This was our first time out here and the conditions couldn't have been better. The trail was nice and dry, with gorgeous weather for November. I could see how it would be more technical if the roots/rocks were wet as some were already a little slick. Don't forget to bring along your poles or a solid stick to make creek crossings easier if you are rock-hopping. Definitely one that will be revisited again and again. This is a fantastic little day hike.
Karen P. on Little Bradley Falls Trail
I highly recommend the Little Bradley Falls hike. The falls are nice, it's a beautiful forest area, and a good place to wade and cool down when you get to the falls. You can park in the Big Bradley Falls area (left side) or about 100 ft further down the road on the right. The trail head is just behind the second parking area on the right. You will know you are in the right place if you have just gone over a large culvert and can see it as you head towards the trailhead. As others have said, take the trail that goes to the left (and climbs toward higher ground ) just as you start and not the trail along the creek. Then at a Y in the trail at a later point, stay right (a log is across the wrong trail). I hiked to the falls in about 30 minutes. It's an out and back trail. Enjoy!
Very accessible trail, and a comfortable walk, for both children and pets (with some help in a few rough spots). The waterfall at the end is exceptional. There is a sizeable pool suitable for kids to take a dip in. All in all, a nice day hike.
We really enjoyed this hike. Got wet, so be prepared. A rock crossing is near an edge at one point, so we erred on the side of caution and waded through ankle deep water. The falls are beautiful and our favorite part was watching the fish jump out of the pool at the base of the fulls and up into falling water. A more enjoyable hike than the Big Bradley Overlook on the other side of the road. As others have noted stay left (and up) at the trailhead, the trail down by the creek is nice, but just a short walk, not the actual trail.
Read Megan Hess' review below. It tells you just about everything you need to know! I used google maps to find this place. It said we were there about 1/4 mile before we actually got there - we worried a little that we had missed it somehow. But there are gravel parking areas that you can't miss. If the one on the left side of the road is full, there's another small one on the right just beyond it. This trail takes off from this right-side gravel parking area. Definitely wear water shoes! We took a large and small dog and both did fine. There were areas where we had to scramble up/down rocks, and sometimes the dogs' leashes could have been a little longer!
This trail has a few obstacles to get around and I would rate it moderate difficulty, but the waterfall is well worth the hike. After getting off the Saluda exit, head North (left if coming from Asheville, right if from Charlotte. 3 miles down the road there will be a couple of gravel turnouts to park at. The more difficult Bradley Falls Overlook Trail is on the left side, and this trail (Little Bradley Falls) is on the right side of the road. You have to cross the creek going under the road. Immediately walk to the left once entering the trail head. If you are down by the creek you have taken the wrong path and will have to climb about 30 ft. up the side of the hill using roots to help you climb. However, if you are adventurous, you may like this. At the first major fork on the path, take the right path on which you have to cross a small brook of water. The left (and incorrect path) has a big log over it. From there, you will have to travel through a couple of other water crossings. I suggest wearing shoes that you can walk through the water in (they will also be handy once you get to the waterfall. There are also a couple of places where you have to climb over boulders and fallen trees. The path also gets very narrow next to a steep hill in some places. However, it is a beautiful walk next to the water. Once we got to the waterfall it far exceeded my expectations. There is a shallow pool at the bottom and has 4 tiers. I believe there was another couple of pools above, but we had our 4 month old and did not want to climb the steep trail to get to the top. However, many others that were hiking the trail did. We were very impressed by this hike and the small obstacles made it interesting and the waterfall is awesome. We will definitely come back in the future!
At the trail head take the path that is straight ahead/on the left. It looks like the harder way to go, but trust me it's not. Lol. If you take the path to the right, you will have to climb a steep hill. It's doable, just not as kid/dog friendly. We did it. But on way back took the easier way. On down the trail there will be a fork, take the right fork. The left fork has a small log going across it. The left will not lead you to the falls. The right one will. I was aware of this, but the group that went in before us was not........ Needless to say we beat them to the falls. lol!
The bottom of the falls was really great for swimming, splashing, and cooling off.
I do plan on returning to Little Bradley Falls! I think it is now one of our favorites, specially during the warm hot summer months.
Ok people, this is getting confusing, and the CONFUSION MUST STOP today.
Little Bradley Falls trail is not Bradley Falls Overlook Trail.
Little Bradley Falls is a 30-40 minute hike which is a FAMILY LEVEL EASY TRAIL. it does not require a rope climb/descent. This is not a moderate trail at all.
Little Bradley Fall is not Big Bradley Fall, nor Bradley Fall. The location and name on Google Maps is correct. The trail is on Google Maps already. As of today, 07/03/16, Little Bradley Fall's Facebook page is named "Bradley Falls", which is incorrect. Little Bradley Fall is the Little Bradley Fall on Google Maps.