918 – Upper Twin Falls on Henry Branch (Ugly Twin trib)

Accessibility – Moderate

Height – 40′ (main drop)

Distance – 6.2 (out and back)

Beauty – 4

Photo rating – 4

Solitude – 5

GPS Info: LAT 35.3385 LONG -82.75299

Last Updated – 01-08-2023

Last Visited – 12-30-2022

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Twin Falls on Henry Branch is comprised of two different streams, only one of which is Henry Branch. When facing Twin Falls, the drop to your left is Henry Branch. The one on the right is unnamed. Above the drop that can be seen from the base, the unnamed tributary spits into two unnamed branches. The right hand branch has a sizeable waterfall on it that is visible from Clawhammer Road (Buckhorn Gap Trail). Getting to the base requires a steep scramble through remarkably open woods.

Parking is at the Buckhorn Gap Trailhead on Avery Cerrk Road. Starting at Hawg Wild, take US276 North for 2.1 miles to FR477 (Avery Creek Road) and make a right. FR477 is easy to find since there is a sign for the Pisgah Riding Stables. FR447 is a gravel road with pullouts to allow two-way traffic. It is also gated at certain times of the year so check in at the ranger station before making the drive. If the road is gated at the bridge, it’s going to add about 1.5-2.0 miles round trip to the hike. Follow FR477 just under 2.75 to the parking area for the Buckhorn Gap Trail. There are other places to start this hike but this is the route I took.

Following the orange blazed Buckhorn Gap Trail from the parking area. The trail will start downgrade for a time as it begins to parallel Avery Creek. At 10-15 minutes from the trailhead you will probably hear the Waterfall on Avery Creek stirring down and to your right. There isn’t a great view from the Buckhorn Gap Trail, but there is a way down on a dubious scramble path. The Avery Creek Trail follows the other side of the creek, and the two trails meet up about 0.5 of a mile later. At the intersection with the Avery Creek Trail, stay left. The Avery Creek and The Buckhorn Gap Trail join. They also serve as an equestrian trail, which becomes evident at creek crossings where there is a stream for the house to ford, while a log bridge is usually just up or down stream. Most of the bridges are gone, and those that remain are in bad shape. Even hiking in December, I elected to cross the creek without benefit of the rickety bridges.

At 1.9 miles into the hike, the Buckhorn Gap Trail intersects the Twin Falls Trail. The Buckhorn Gap Trail heads up into a switchback while the Twin Falls Trail continues straight. Follow the Buckhorn Gap Trail. The Buckhorn Gap Trail will shift from a path in the woods to a logging road in 0.8 of a mile from the switchback. This section is along Clawhammer Road. Stay left on Clawhammer Road, and less than 0.5 of a mile you will see the waterfall on the left. You can make the descent wherever you like but I did so at this point 35.33849, -82.75505. There is a lot of clutter and it’s not high volume so you’ll want to time your visit accordingly.