Near the popular Looking Glass Falls is the hidden jewel of Moore Cove Falls. Access to this 50-foot tall waterfall is via a small parking area by a stone bridge on U.S. 276 (Forest Heritage Scenic Byway), one mile north (toward the Blue Ridge Parkway) from Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest. A separate wooden pedestrian bridge takes you across the creek to access the 3/4 mile trail (1.5 miles roundtrip). There are no signs on the highway for Moore Cove, but there is an information board by the parking lot so you will know you are in the right spot!
Also nearby are Sliding Rock and the Looking Glass Rock hiking trail.
Moore Creek has a low volume of water, especially during dry spells. The waterfall is most spectacular after a good rain. Extended dry weather can reduce the falls to a trickle. Our favorite part of this waterfall is the ability to walk behind it and hang out under a large rock overhang. What an enchanting setting!
The hike is relatively easy with a few steep steps, mostly at the beginning of the trail. It's a beautiful walk, crossing Moore Creek several times before you reach the waterfall. The trail travels primarily through a lush, hardwood forest the entire way. Trees such as tulip poplar, oak, and maple can be found, along with dark, lacy hemlocks. An understory of rosebay rhododendron is found in places, and in other spots the steeply sloping forest floor is covered with a dense carpet of various ferns. The trail, after passing behind the falls, continues to reach a campsite and eventually another, similar falls about half the height of Moore Cove Falls. This part of the trail is a bit eroded and steeper.
It's a great picnic spot. Do not hike to the top of the waterfall to play in the water. The rocks are slippery and a fall can be fatal!
Directions: From the intersection of Hwys 64, 280 and 276 north near Brevard, drive north on Hwy 276 north for about 6.5 miles and pull off in the paved area on the right side of the road, just before a stone bridge. If you are coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, get off on the Hwy 276 exit and drive south for 8.2 miles, cross the bridge and pull off on the left. The trail begins on the bridge side of the info board. Cross the wooden foot bridge across Looking Glass Creek and head uphill for a short distance. That's the steepest part of the trail. At the top, head to the right and follow the yellow blazes on the trees.
More nearby waterfalls: Twin Falls, Slick Rock Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Cove Creek Falls and Log Hollow Falls.