Moore Cove Falls Trail

Moore Cove Falls

Walk behind a magical waterfall on this family-friendly hike

This enchanting trail in Pisgah National Forest is an ideal introduction to hiking for families with younger kids. An easy .7 mile trail with wooden bridges, steps and boardwalks ends in a 50-foot plunge waterfall over a dramatic rock ledge. Kids love the fact that they can walk under the ledge and be behind the waterfall!

What To Expect

Moore's Cove HikingThe trail starts with a lovely wooden bridge over the creek, followed by a set of stairs down. The hardest part of this trail is in the first 1/10th of a mile. After that, it’s wide and mostly downhill into a cool, shady forest. In the spring, there are a variety of shade-loving flowers here such as jack-in-the-pulpit and trillium. There are ferns all year round. Several more wooden bridges on the way traverse over the babbling creek. There are only a few relatively steep spots with built-in steps along the way.

When you come to the falls, there’s a wooden viewing platform with a railing. This is the place for great photo ops. You can still go off the platform, down over the rocks and sand and get behind the falls (another popular photo op). Exercise caution while heading behind the falls as the rocks can be slippery. By no means should you try to get to the top of the falls (there has been a fatality here).

The volume of the falls depends on recent rainfall: in general, they’re stronger with the spring run-off and after recent rainfall. The more water, the more impressive the falls.

Hike Details

Difficulty: Easy

Distance from Asheville: About 38 miles; 45 minutes 

Length: .7 miles each way in and out, 1.4 miles total 

Region: Pisgah National Forest, Brevard 

Duration of Hike: About 20 minutes each way

Elevation Gain: 240 feet

Pet-Friendly? Leashed dogs welcome

Multiple Use? No

Blazes? Yellow

Facilities & Parking: Small parking area, no facilities

Natural Features: Rain-shower waterfall, rock outcroppings, spring wildflowers, babbling creek

Directions

From downtown Asheville, take I-240 west, to I-26 east Exit 40. Turn right onto Hwy 280 and go for 16 miles to the intersection of US Hwy 276 and 64. Turn right onto US 276 and follow it for 6.5 miles through the entrance gate for Pisgah National Forest. Around 2 miles after the gate, you’ll come around a curve and on the right side of the road you’ll see a wooden sign that’s covered by a small “roof” and small parking area right before you get to the bridge over Looking Glass Creek (it’s easy to miss and not marked). Cars pull in at an angle.

GPS Coordinates

N35.311827, W82.777683

 

Photos by Jonna Reiff.