Summary: This is the quickest and easiest way to access South Harper Creek Falls. The trail will begin across from the small parking area on the right. Look for the orange blazes. Walk along the mostly level to descending trail for approximately 1.1 miles to Harper Creek. Stay to the left at any trail junctions you encounter along this part of the trail. Once at the creek, cross and look for the natural stone stairs leading away from the creek. If you look upstream you will see a small unnamed falls. At this point you wil no longer follow the orange blazes. The trail will follow switchbacks up the mountain. It might be hard to find in areas, but follow what looks like the most heavily traveled route. When you get to the top of the ridge look for a heavily rutted and used trail going from left to right. Always stay left and you will come to an overlook with awesome views of the falls.
WATERFALLS ARE DANGEROUS! PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM WET AND SLIPPERY ROCKS.
Trailhead: From Morganton, NC, take HWY 181N towards Linville. After passing the junction with HWY 183 travel a little less than a mile to SR-1471 (look for a homemade sign for Long Ridge Baptist Church). Turn right on SR-1471 and travel just under a mile to SR-1518. Turn left here, and when you reach the church continue right on FR-464. You will come to a camping area and small parking area, turn right here on FR-58. Go approximately 4.25 miles until you see the trailhead for Harper Creek trail (#260) on your left. (Lat:35.98837 Lon:-81.82536)
Trail Guides for South Harper Creek Falls:
North Carolina Hiking Trails
by Allen de Hart (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: U.S. Forest Service, Nebo, NC 828-652-2144
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Tim Johnson, who has posted 15 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Court on 9/6/2010
This is the worst, I mean worst hiking trail, we've ever even tried to find!! You need at least a Jeep Wrangler to access it! Road to the trail is extremely narrow, and is actually a 2 way path. Was almost pushed off the road multiple times. Extremely hard to find, and not accessible in the least!!!
Reviewed by Jordan on 9/17/2006
Turn right once you reach the creek to cross it. The trail starts at a small branch on the other side. This trail is well-built, but very sparsely used and needs a good clearing as it is overgrown. Beware of private property!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: North Carolina Hiking, North Carolina Trails, North Carolina Hikes, Burke County Hiking, Burke County Trails, Burke County Hikes