Moore Cove Falls: waterfall hiking near Brevard, NC
Hike the Moore Cove Falls Trail to a towering, 50-foot free-falling waterfall set in a scenic creek valley filled with fern and rhododendron. It's a beautiful, moderate, one-mile hike, and located in the Pisgah National Forest just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Transylvania County is dubbed the ‘land of waterfalls’, and for a good reason: more than 250 waterfalls spill, cascade, and tumble in this North Carolina county south of Asheville. One of the county’s prettiest and most easily accessible waterfalls is Moore Cove Falls, a 50-foot waterfall that spills in a single, classic drop from a towering, angular rock outcrop. It’s dramatically beautiful, given the high drop, massive cliff and small cave behind the falls.
Moore Cove Falls ranges from a mere trickle in dryer weather to a pouring rush after extensive rain – but the waterfall’s sweet spot for beauty tends to be somewhere in the middle. The hike to the falls is as equally beautiful as the waterfall, trailing through a lush forest in a stream-filled valley. And at 1.2 miles, roundtrip, the Moore Cove Falls Trail makes a great family-friendly waterfall hike.
The Moore Cove Trail is located just off US 276 between Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The waterfall sits in a secluded, quiet cove set back from the highway, a quiet refuge in an area popular with waterfall tourists (both Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls are nearby). But unlike some of the nearby, uber-popular waterfall trails, this trail is often far less busy, offering a serene hike in an exceptionally beautiful forest.
Moore Cove Falls: the hike
The trail departs from a signed trailhead just off US 276 (view maps and driving directions), crossing a footbridge over Looking Glass Creek. Yellow trail blazes mark the trail, but it’s also well-worn and easy to follow.
The hike rolls elevation, climbing a tall ridge high above Looking Glass Creek and plunging between two large rock outcrops at .15 mile.
The trail treks northbound, leaving the sounds of the highway behind as it dives deeper into the forest. Vibrant green ferns thrive on the sun-dappled forest floor, and wildflowers dot the sides of the trail in warmer months.
The trail climbs elevation before crossing Moore Creek over a wood bridge at .35 mile. Moore Creek is a tributary of Looking Glass Creek, the same creek that the hike crossed at the trailhead. Downstream, Looking Glass Creek flows into the beautiful, popular cascades at Looking Glass Falls.
The hike crosses a boardwalk and continues to climb, crossing another wood bridge at .5 mile. The sound of the waterfall grows louder as the hike approaches the falls. Moore Cove Falls comes into view, plunging in a wispy stream from the broad, vast, blocky cliff above.
The overlook area makes a fantastic place to enjoy the falls and snap a few Instagram-worthy shots. As always, though, please view the waterfall safely and from a distance – don’t climb on or near the waterfall. And please remember to pack out everything you packed in and leave no trace to help preserve the area’s natural beauty.
Departing the waterfall, the hike retraces its steps to the trailhead, completing the hike at 1.2 miles.
Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.
Moore Cove Falls Map, Directions & Details
Free (but limited) parking is available at the Moore Cove trailhead, located off US Highway 276 near Brevard, NC.
35.304917, -82.774383 // N35 18.295 W82 46.463
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