Height – 18′
Distance – 3.1 (ending up being a loop)
Beauty – 6
Photo rating – 4
Solitude – 8
GPS Info: LAT 35.373141 LONG -82.968668
Last Updated – 01-08-2023
Last Visited – 12-31-2021
Timing is going to be important when it comes to seeing anything on FR97 since it is only open from September 1 to January 1. The road was in decent shape on my 2022 visit. Boomer Inn Falls (3rd Floor) is on a tributary of Boomer Inn Branch 0.3 of a mile above the split, which is 0.25 of a mile above Boomer Inn Falls.
Directions to Trailhead: To reach the access point, take NC215 North 8.4 miles north of the intersection with the Blue Ridge Parkway. You will see FR97 on the left before the road veers to the right and flattens out. Make the left and follow FR97 4.2 miles to a wide area just before FR97 crosses Boomer Inn on a low water bridge. There is a wide area on the other side of the road where an old road heads up the mountain. I parked here 35.37104, -82.95847.
The hike: The hike began by following the old road from there we parked, electing to take this route to Boomer Inn Falls and above to avoid the creek as long as possible. You can get to Boomer Inn Falls however you choose, but once there, we crossed to river left and climbed above the falls. Boomer Inn Branch forks about 0.25 of a mile above Boomer Inn Falls. Boomer Inn Branch goes to the right if you’re facing upstream, we continued up the tributary to the left. Boomer Inn Falls (3rd Floor) was 0.2 if a mile above Boomer Inn Falls (2nd Floor). There is an old road bed that will help with getting up the drainage but it comes and goes.