Located between Marion and Little Switzerland (near Linville Caverns) is Tom's Creek Falls. This beautiful 80-foot, multi-cascade waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest is an easy one mile roundtrip hike. And the hiking trail is just a 1.2-mile drive from US Highway 221. Since it's so easy to reach and there's a new observation deck, this waterfall is great for children or adults that cannot walk long distances.
As with many waterfalls in our national forests, there are no signs. But there is an obvious parking area with a bulletin board. The woodland trail follows the creek to the waterfall. Near the falls, you'll notice the sparkling rocks on the ground. This is mica, once mined here. The plate-like crystals glisten in the sun. (Mica is used as an electrical insulator and is still mined north at Micaville.)
For a closer look at the waterfall, look for the trail to the right just before you reach the observation deck. This will take you to the pool in front of the falls. But don't try to climb the top of the falls! When the water is lower, you can walk up very close to the base and wade in the water. There are some great rock formations here too.
Directions: You can reach Toms Creek Falls from Marion (via I-40) or from the Little Switzerland/Parkway area. From I-40, take US 221 North (exit 85) about 12 miles to Huskins Branch Road. Turn left and go 1.2 miles to the trailhead (a small parking area before the bridge across the creek). The road is paved except for a small section in the middle. See a Google Map below.
From the Blue Ridge Parkway / Little Switzerland area (about 7.5 miles), go south on NC 226 (at Milepost 331) to US 221. Turn right on US 221 and go 1.2 miles to Huskins Branch Road on the right. Go 1.2 miles to the trailhead.
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