Easy Trail to Bearwallow Falls
Gorges State Park is closed until further notice. We’ll update you when this changes.
Bearwallow Falls makes a for a quick roundtrip at Gorges State Park.
Upper Bearwallow Falls is an over 50-foot waterfall just half a mile from your car at Gorges State Park.
The half-mile Upper Bearwallow Falls Trail is well-maintained and leads down to a grand vista overlooking a waterfall from a wooden deck. It’s an easy trek to the Falls and hikers often add Bearwallow Valley Trail to their agenda because the trailhead begins in the same parking lot as the Falls trail, and they’re both approximately half a mile in length.
Bearwallow Valley Trail is a .7-mile hike that leads visitors to an amazing view of Bearwallow Valley, including Lake Jocassee in the distance.
Gorges is most known for Rainbow Falls, but Bearwallow is worth the afternoon to check it out. Luke Bleynat and Ryan McGreevy, both from Brevard, recently visited Gorges for the first time and said they made a good decision choosing Bearwallow as their first destination.
“It’s my first time here and I really like it,” said Bleynat. “It’s an easy trail to the falls and then the overlook is great.”
McGreevy said he will be back in the future because the Falls and valley overlook are so accessible.
“It’s really pretty along the trail,” said McGreevy. “Plus, the trail is well maintained and clearly marked, makes for a good day.”
Both trailheads are located in the second parking area, which is larger than the first. The trailheads are on opposite sides of each other, Bearwallow Valley Trailhead is the one next to the newly-built pavilion and both are marked with signage.
Visitors can access Gorges State Park from two sides, Grassy Ridge on the west side and Frozen Creek on the east side. Bearwallow is located at the Grassy Ridge entrance.
The Grassy Ridge entrance is located just over 10 miles from Cashiers. Take U.S. Highway 64 to N.C. 281 South. Travel about a mile to the Grassy Ridge entrance. From the entrance, drive one mile and turn left when you reach the new Visitor Center onto an unnamed road. Travel another mile to the second parking area called the Bearwallow Picnic Area.
by Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News