This was a really easygoing trail that ended in a gorgeous waterfall. The waterfall was well worth all the struggles that we went through trying to find the trail start. As reference for others attempting to find this trail: coming from the I40 exit into Pigsah, drive until there is a turn to the right towards an open picnic area. Then, a little past that, there is the Cold Springs trail which is NOT the waterfall trail. Keep going uphill on the road past the Cold Springs trail, you will see another open area. Continue to veer right on the road and the trail head will be on the left past the gate. There will be no trail markings, but you will see the stream and you will follow this up to the left towards the waterfall. Beautiful hike, beautiful place, would definitely recommend for all skill levels. Even with a ton of rain, the trail was manageable and safe.

Closed yesterday

backpacking
3 months ago

Nice hike with lots of uphill. Saw bear twice but they were more scared of me than I was of them. Also tons of elk in the area.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing hike! Feels like I got spoiled my first time out there! Some areas were somewhat challenging with some steep switchbacks but it’s worth it all for the views. Very active wildlife. Ran into some elk on the trail. Just have to step off trail to let them pass. Met some incredible people out there too. Looking forward to be out there again soon.

Pretty trail through woods, adjacent to a small stream. Terminates in a gorgeous waterfall. Entrance to the trail is the only trick - head into the woods on the left just after the road closed gate. You could park there, as well.

hiking
6 months ago

A lovely trail to a nice waterfall. It's not easy to find as it's not marked with a sign as some other trails nearby. Take the road all the way to a "road closed" gate. Room to park there. Just on the other side of the metal gate is the opening for the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Very short easy hike to waterfall. Didn't see any other people. Quiet, secluded, would do again since it's very close to home.

hiking
7 months ago

We hiked from the parking lot to the Bald and back for 10 miles. It's a bit more than 4. The trail is beautiful, relatively safe, and offers a few views here and there. At the Bald there's a bench and a plaque. Great photo op. Be prepared to walk in the pasture with cows or walk along the fence in waist high grasses. I would love to return to hike the whole loop or repeat the out and back. Enjoy.

What a great hike. Did the loop, it was little long but worth the work. Great views and beautiful scenery!! Definitely recommend

hiking
9 months ago

My sister and I hiked this trail in the rain, sleet, and snow. What a challenge! We hiked the entire loop. Some horses passed us and added to the challenged. They tore up the wet trail and left their mark.

hiking
9 months ago

As quick and easy and picturesque as this hike is, it's hard to believe it isn't more popular! (Probably because it's so hard to find) It's a perfect bonus hike if you're in the area for Max Patch.

Directions:
Coming from I-40, follow signs for the Harmon Den horse camp, and then the trailhead listed here is a pull-off less than 100 yards from the fork in the road. As far as I can tell, you can park further up the road where it ends at a gate where the creek crosses under the road. If you choose to walk, it's easiest to follow on or along the road, past the horse camp, to this road gate (not to be confused with the road gate into the horse camp. You'll pass by that one). The actual trail is the most subtle of openings into the woods to the left, just past the gate. From this point, follow the narrow trail along the creek to the falls.

Nice short walk to a beautiful little falls. The trail was hard to find though: take the Horse Camp Loop Trail and follow the little opening past the horse trough.

Short drive from our home. Easy to find the road leading back to the falls.Beautiful river and small falls on the road back. Easy hike for any skill level, very slight elevation.Trail was not marked so we guessed we were on the right trail.Small stream leads you to the falls.Very short hike but worth the effort.

hiking
Monday, October 24, 2016

Perfect fall hike, great views of the mountains in the distance and experience the change in the color of the leaves as the elevation change. This is the 3rd time I have done this hike and this time of year is my favorite!

hiking
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nice hike

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

Nice trail

hiking
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Beautiful trail. Saw elk along the way! Be careful as I heard numerous reports that bears frequent this trail. Besides that, it was a fairly easy hike. I will say that it is a 'gradual uphill' most of the way so prepare to get a little bit of cardio work done!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Couldn't get to it gate was blocking sheep back rd

hiking
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My 17 year old son and I got onto the trail at Polls Gap and proceeded to Hemphill's Bald. The views were really fantastic! The hike on the way was definitely strenuous at times, but enjoyable! After the Bald, we proceeded on Hemphill Bald Trail, but missed our turn at Double Gap. If you go straight ahead at Double Gap, you will be on Cataloochee Divide Trail. We ended up following that trail, accomplishing right at 9 miles total for the day, before we exited the trail at Big Laurel Road where we were picked up by my husband. I sure wish we had accomplished our goal of the whole loop, but we did enjoy a great hike with stunning views!

hiking
Friday, April 24, 2015

Starting from Caldwell Fork, the Hemphill Bald Trail begins as one of the most tedious paths in the Catalooch. If the deep erosion from weather and horse travel makes you grateful you brought your boots, the six stream crossings will make you even happier you waterproofed them. At the first crossing, you have to hug the laurel on the right side of the stream to be able to discern where the trail picks up on the other side. I had to ford the next crossing, so packing a small towel is recommended.

After the final crossing, you'll encounter a lone, old growth poplar!

The trail conditions improve as it begins its strenuous 2 mile ascent toward the the Cataloochie Divide. On the way, you'll get some excellent views of Balsam and Sterling to the northwest and views of the approaching divide ridge to the south. When you arrive to the park boundary on the divide, the Cataloochie Ranch is beyond the fence line with awesome views of the Pisgah corridor to the northeast, the Plott Balsam range due east and Hemphill Bald waiting in the south.

Based on the beauty of the trail during its earnest ascent and the rewards to come at the divide, I'd easily give this trail 4 stars - but the first mile is too brutal to forgive.

Worthwhile? You bet!!!

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