Upper Creek Falls Loop Trail is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Newland, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Great waterfalls, huge boulders and pools, and a large overhanging rock. There are two ways you can start out. Either the Upper Falls trail or the Lower Falls trail. If you start out on one you can come back on the other and make a complete loop. The Upper Falls trail is much steeper. So it is a good one to take down to the falls, cross the creek and go down the trail to the lower crossing and then come back up the Lower Falls trail. As soon as you leave the parking lot, the trails starts to decend rather quickly and very steeply down. The closer you get to the creek and falls, the down slope gets steeper. After you cross the creek using rocks sticking up out of the creek, the trail still goes in a down slope to the lower crossing. The trail crossings are very well marked with signs. This is a state maintained park. The upper falls crossing has a set of man made wooden steps and "bridge" to help you from the falls up to the Upper Falls trail or vis versa, to help you down to the creek side and top of falls. There is one scenic view on the Upper Falls trail to stop and see a swimming hole in the creek above the falls. The view is far above looking very far down onto the creek and small set of the falls above the main falls. There is a rope swing, used by many to swing out and drop off into the "pool", very deep water pooled in the creek. The water stays ice cold year around. You can also use the smaller falls as a slide down into the "pool". There is a spectacular view of the lower valley below the falls from atop the main falls edge. You can see for miles down the river valley. Very pretty during the summer months, green trees lining the mountains for miles down the valley. During the winter months can see snow covered mountains for miles. There are quite a few picturesque views to take. This trail is not for the elderly or weak at heart. Several strenious stretchs of the trail. The Lower Falls trail is not as steep but still down slopeing at points. There is a small area after crossing the creek on the Upper Falls trail above the main waterfall, that some use as a camping or gathering spot. Leveled and cleared out spot in the forest. With a campfire area and large enough area for a large tent. They do allow swimming and camping here. I have never experienced wild life here at this park of any kind. There is a small trail that goes up to the swimming hole and points north of the main falls after you cross the creek into the "camping" area. Turn left and go up the rarely used trail. If you wish to go to the swimming hole area, you can also walk the large boulders before crossing the creek on Upper Falls trail,along the creek side up to the large boulders surrounding the "pool" swimming hole.
We did this Trail with my 5 year old in our group. It wasn't overly difficult and has some parts near the waterfalls and pools where you can explore further if you choose to climb a bit. Everything was clearly marked and the views from the lower falls were worth the hike so make sure you walk to the bottom as well. This is one of the better waterfall hikes I have done in the area. In the summertime the pools are fun to swim in and slide down the rocks. More of a summer play area but we have done it in the winter and just seeing the falls was fun for everyone.
Gorgeous hike. Beautiful Falls cascading over creek. Easy hike.
great numerous waterfalls
It was a Lovely hike! the Upper Creek Falls entrance hike is much shorter and easier than the Lower Creek Falls, loved the little pools everywhere! once you reach the pools you can go around (longer way out) but worth it! very enjoyable hike!
Short but pretty hike and options to take trails into surrounding forest if you cross the creek and walk on
This is a really scenic trail, but very crowded (except for the "return" part of the loop...most visitors just do an out-and-back from the Falls). I prefer other trails at the park. The Chestnut Knob Overlook is probably the 2nd most popular attraction at South Mountains State Park.
It was so awesome! Breathtaking!!
I loved it! If you hike to the other side of the water you can see the whole waterfall, it was beautiful!
My dog and I enjoyed this hike on Sunday. The upper falls was an easy hike in and out; the falls were rushing with all the rain so we were careful waterside but had a great time. Trail was easy to follow and easy to trek. Took about 30 minutes or so to go in and out.
We also did the lower falls. That trail was more difficult to follow. We lost it multiple times and struggled to get down to the lower falls. We made our own trek of it, but much more difficult, especially with the wet surroundings. We still had a good time.
Perfect day! Mid-week hike with the pups...perfect colors this week at this elevation. Trail was clear and well maintained, waterfall was beautiful!
Perfect day only two other people on the trial but we didn't even see anyone
Had a wonderful hike with my two college aged children! The day was damp, which made for some slippery terrain, so wear appropriate footgear and watch your step (being so lush and near the falls I'm not sure how dry it actually ever gets).We enjoyed climbing and playing in the falls and dropping rom the swinging rope at the watering hole. Beautiful vistas, not too difficult terrain, and opportunity for exploring the falls make this a must do trail!
Fantastic place to relax in a waterfall.
Loved the scenic views at the end of this trail but the terrain was rougher than we thought but we just laughed it off and kept on going. We had 2 five year olds who couldn't wait to get in the water the trail was worth it. If you do both I recommend doing this trail first and then do Linville Falls Trail next. Loved spending time in the water and having the kids laugh as wee slipped on the rocks in the water. Ready to go back again.
The trail was posted as easy... Maybe it was warmer and humid but not easygoing... We went in on the upper trail and not bad hike down to the falls. We took the trial from that point up to the left to a great swimming, rock sliding and boulder climbing area. Then we went down to the largest waterfalls and several smaller one to the lower falls trail. Beautiful scenery with more swimming and rock sliding... We left the trail for a bit and worked our way down over some boulders. Back on the trail it seemed to just stop... Down to the water, cross the stream to the trail and then back up. This part of the trail had the most massive Boulder 40 to 50 ft tall and the color was amazing. Up lots of switchbacks to the top... This area was challenging at times and glad we had Trifuel with us. We hike into lots of trails in the mountains of NC and these are the prettiest falls we have seen.