Higgins Creek Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Erwin, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking 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.

Length5.5 miElevation gain1243 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingBird watchingViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
Description
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Getting There

This trail leads uphill a mile to a cascading waterfall. You can walk even further to explore 4-5 more waterfalls that are all part of Lower Higgins Creek. The waterfall is about a mile in on your right. The trail has a moderate grade, with the exception of the last quarter mile, when it becomes steep. You'll be able to see the waterfall down a treacherous 100 foot slope to your right. It's best to visit in the spring or fall, as the steep descent to the falls is made even more difficult when the slope is completely overgrown. Continue on the main trail for another half mile or so to discover more waterfalls. The trail is well-maintained. If you do travel to the other falls be prepared to cross the creek a few times. Paths to the other waterfalls are almost nonexistent after the first waterfall. Please note there is limited space for parking. There will be "no trespassing" signs. Just continue down the gravel road and you will be brought to a parking area near the trailhead.

There is only enough room at the trailhead to park around 5 vehicles. There is one trail gated with barbed wire so take the one to the left. You have to cross a shaky bridge at the very beginning.

Directions: Take I-26 to the Temple Hill exit #43 just south of Erwin and then turn right onto the old Asheville Highway (19/23), after 3/4 mile, turn right onto Lower Higgins Creek Road and drive 1.5 miles till you reach a dead end. There's a clearing where you can park. The trail is actually an old logging road which begins to the left over a rickety, old wooden bridge. While there are No Trespassing signs all around, there is not one at the trail head.

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Reviews (65)
Photos (172)
Recordings (49)
Completed (151)
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Ali Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 2, 2021
Nature tripsMuddyRockyScrambleWashed out

beautiful water features. we went the day after a few days of heavy rain so the falls were very full. we were not able to cross the stream though, so we'll be back!! the parking was very rocky and a little confusing. there are a few spaces down the hill from the rockiest part of the road, but many more spaces uphill where the trail starts.

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bombogenesis 6
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 14, 2020
Hiking

great waterfall, nice hike to it. creek crossing was too high and too cold. will return in spring

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Holly Fields
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Lincoln Jay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingMuddy

Beautiful trail, you will pass 2 waterfalls on your way up. There are paths to get down to them but it’s very steep. I would rate it moderate instead of hard. Overall beautiful!

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Pam Ritter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Tough hike. Rocky and steep elevation.

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Corey Heitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Good trail along a pretty, relaxing stream. If your destination is the waterfall - know that you only have to go 1/2 mile up the trail for the big one, and about another 1/4 mile for the smaller one. The full 5.5 mile route on the map is just to continue hiking along the stream for a while.

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Jessica Blevins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

One of my favorites! Cool, shaded, fabulous falls- wear good shoes- it’s rocky. Some small creek crossing.

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Sadie Hutson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, a little poorly marked as it cuts off to the left before the top and is easy to miss. Very pretty. Stunning falls.

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Fred Dulin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2020
Hiking

Nice, quiet hike. Only a few others on the trail. The waterfall was beautiful and rolling well. A bit muddy as we got to the turnaround.

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Brett Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2019
HikingMuddyWashed out
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Willie Shupe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2019
Hiking

Trail is actually 5.5 miles point to point. But you will pass the lower falls on the way and is a steep decline but amazing close view of lower falls there.

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Taylor Hall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2019
Hiking

Such an underrated trail!! The hike up has so so many little run offs and pools and smaller waterfalls. Several places to cross to island in the middle and get some really great shots. The waterfall itself is breathtaking. You can descend down a small trail to the right and go right to the bottom of the falls. There is good trail coverage so it's mostly shaded. The drive up might detur some people but I have awd Subaru and I thought it was a fun little offroad experience. Definitely a must see in the area.

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C G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2019
Hiking

The big falls and the falls and pools within a half mile or so of the first big falls are good. Past that the trail is a nice walk in the woods on loose cobbles without a lot of payoff. The end of the road to the trailhead is a pretty bumpy ride, a vehicle with some ground clearance is necessary. Did not need 4WD.

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Em Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 29, 2019
Hiking

Part of the road closer to trail head is washed out. You actually have to use all fours to get across the washout to trailhead. Also, personal property along this road. So, you have to park on the road, along the wider curbs which adds an uphill walk to your mileage. I used apple iwatch and logged 2.68 miles, round trip, to the fall and back. You merely need all fours to get down to the falls and back up to the trail. I feel like this should be rated as hard, not for younger kids. Bring some water shoes!

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Moriah Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 20, 2019
HikingRocky

Heads up a tree is down on the road up to the parking area, but there are a couple places to pull off on the side of the road beyond the "no trespassing signs". Lots of wildflowers in bloom right now!

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Monte Seymour
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 3, 2018
Hiking

Great hike with an abundance of small cascades and waterfalls with one of the prettier waterfalls at the top unless you decide to go further. Kind of hard to get to the bottom of the falls but worth it.

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Andy Kraus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2018

Pretty strenuous hike. The trail is visible and lake level is low. Fun adventure hike.

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Keith Fink
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 4, 2018

Beautiful hike along the creek for the majority of the time with quite a few crossings. Multiple waterfalls.

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Josh T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 3, 2018
Hiking

This is a great little trail that really comes alive in heavy rain seasons. Water features are awesome and great spot for photography in many areas.

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Michael Henderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2017
Hiking

This is a nice little trail, the waterfall is nice and you have climb down to iy but it's a good trail. I added a few miles to it exploring the area a little. mostly mountains at the top but there is a ton of places to go and see what's around the corner so to speak. It's not to steep and the rating of moderate is about right. levels out once you get to the ridgelines. This would be excellent hike with the fall colors at peak as there are many various trees so it will be a good mix of colors. I'll be back for sure.

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Annie Frazier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2017
Hiking

IF YOU SEE NO PARKING SIGNS YOU'RE NOT THERE YET- continue on up the rough gravel road to the left until it actually dead ends at the parking area. Nice hike (though pretty steep, in my opinion, considering you are traveling uphill the whole time until you turn around and come back down). Very lightly trafficked. Waterfall was nice, but didn't make it to the lake. Lots of nice opportunities to splash in the creek (some very deep spots to dunk in, though not really big enough to swim in).

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Christie Dowdy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2017
Hiking

Beautiful place especially when wild flowers are blooming they are everywhere along the trail .Trail has a steady uphill climb but not bad .There is a steep part as you go down to the base of the falls but just watch your footing and it's not bad .Well worth going down to the base of the falls to get the best view .My favorite trail for wildflowers in this area :)

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Jay Leslie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2017
Hiking

The trail is definitely moderate to the falls. I would've rated 4 stars but the lack of accessibility to the falls along the trail was disappointing. Not to say you couldn't bushwhack your way down, but I wasn't really in the mood for that on this particular day. Other sites mention a lost lake...don't waste your time. First off the trail is 1700' of gain in the 1 mile up to it. Secondly, the "lake" down almost 25' feet from its normal level. If you must check it out the trail is after your first stream crossing past the main falls, to the left on the side of the creek you came from. Judging from old posts about it there used to be a janky wooden bridge. It's been washed out and caused us to miss it on our way up initially, even though you can clearly see the trail. Cross and start climbing. 3/4 of the way up is a rusted out late model truck. If you stay on Higgins Creek Trail it follows the stream to the top and eventually intersects with a forest service road on the ridge.

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Brittany Reed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2017

Wet and rocky! Beautiful hike right from the beginning. We went a couple weeks ago after we had a ton of rain and the water was up, we had a hard time finding a place to cross the creek so taking our shoes off and going across it barefoot was about our only option. Waterfall is fantastic! A must see.

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