The Transylvania Times -

Destination Waterfall – East Fork Falls – Transylvania County, NC


August 19, 2019

East Fork Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the newly designated Headwaters State Forest. The base of the falls offers a shallow swimming hole, perfect for cooling off on a hot day. At about 15 feet high, East Fork Falls isn't one of the larger waterfalls in Transylvania County, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in serenity. (Times Photo by Park Baker)

East Fork Falls is a 15-foot waterfall located in the newly designated Headwaters State Forest in Transylvania County near the South Carolina State line, and is the perfect spot to savor the last few days of swimming weather this summer.

The short trail to the falls starts along East Fork Road and winds down to the base of the falls where visitors can swim in the large pool at the base. You will come upon a spur trail about 100 feet from the parking lot that leads to the top of the falls, but the view from here is not very good, and it's incredibly dangerous to get in the water above a waterfall.

Instead, continue another few hundred feet on the trail to the base and swim in the East Fork French Broad River from below the falls where it is much safer. People die every year in Transylvania County from falling over waterfalls, so be sure keep safety in mind.

Parking is limited on the side of the road, so it's best to get here early in the morning or later in the afternoon when crowds may have subsided.

While there is a small rock to sit on once you reach the end of the trail, most visitors will have to get wet if they plan on staying for a while, as there isn't anywhere else to sit.

The trail is steep with roots in many places, so bring good shoes to hike in, and while there is a blue trash can at the beginning of the trail, it's advised you follow "Leave No Trace" practices and pack out any trash you bring in. For those bringing pets along, make sure they stay on leash.

Headwaters State Forest is mainly a working forest, and you will not find amenities like in nearby DuPont State Forest.

The newly completed Sassafras Mountain Observation Tower is nearby, however, and has bathroom facilities and offers panoramic views of the area from the highest point in South Carolina.

Headwaters State Forest officially opened to the public in September 2018, and is adjacent to over 100,000 acres of protected land in North and South Carolina according to Conserving Carolina's website.

Conserving Carolina and other conservationists worked for nearly 10 years to officially designate this tract of land as a protected state forest. The N.C. State Forest Service now manages the land.

Directions from Brevard

•Driving distance from downtown Brevard to East Fork Falls is around 22 minutes or 13 miles.

•From downtown Brevard, follow East Main Street until it turns into Greenville Highway for 11 miles.

•Then turn right on Island Ford Road. The turn will be just past Mud Dabbers Pottery.

•Continue on Island Ford Road for 2 miles and turn left at the fork in the road onto Walnut Hollow Road.

•Stay on Walnut Hollow Road for another 3.3 miles and the road will change names to East Fork Road.

•Stay straight for another 2.7 miles. You will see a small parking area on the left side of the road. There is a blue trashcan at the beginning of the trail.


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