Height – 10′
Distance – 3.7 (out and back)
Beauty – 5
Photo rating – 7
Solitude – 8
GPS Info: LAT 35.38397 LONG -82.95877
Last Updated – 01-08-2023
Last Visited – 12-17-2022
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. If the road is open it is 0.7 of a mile walking the road to reach Queen Creek. None of the waterfalls on this creek are huge, and most won’t find it worth the effort. Lower Queen Creek Falls is only about ten feet tall, but the intricate ledges make for a great photo subject. The cassade just above it is also very pretty. (second picture)
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 until you reach the gate at the end. I didn’t log the miles but it ended here 35.37648 -8295114. There is a wide area here and a turn around.
The hike: Walk FR97 past the gate 0.7 of a mile to where it crosses Queen Creek. Head up the river left side of Queen Creek. When you’re at the first drop, you can see FR97.