Waterfall Chasing in Wilson’s Creek, North Carolina

Waterfall Chasing in Wilson's Creek, North Carolina | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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Waterfall Chasing in Wilson’s Creek, North Carolina

Hiking in Wilson’s Creek, North Carolina

As March rolls in, to us it means getting back outside and into the mountains as frequently as possible. Luckily we don’t live too far from some pretty amazing state parks, national forests, and national parks so we have a wonderfully full lineup upcoming for the season. Yay!

Wilson’s Creek, in the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest is right up the road from where we’re living currently, and boasts an extensive (and awesome) trail network. Hiking in Wilson’s Creek, North Carolina is a favorite among locals and those traveling to the region due to the abundance of waterfalls and beautiful vistas. We woke up on Saturday morning to crystal clear blue skies and a promise of temperatures in the mid 50’s, and we were ready to be on the trail.

Shedding our Winter Legs

Our friend from Charlotte came up to meet us, and brought his adorable husky puppy, Maya. (You can follow her on Instagram @mayaashcraftthehusky if you think she’s as cute as we do!) We’re still working on shedding our winter legs, so choosing a hike was mostly about getting back into shape rather than extreme distance or difficulty. We settled on the moderate 5.5 mile combination of North Harper Creek Trails and Little Lost Cove Trails. With the promise of a waterfall on North Harper Creek and views of Grandfather Mountain on Little Lost Cove Cliffs, I was sold easily.

 

Little Lost Cove Cliffs

We started with the Little Lost Cove, a 1.3 mile moderate trail full of diverse growth and interesting scenery. Maya the husky was racing between our feet, excited to be out of the city and into the woods with room to roam. Watching a dog enjoy so fully the small things life offers is a good reminder for us to follow their lead. 🙂

 

Since we’ve moved here, I’ve been in awe at how pretty and untamed the wilderness in the area is. I sort of thought we would never get out of our winter bubble, but it was easy to feel refreshed after even only a short amount of time in the woods.

The trail split to the right and after a short but steep incline, we were rewarded with sprawling views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the layers upon layers of mountains that the landscape of the Appalachia offers up. The mountains stretch on as far as the eye can see, like that of gently rolling ocean waves.

Campsite Envy

There are campsites quite literally on the top of the cliff, and I can only imagine what a show a sunrise and sunset would be here. Once the nights stop freezing over, we will definitely be returning to spend a night in this prime location.

As we followed the trail further, we found new angles of the mountains, steeper cliffs that dropped into a deep gorge below, and frozen water pools that Maya the husky loved to get into. After we had explored the cliff areas to our liking, we headed back towards the start of the trail to get to North Harper Creek Falls.

North Harper Creek Falls

If I had thought the previous trail’s forest was beautiful, the North Harper Creek Falls trail blew it away. The trail meanders through rolling hills with a very typical “Pisgah feel” to it. There are pockets of old growth forest, cool deep greens, and trees that tower above you but still let in a great amount of light. 

After exploring a bit below the waterfall on some hard creek bed, we continued on the path towards North Harper Creek Falls. A short walk away, we arrived to the beautiful and tumbling waterfall, with a crystal clear splash pool underneath the falls. 

Waterfall Chasing Enthusiasts

Cazzie and I have been working on the 100 Waterfall Challenge by the Carolina Mountain Club. Even though we’ve spent a good amount of time waterfall chasing, this was somehow only our 10th on the list. It’s safe to say we’ll be rather busy for quite some time reaching for that magical 100, and the discovery of waterfalls Wilson’s Creek, North Carolina has to offer was a game changer for us. 

waterfalls wilsons creek north carolina

The water right now is ice cold, but we took off our boots and put our feet in to enjoy the moment anyways. This upcoming summer will be our second in North Carolina, and I feel like our list of things we want to do and see keeps getting longer rather than shorter. As soon as we cross one thing off, there’s three more that pop up. I’m definitely not complaining though. I’m honestly so immensely happy to be surrounded by such beautiful landscapes that there are still new things to explore!

waterfalls wilsons creek north carolina

Practical Information:

 

Trail heads both start on Pinola Road in the Wilson’s Creek Area. You can get to this road from either Brown Mountain Beach Road, or from NC 181. Take 181 if possible because it’s a long stretch of unpaved gravel roads from Brown Mountain Beach Road. There’s parking for 2-5 cars at the trailhead.

Little Lost Cove Cliffs trail is blazed blue. It’s about 1.2 miles one-way. This trail is easy to moderate and offers views of Grandfather Mountain. Trail marker is labeled as 271A.

I honestly didn’t see many blazes on the North Harper Creek Falls trail. When I did see them though, they were orange. The trail is well maintained and isn’t difficult to follow. If you see trails leading downward, they lead to the base of the hard rock creek and you will have to re-climb the trail to join back with the original trail to the waterfall. This is quite tiring, so proceed with caution. 

There is one stream crossing, but you are able to rock hop easily. This trail was about 1.7 miles one way because we ventured on an offshoot trail, but would be about 1.3 miles without any deviation. Trail marker is labeled as 239 and can be connected to multiple trails in the region for hike extension or back country camping.

Wilson’s Creek Visitor Center sells guide books and trail maps. Guide books are $20 each and trail maps were $14, but the staff is friendly and helpful and will direct you to any day hike areas if you do not want to make a purchase.

 

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  • Almost the weekend! ☀️😍 What's everyone's plans? You can find us nestled somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains....hoping the cooler temperatures has made the leaves a little more colorful.
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  • Lazy days don't need to be spent inside ☀️
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We recently received our @soloeyewear sunglasses and absolutely love them! This is a stellar company that uses recycled plastic or sustainability sourced bamboo to make their sunglasses, and are also committed to restoring vision around the world through their profits. They've restored vision to 15,000+ people in need already! If you're in need of new sunglasses, I highly recommend looking at Solo Eyewear...I'm glad we did 😊
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  • We were in full leaf chasing mode this weekend, and I had all my spots planned where I wanted to go. I was pretty bummed because a road closure on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday forced us to head to lower elevations where the leaves weren't as vibrant. We found an awesome campsite though, completely secluded in the woods by ourselves. We spent the day slack lining, laying in the hammock, and trying and surprisingly succeeding to light a fire with damp wood. As we packed up in the morning aiming to head back up to my original planned spots...we realized we would run out of gas 😑😑😑 Long story short, we had to head back from where we came from and to be honest, I was really upset. We came around the curve though and were greeted with these blankets of clouds over the mountains, and I instantly forgot I was ever upset at all. Sometimes, things really do turn out just fine. .
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  • When I first met Cazzie, it was in the middle of a crowded and hot room outside of Delhi, India. If you told me five years ago I was going to meet my future husband in India of all places, I would have most likely laughed and called you crazy. And yet here we are....chasing waterfalls, traveling across the world, and craziest of all, planning a wedding. I wish we could just gather up our closest loved ones, hike up a mountain, promise forever and toast the night away. Because what else do we really need? . .
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  • Cazzie always used to brag about North Carolina...always telling me it was the best state with beaches, mountains, and everything in between. I never really believed him. When I thought of North Carolina, I didn't know about the parkway, or Appalachia, or horses running wild near the ocean...I didn't know about pimento cheese, or grits, or North Carolina BBQ sauce. Now I do though. And I can't say it's the best state because I haven't been to all 50, but I can say it's pretty up there. Especially in the changing season. @visitnc .
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  • Foggy days spent exploring 🍂. .
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This last weekend we spent our time in the picturesque high country town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. We chose to hike Grandfather Mountain on Saturday, only to find the further we hiked, the more foggy and ominous the weather became. About a 1/2 mile from the top, we realized that we had hiked smack dab into the middle of a cloud. But even with the dampness, we wouldn't have spent our day any other way. .
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