Jones Falls Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Elk Park, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from April until September.
This trail to a remote waterfall is pretty easy if you start at the Elk River Falls trailhead but you can also get to the waterfall by hiking the Appalachian Trail. This is a beautiful 100 foot waterfall. It drops about 30 feet and then cascades the rest of the way down. It's only about a 10th of a mile off the Appalachian Trail. The trail I used was an older service road from Elk River Falls parking area (identified by a gate that says DO NOT BLOCK) following the river downstream to the Jones Branch. When the road looks like it crosses the river don't cross but continue downstream on the left side of the river where a meadow clearing is. Follow to the end of the meadow and pick up a very narrow dirt path until you see a campfire spot in the woods. A few feet beyond the campfire area you will cross Jones Branch where it flows into the larger river. You will ascend until you reach the AT and then take an immediate left on the AT using the white blazes as your guide. Follow it until it splits again and take the left fork which will have blue blazes.
Great little hike
Beautiful smaller falls but great views of cascading water down the rock. Definitely worth the hike. The portion of the trail by the river is very narrow, so use caution there.
not great and hard to find
Quiet and peaceful hike! Beautiful falls! Not alot of people. Recommend scramble up hillside beside the falls. Be sure to take the left trail at the AT intersection.
Pretty and peaceful walk along Elk River but directions unclear about which way to go on AT. Went North for a mile or so but doubted the decision and turned back before finding falls.
Great hike from Elk River Falls trail head.
Easy hike, beautiful falls.
I took this trail today and while there were dozens of people at the Elk River Falls section of the trail within 500 feet of parking there was only 1 person I encountered beyond that point. This is a remote waterfall that doesn't get much traffic. A dog was laying down next to the parking lot and it actually followed me the entire way up to the falls and back. I saw a white tailed deer and a couple of little snakes. One was a tiny black snake smaller than the length of my boot. The other was about 2 feet long and was mostly dark brown with black dots and tan dashed lines running the entire length of it.
The other hiker I met was on the Appalachian Trail portion of the hike but she wasn't an AT hiker passing though. She had taken the same trail I had just to see the falls. Once I got to the base of the cascading section of the falls I went up to where the water drops onto a big boulder prior to cascading the rest of the way down. CAUTION: the rocks under the falls are extremely slippery and its a long way down if you fall!
I tried to climb to the top of the falls but it was a bush whack job on an unmarked trail and I eventually turned around. There is a huge rock face above the falls and I really felt like it would take an hour to go around it through all the laurels. I did see one tree way up there marked with bright orange tape so it must be possible. Just bring your loppers and pruning saw and maybe you can blaze a trail for the rest of us.