Harper Creek Falls Trail

MODERATE 153 reviews
#17 of 198 trails in

Harper Creek Falls Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Collettsville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 2.8 miles Elevation Gain: 472 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

Short hike to one of the popular waterfalls/swimming holes in the Wilson Creek area. Waterfall with two nice swimming holes. The bottom swimming hole is larger than an Olympic size pool, so you can really swim. Both pools offer swimming, wading, diving, or simply floating. The pools are very deep and the water is cool and refreshing. The upper part of the falls cascades into a deep pool, and it is not uncommon to see people slide, jump, or dive off into this pool. This is a popular place in the summer so expect to see people here on the weekends or holidays. The campsite at the end of this trail is hidden away from the crowds, and is above the falls. This trail shares part of the MST so keep to the orange blazes. There is a rope down a steep rock face to the base of the falls

hiking
1 month ago

Great moderate hike, however, at the end of the hike you must scale down down a steep rock with a rope that is securely bolted to a rock in order to get to the top waterfall view area. It was a little slippery at times, so if you bring children make sure to watch carefully. Afterwards, enjoy swimming, relaxing on the rocks, and sliding down the lower waterfall. Very fun, a great way to enjoy a summer day!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was brilliant. Definitely worth trekking all the way to the sandy end. Lots of places to jump in the creek for a dip. Very dog friendly. Great place to spend a day and bring a picnic lunch.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail although some areas were washed out nice place to cool off at the bottom of the water fall. A

hiking
bugs
washed out
2 months ago

This was an excellent trail! Went with one friend who is just getting into hiking and she loved it. There were some bugs once you got closer to the water, but nothing some bug spray can’t fix. It was also washed out a little at some places, but nothing major to block progress. Just don’t be scared of a little mud in some areas. The rope down to the waterfall is a little daunting at first, but it’s actually really easy. It’s even easier if you go down barefoot. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
3 months ago

A nice short hike to a nice waterfalll & swimming hole. Completed this hike on Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend, and was surprised to find it uncrowded. There was only one other pair of hikers at the falls upon our arrival. The trek is mostly flat excepting the first quarter mile and there’s plentiful flora (rhododendrons and laurels abound) and some fauna too (we saw a rabbit and a red salamander). The path to the falls basin is steep, particularly the upper pool, which we didn’t attempt. We did scramble down to the lower basin, with the help of the available rope, where there is a fine large swimming hole. A beautiful place to see. after our hike, driving back down the gravel road the traffic and dust were certainly picking up. Now to find a car wash.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy hike for the whole family. Not too long, not much elevation, great waterfall and swimming hole at terminus.

Harpers Creek was very high and impassable. After finding out there would be 12+ river crossings, we decided to change our plans and hike Yellow Buck Mountain. Yellow Buck was beautiful and can connect you to Harpers Creek fairly easily. It’s also pretty washed out. Definitely a butt-kicker!

backpacking
4 months ago

I did an overnight backpacking trip on this trail and it was extremely enjoyable. The trail winds along the creek up to the falls, there's several campsites along the way as well and plenty of water. Would be a great area to visit when it's warmer out for dayhiking or backpacking because there's several swimming holes and areas to cool off. I ventured about 4 campsites past the falls and made camp at a great spot where someone had made a seat and backrests out of large flat rocks right next to the fire ring which was awesome. I don't know why this trail is marked as difficult because there's really no elevation gain besides a few places, overall it's relatively flat with some scrambling over rocks and tree roots. Nice trail over all. My friends and I are doing the Yellowbuck-Harper Falls, Raiders Camp loop end of April and we'll be adding on some nearby trails to try and make the loop a bit more distance wise. Looking forward to going back. This area is great if you want to bring kids and do an overnight trip because there's several campsites to choose from all within an hours hike which is not bad.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful day for a hike with our 14 month old son and 2 dogs. Trail was easy to follow. I did not go down to the water using the rope with my son on my back but my husband went down without a problem. We are very active people and this was a enjoyable hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great swimming hole to hike to. Don't kill the water snakes, they're not copperheads, therefore harmless.

hiking
5 months ago

Best day hike so far in NC. Was not overly populated. The drive in is stunning, the vegetation is magical and following the creek is stunning.

5 months ago

Hiked this trail last summer. Nice trail, but be sure to watch your step. Passed a few timber rattlesnakes. The hike down to the falls was a bit difficult. The rocks are extremely slippery even though they look dry. It’s a steep climb down using a rope. Once down, the falls and swimming area are very nice. It seemed to be a popular place and was fairly crowded that day. Still had plenty of room to swim around and enjoy the falls.

6 months ago

Really nice wooded trail with lots of water along the way...our kids love to play in the water along the way and look for minnows and crawfish

fishing
11 months ago

Great moderate hike to a beautiful waterfall. The swimming pool at the base is deep and cold! We then hiked down the creek for some fly fishing. Got bites from some nice sized trout!

hiking
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Moderate hike, glad it wasn’t steep the whole way. Beautiful falls but difficult rope climb down to the base of the falls. A lot of people were swimming there and some even slid down one of the lower falls.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Nice trail. Nice view of waterfall. If you want to go farther take the MST onward

hiking
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Good trail with very nice views. Trail is fairly clear and marked up to waterfall. When you are driving to this location its hard to find. Google just marked a spot i couldnt get to. So when you are going down the dirt road you cross a 1 lane bridge. About a mile down there is a horseshoe parkinglot. The trail head is there and marked with a sign!! Follow orange blaze...then follow orange white blaze. when you get to the top of the hill you see MST to right. Only follow if your staying on the loop. Stay st on orange blaze to go to waterfall. Trail does have wash out in spots but overall I thought was decently marked and there was a clear path!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

nice short walk to pretty falls. Backtrack to the campground and continue out (mst/orange) beautiful views, multiple river crossings, and the reward of the much more challenging south harpers creek falls. trail is 5.5 end to end but after the so. falls, loop back around via raiders camp trail for 2 more waterfalls. lovely area

Thursday, April 05, 2018

This little gem was very fun! It has all the adventure.. follow the orange trail markers. The trail gets narrow and steep in spots but if you follow the trail to the left you will come to 2 areas when you can use a rope to get right on the water. Be careful the rocks ARE slippery even if they look dry. ( the trail to the right takes you up to a nice view of the falls but then the trail just ends.) very narrow).

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Beautiful diverse terrain

Monday, March 05, 2018

One of the most beautiful waterfalls we have seen yet!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Peaceful hike! Loved having a big pool to swim in after the hike. There are two ropes - a big white one at trail’s end to the upper part between two Falls, and a smaller blue rope a tad before the end of the trail that leads to the base of the lower Falls. I had my dog with me so didn’t attempt the white rope (mostly steep rock and was cautious for my dog ), but we were definitely able to go down to the the lower Falls . I had to help my dog up the bottom rocks back to the trail, and he did fine. I am counting the days to go back and swim- with family this time! See Kristin Black Yoxall’s review for trail directions.

hiking
Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stop by the Wilson Creek Visitors Center for a great topographic map of the valley, and some good pointers to stay on trail. This trail shares part of the MST so keep to the orange blazes. There is a rope down a steep rock face to the base of the falls, but I didn't attempt it as I was alone and it was very slick. Enjoy!

hiking
Monday, October 09, 2017

3 tier water fall. Would download the map and mobile app from AllTrails if you get lost easy. This waterfall may be my new favorite.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Amazing waterfall! Not marked very well so keep your eyes peeled for the trail

hiking
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great hike - oh what a day! 100% worth the rocky road drive, heart pounding hike, and rope traverse down to the water. Made wonderful family memories today! Could have done without seeing the snake, but he was a baby and scurried away so no worries! (thank goodness!)

hiking
Friday, August 18, 2017

Decent trail. Not marked well at all. Very wet and slippery in places. Stay straight at first fork. Second fork go right. Third fork stay straight and the falls will be not far past last fork. I didn't go down the rope because i had my two year old on my back. We went back further down stream and played there. Water was ice cold and refreshing! Was very hot and humid and buggy today. Road the trailhead is on is gravel.

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