Courthouse Falls via Summey Cove Trail

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Pisgah National Forest

Courthouse Falls via Summey Cove Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Balsam Grove, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,007 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

Difficult mainly due to steepness of about half the trail and slippery surface (loose leaves over mud on steeper sections). The trail is kind of hard to follow at first, keep to the right and climb if in doubt.  If you come to a creek crossing soon after starting, you went left when you should have gone right. The blue blazes are pretty regular so keep an eye out for them. Courthouse Falls is visible from the trail and there is a short spur trail going down to the falls near the north end of the trail.  

Excellent day for a hike. We definitely had a difficult time finding the trail head, but it literally is right behind the bridge and the guard rail and there’s also room for two or three cars to park there. The trail is a little Overgrown overgrown at first and once you cross over a small stream you’ll see your first blue blaze. After about 10 minutes or so of fairly easy walking and climbing over some fallen trees you pretty much go straight up then straight down and then an easy walk to the water fall, well worth it, this is a fantastic hike

hiking
2 months ago

I had a little bit of a struggle as far as finding the trail head and then getting on the right path. Of note, there is a pull out across the street and down the road probably <0.1 miles. Once you get going, continue to the right and then cross the stream to the left. you know you’re on the right path when you see the trees with blue blazes. The first portion is uphill and gets quite steep near the top. Then you go downhill and are flat until you get to the Falls which are beautiful. Of course on the way back you have to go up a steep uphill portion again. Short hike but a good work out. Would do again if I were down in that area. Otherwise, I believe there is a trailhead on the other side and the hike is 0.6 miles from the other direction. Also to note, this area could get quite crowded in the summer as there is not a lot of space right around the Falls and river.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a second hike for the day. As everyone has said, steep at first then a nice walk. The falls were amazing. Well worth the hill climb. Nice workout at the end of the day.

hiking
over grown
9 months ago

The first part is strenuous, once you get to the logging road on the other side of the ridge it’s an easy walk. Courthouse falls is very nice with a deep pool.

hiking
over grown
Wed May 01 2019

This trail goes to Courthouse Falls but there is a shorter trail to get there. If your purpose is a workout and sitting by waterfall at the end then pick this one. Steep up and down right away but after that its just a stroll. Much of it is pretty overgrown but passable. need to have a spidey-stick unless you like webs in your face. Flowers were pretty but not much else in the way of scenery so I would classify this as a workout trail, not a sightseeing trail. If you know what I mean. Its still better than sitting in an office. :)

hiking
Sun Feb 03 2019

Great hike, it was pretty difficult at times, straight up for a long time but was worth it, the waterfall is actually called “courthouse falls” and it is beautiful, we just went 2/2019 and no one was on the trail, there is a spur trail along the river to the right and there were a few small waterfalls and it’s a beautiful place to sit.

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