Secret Falls Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length1.3 miElevation gain255 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashkid friendlyHikingNature tripsForestRiverWaterfallWildflowersBlowdownRocky
Waypoints (0)
Weather
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Reviews (177)
Photos (159)
Recordings (127)
Completed (375)
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Bridget Grimsley Friedman
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HikingMuddy

The trail was muddy in spots, and trees had fallen across the trail in at least two places. The trail went across two streams where you have to hop on rocks or trees to get across. One you get close to the waterfall, the trail seems to go left and right, but the way down is to the right and you can see a blue trail marker on a tree. The way down has wooden blocks to step on, but muddy in between. It is not an easy trek I’d you have physical limitations. Once down at the bottom, the view is amazing and well worth the hike! If you walk down from the waterfall, then you can see where the stream leads, and if you jump down, can see more .

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Peter Fehl
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HikingMuddy
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Kimberly King
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Hiking

Fantastic quick morning hike. Beautiful falls at the end. Steep at the end and will get the heart pumping coming back up.

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Sarah-Katherine Burke
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HikingGreat!

so pretty! easy quick hike and nice place to bring the dogs during the summer time for a swim

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Reagan Smith
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HikingGreat!

Nice shorter hike that my boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed on this cool December morning! It does get a little steep near the end, but was manageable! Was super impressed with the waterfall, and it may have helped that there had been some rain two days before! Will definitely be back in the summertime!

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Mia Terrio
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Hiking
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Angela Adams
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Hiking
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Sarah Kyle
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HikingGreat!

Lovely hike perfect for a family (our son is 6). The end is a little steep but nothing too hard. The falls are beautiful and the water was low enough to go on the little beach. The road in was single lane switch backs and easy to miss from the main road. We thought we may have gone wrong but luckily kept on going. As long as you take the unpaved road slow and steady it will be ok. We saw a variety of vehicles once we make it to the TH.

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Sara Westhoefer
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HikingGreat!MuddyWashed out

This was a beautiful hike, very peaceful with beautiful reward at the end. The road that gets you to the trail head is nail biter. Up and down a windy gravel road that fits 1 car at a time. We were in a AWD Subaru Ascent and did just fine. There were two points on the trail where you had to cross streams. The first one took some maneuvering over down trees and the second one had a flat log to walk across. A couple down trees in the path along the way but nothing terrible. The stairs at the end of the trail have been washed out. You’ll need to take a bit more care climbing down. The trail is muddy in spots. With our 2 dogs it took us just over an hour there and back.

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Nicholas K
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HikingGreat!

Overall quick afternoon hike, very easy and well maintained. The last section down to the base of the falls is steep as others have mentioned, but mostly dry as it hasn't rained in the last 3-4 days. The creek has subsided after Tropical Storm Zeta allowing a dry crossing, but there are still 2 trees down across the trail.

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Kristen Whitehead
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HikingMuddyWashed out

Very muddy and slick with all the rain from tropical storm Zeta. Climbed over 2 downed trees and crossed running water twice as well. Socks got a bit wet! The trail is pretty washed out between the "steps". The waterfall was definitely worth the trek and was raging today. Overall, a fun but slippery hike.

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Todd Dixon
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HikingMuddy

Beautiful trail. Middle aged, overweight, and out of shape, I was able to complete this one relatively easily.

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Nicholas Hower
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HikingGreat!MuddyRocky

Not a long hike, but might present some difficulty for older folks. Can’t wait to do it again.

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Jonathan Krueger
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Hiking
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Richard Pogin
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HikingFlooded

9/18/20 great experience but extremely difficult for older folks. The trail was in very bad shape. From the lower falls back took us and our. Trail was badly washed out in numerous places and was very muddy. I fell once and almost went down twice more.Had to Ford two streams. It was a good adventure and we took the rest of the day off.

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Megan Bruss
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Hiking

9/18/20: Lived up to all the hype! Came after heavy rains, and it was phenomenal. Considering the rains, the trail was in decent shape, but not super well-maintained and there are some washed out areas that definitely gave the older couple I met some trouble. After sitting at the base and enjoying the spray, I went back to where there was a fork, and took it to the top of the falls. There were two options at the fork. the first I tried was a dead end, but the 2nd took me right out on the rocks next to the top. Very very dangerous there though, so I basically butt-scooted & stayed on the dry rocks.

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Maura Pedersen
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I'm older with bad knees, so this trail was pretty challenging for me. A lot of steep inclines, slippery mud, very washed out areas and water crossings on wobbly logs. When you get to the falls, it truly is gorgeous. But I think that's a once in a lifetime for me.

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Amy Bruce
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Hiking

The best waterfall I have seen so far. Hike was easy, not too long, but not short. To get down to the base of the falls was sketchy but so worth it. Great swimming hole, safe(ish) for kids. It was a sandy beach to the left of the falls. Water was ice cold, take your breath away. You must go under water, it’s numbing but refreshing.

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Kathy Clemmons
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HikingGreat!

Loved it!!

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James Mason
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Hiking

Awesome

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Trenton Strackbein
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Really enjoyed this hike. It wasn't too long or steep but provided a nice secluded waterfall.

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Stephanie Zielinski
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Hiking

Short trail and amazing views! Definitely a fun place to climb around and explore!

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Tina F
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Hiking

Muddy and washed out at bottom of falls.

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Diana Rodriguez
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HikingMuddyWashed out

Hiked Secret Falls this morning with my pup. Yes, it was muddy and washed out in places but it has been raining a lot. Used the stream crossings as rinse off/pup watering opportunities. The streams were a little higher than ankle deep and refreshing so be sure to wear the appropriate shoes. You will come to a fork in the trail. The left side takes you to the top of the falls (through rhododendrons,etc). The right takes you to the pool. Gorgeous payoffs in both directions!

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