trail that parallels the river. The only thing you need to be cognizant of in this stretch is the point where the old roadbed bends to the left, while a steep trail drops off the right side. You want the steep descent unless you wanna go see Upper and Lower Waddle Branch Falls. The trail is mostly flat after the descent until you reach the NC281 bridge over the river. Head up the trail on the left.
Here is my hike recap: 5.66 Miles. Only 700 feet of elevation gain. Moving time 4:15. Avg pace: 45 mins/mile. Total time: 8:31.