Rufus Morgan Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Franklin, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.0 miles Elevation Gain: 288 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

As of February 2019, users have reported that the road leading to the trailhead is closed, adding 4 miles round trip to the hike. If you have dogs, please keep them on a leash and the two stream crossings will give them a chance to hydrate during the trek. Come in late May- July (at this elevation) to enjoy the multitude of blooming Rhododendrons, Flame Azeleas and Mountain Laruel. The entire right hand side of the falls are lined with Rhododendron. The trail is Blue Blazed and is well maintained. The falls are beautiful and the sounds of cascading water by the creek are both relaxing and rejuvenating to sit and listen to. This is a loop trail but you can simply hike to the falls and return the same way you came if you like. Either way leads back to the small parking area where you started. Make a day out of it and see the nearby "Wayah Bald Lookout Tower."

hiking
4 days ago

We hiked this in the early morning cool rain today and were all alone. I gasped aloud upon seeing the waterfall. As we approached, it was hard to tell where the rain ended and the waterfall began. It felt like a dream. If you aren’t hiking at sunrise in the mist, you are missing out. But then again, don’t bother cause we like to be alone out there. Happy hiking everybody.

12 days ago

Nice short easy hike! The little one loved the water waterfall and creeks!

hiking
1 month ago

Great surprise! Didn’t see this on All Trails, just found it. Very nice falls. Recommend for a good easy hike.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Great trail! The falls are really cool and the trail is a fun mix between cut in zig zags and creek beds. Can be a little wet / muddy / slippery but not too bad.

5 months ago

great trail, narrow walk but the waterfall is beautiful. easy 1 mile hike

hiking
6 months ago

Went with my 19 year old daughter and 73 year old father. Found the trail from a local magazine. Should have checked this app before hand. The trail was a bit too much for my dad, but he did it! The trail is narrow with inclines and declines and was covered with fallen leaves that covered damp ground which made it a bit slippery and covered roots and rocks so it was hard to see where not to step. Some areas you have to step on wobbly rocks to cross some creeks. The waterfall was beautiful and you get right up to the fall for some amazing photos. I'm 45, for me it was a pretty easy hike. Would not recommend for seniors in their 70's and probably not good for kids under 5.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

Excellent little loop trail. The guides and maps say its about 1 mile, but I believe it's a little longer about 1 1/2 miles. You cross over small rivers and trickles of water, some with bridges some without. There is a large 45+ foot waterfall in the middle of the hike. The trial is well maintained, but you need to be careful for large roots and unstable or wet rocks. All in all an easy excellent hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun hike. Roots fill a lot of the trail. The falls are great with 3 different angles and sections to admire. The trail down is beautiful peaceful. Don’t miss this one.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, path can be a bit Narrow at some spots. Took two inexperienced hikers with me and they did great. Waterfall was amazing.

hiking
7 months ago

great trail! took 1 hr w 5 and 2yo walking solo

hiking
8 months ago

Quick and fairly easy dog-friendly escape in the forest!!! Did 2 loops because I didn’t go right and up to waterfall on first try! The trail does require some balance and ability to cross rocks and roots and uneven terrain. Fun loop.

hiking
8 months ago

Right before you arrive at the trailhead a tree is down on the roadway, but we just parked on the road and walked over the tree branches. That same tree’s trunk blocks the beginning of the trail but we were able to crawl under it. The hike is beautiful and the waterfall at the top was really nice. Overall a great hike with a couple obstacles at the beginning.

hiking
8 months ago

The waterfall (cascade) didn’t have a ton of water rushing. But it was super tall. And pretty. There were many places for the pups to get in the water. My tracker said the water fall was .6 miles in. And I did he loop, which was 1.4. It was pretty easy overall.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike for anyone to enjoy. Our total distance was 2.1 mi and it took just over an hour. Our 3 year old daughter hiked the whole trail herself so I think it's safe to say that any able bodied adult can enjoy this hike. The most technically difficult part is at the beginning where you have to crouch under a large tree that has fallen across the trail. There are several stream crossings but none are difficult. You'll see a few small falls before coming to the spur to the largest falls. I highly recommend this hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Very nice hike. Somewhere between easy and moderate. More on the easy side in my opinion. Most of the trail is shaded so it stays nice and cool during the warmer months. There are several small streams (part of the waterfall) that you cross on your way up to the top. Good spots to let the pup(s) drink and cool their paws. Follow the trail guides as they are clearly marked. Once you reach the top where it starts looping back down, there is a small path off to the side that takes you to the top to see the waterfall. Then just either go back the way you came or follow the path to continue the rest of the loop. Dumps you back out 50 or so yards from where you started. We unfortunately didn’t make it all the way to the top as there was a kum-ba-yah circle up top and the group leader wouldn’t let us near cuz they didn’t want us to disturb their zen or something. It looked nice though... :/

recorded Rufus Morgan Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful short trail that is blazed in BLUE. Massive and gorgeous cascade (not a waterfall). Great hike for beginners and a loop to boot. Head down Wayah Road till you get to Forest service road 388 then 1.7 mile to the signed trailhead. Trail is clear and there is a somewhat fallen tree that I overhanging the trail but not blocking it. Perfect hike if you want some beauty and not up for a distance hike.

hiking
8 months ago

short hike to a lovely waterfall. well worth going. nature at it's finest :)

hiking
9 months ago

Fairly easy trail. Short hike to beautiful waterfall. Well worth the trip!

hiking
9 months ago

easy loop trail with a nice waterfall.

hiking
10 months ago

Perfect hike with our small terrier! Beautiful waterfall and very easy for us (moderate-challenging for the pup). Hard to find and you have to take a precarious dirt road, but it was Worth it

hiking
11 months ago

Took the family and it worked out well.

hiking
11 months ago

Easy hike with a nice waterfall at the end. The waterfall is a great place for a picnic with friends and family. Usually has ample parking at the trail head.

hiking
Sat Jun 01 2019

One of my favorite short waterfall hikes! Beautiful and fun!

hiking
Wed May 15 2019

Hiked this Mon May 13, 2019. Forest service road is open. Trail is clear. Maintenance (fallen trees cut/cleared from trail, rocks appropriately placed for trickle stream crossings) was done that morning. Beautiful hike!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
Sun May 12 2019

Great trail but be ready for some climbing over falling trees and brush in trails!!

Tue Apr 30 2019

Beautiful waterfall! Some fallen trees on the trail, and muddy/slippery in some areas. The length is perfect for more inexperienced hikers (like myself).

walking
blowdown
muddy
Wed Apr 17 2019

2nd time we tried to reach this waterfall. A few months ago, we went, but walked in which was less than 3 miles, but the trail was not in great shape so we decided to come back another time. Today we went, but we had a 9 year old and 12 week old dogs with us. There were a few trees and feared the pup would panic crawling under it and the older dog would get confused, which he did. Still nice views and a pleasant day.

Fri Apr 05 2019

Rufus Morgan trail is open. Just went today, and it was absolutely beautiful!

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