Height – 25′
Distance – 3.4 (ending up being a loop)
Beauty – 6
Photo rating – 4
Solitude – 10
GPS Info: LAT 36.08129 LONG -81.65325
Last Updated – 01-08-2023
Last Visited – 01-01-2023
Home Alphabetical Listing Numerical Listing Location Listing FR97
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 0.2 of a mile to Lower Boomer Inn Falls. The falls is extremely scenic and not very popular (mostly unknown) so you can enjoy this one in peace.
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: Walk FR97 back toward NC215 for less than 0.1 of a mile and find somewhere to drop off the low side of the road. The woods are relatively open, and the terrain doesn’t get steep until you’re closer to the falls. The way to apprach this one is to aim to come out downstream and work your way back up. Can’t tell you what this looks like other than you can see where you want to end up from above the side of the falls. You likely wouldn’t want to do it the way I did on the way out. Wish I could give you more but it’s strictly off-trail, and you need to be able to read the land.