These wet July days make for interesting hiking weather. The gorgeous views are often obscured by clouds, or even straight up dangerous due to lightning and high winds. That can leave us explorers a bit in the mud, both literally and figuratively, with things to do. However, these rainy days are a great time to visit the many waterfalls scattered throughout the region. I wrote the following back in 2016 after visiting two of my favorite falls in the nearby regions (one in GA and one in NC) and thought this would be an excellent time to re-visit them.
Soco Falls is one of my personal favorites and is definitely worth the roadside stop next time you visit our nearby neighbors in NC. If you have a favorite waterfall let me know.
Soco Falls; Cherokee, NC
Hiking difficulty: Easy to strenuous
Double falls are exceedingly rare and beautiful. Located just outside Cherokee, NC lies a relatively unknown waterfall called Soco. It is located just off Highway 19 between Cherokee and Maggie Valley. At this falls, two separate creeks join via a 40-foot drop. The only downside to these falls is the trail is very poorly maintained and quite slick. A viewing platform is located a short walk from the small parking area, and those more adventurous can use the rope to climb down to the base of the falls (where these photos were taken). I don’t recommend this part of the hike for small children as it is somewhat dangerous and difficult.
Horsetrough Falls; White County
Hiking Difficulty: Easy
High in the upper Chattahoochee watershed lies a beautiful waterfall known as Horsetrough Falls. This is one of the taller falls in the region coming in at 70 feet (about half that of Toccoa falls and just a tick shorter than Minnehaha Falls featured last time). It is also very easy to access via a short trail from the back of the Upper Chattahoochee campground. From Helen drive north and turn left onto Alternate 75, then turn right just across the bridge. Follow this road approximately 7 miles to the Upper Chattahoochee campground, then drive through the campground to the day-use parking area. This is an excellent trail for smaller children and the more adventurous can easily go around the viewing platform and reach the base of the falls.
These falls are both absolutely beautiful and I hope you are able to check them out in person soon.
I’ll see you on the trail…..~TW