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Discovery Falls

Forest Service Road, FR475B is located in Pisgah National Forest, and provides access to a number of Waterfalls, including the pretty Discovery Falls.  Discovery Falls is a 75 foot waterfall along a jagged rock face.

Discovery Falls Photo

Hike Details

Location:

Pisgah National Forest, Ranger District

Roundtrip Distance:

1 mile

Difficulty:

Moderate - Due to the steep incline close to the falls.

Handicap Accessible:

No

Dog Friendly:

Yes

Features:

Directions:

From the intersection of The Blue Ridge Parkway and Highway 276, Take Highway 276 towards Brevard, for 9 miles, and turn right onto FR475B.  Go 1.6 miles to a very sharp turn and parking area.  There is a gated road here and a large National Forest Sign.  This is the trailhead to Discovery Falls.

Recommended Gear:

Hiking to Discovery Falls

The hike to Discovery Falls begins at the trailhead for Seniard Ridge trail, also called FR5043 right by the small parking area.   You'll pass by the gates, and follow the wide Forest Service Road down for about 0.22 miles, where you'll reach your first wooden bridge crossing a stream.

Trail to Discovery Falls

Just before the bridge, and to the right is a small trail.  Follow this trail for about .25 miles up to the Falls.  The trail is easy until the very last section just prior to reaching Discovery Falls, where it gets pretty steep.  The trail is very clear, and easy to follow.

Discovery Falls

While pretty, this isn't an exceptionally beautiful waterfall, especially when creek flow is low, but it is definitely worth the short hike.  Visiting this waterfall shortly after a heavy rain is more rewarding as the water flow is higher.

Even under high flow, the waterfall is slower flowing falls, where the water softly flows down the rock face, at a very steep angle.  

Small Cascade below Discovery Falls

The waterfall is a bit difficult to photograph, due to the steep incline of the Falls itself and the ridge it flows down.   The best composition is available by carefully crossing over the stream, and taking the shot from the left side.  This is a bit risky though due to the slick rocks.

Fortunately lighting is almost always good here due to the thick forest canopy above the falls.

Other Area Waterfalls

There are a number of waterfalls along this trail.  Discovery Falls is the first of three, that are very easy to see.  In fact the next two, are visible from the trail:

  • Log Hollow Falls - Guide coming soon!
  • Logging Road Falls - Guide coming soon!
About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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