Moore Cove Falls is a 50 foot tall and low volume waterfall that is located near Looking Glass Falls off Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest.   One of the unique features that makes this waterfall so attractive, is you can stand in it, and get behind it!

Moore Cove Falls Hike Details


Highway 276, North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest

Roundtrip Distance:

1.4 miles roundtrip



Handicap Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes


Beautiful dense hardwood forest, creek, waterfall, and abundant wildflowers.  You can stand under the waterfall.


From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take the Highway 276 exit, and drive south for 8.7 miles. The parking lot will be just after crossing a bridge on the left.

Recommended Gear:

Standard Day Hiking gear, a bathing suit, water shoes, and towel

Moore Cove Falls, NC

Moore Cove Falls is located near the very popular Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, and is not only a nice hike, but a unique and pretty waterfall as well.  What's really fun about this waterfall is, due to the low flow,  you can stand at the base and let the waterfall on you, and you can also stand behind the waterfall.  This is a very popular trail and waterfall, so expect heavy crowds during the summer and especially on weekends.

Moore Cove Falls NC

Hiking to Moore Cove Falls

The trailhead to the falls is located off a parking lot along Highway 276 in Pisgah National Forest.  There isn't a clear sign from the road, but there is a sign located on the left side the parking lot next to the bridge to let you know you're in the right place.  You can see the sign and trailhead in the photo below, just on the other side of the blue car.

Parking area and trailhead for Moore Cove Falls

Cross the wooden bridge, and begin your climb up the hill.  This part of the trail is the steepest, and while it still inclines and declines until you reach the fall, they are not steep after the initial portion and climb.  If you are bringing small children, be careful here as the drop next to the trail is pretty severe down to the creek.

The remainder of the 3/4 mile hike is pretty easy, and will take your through a dense hardwood forest.  Pay attention as you hike, as there are many different types of wildflowers in the area.  We hiked here during the spring, the flowers were plentiful.

Wildflowers on the trail to Moore Cove Falls NC

As you hike the trail, you'll cross a few wood bridges and walkways.  The trail travels alongside Moore Creek, and you'll cross over it a few times.  The forest along the trail is full of large trees, Rhododendrons and literally carpeted with wild grass and ferns in many areas.  We can't wait to try this trail in the Fall, once the fall colors show. 

The trail is easy to follow, and the path clear, but there are frequent yellow trail blazes along the trail to help you be sure you're in going in the right direction.

Wooden walkway on Moore Cove Falls Trail

The trail was redone in 2011, and you can see in multiple places where the old trail went.  The new trail is smoother, and goes around many of the rougher spots.  Also, the wooden waterbars were built to help keep your feet dry through the often wet areas of the trail.   They did a great job, and made an already very nice trail even better.

Moore Cove Falls NC

Before long you'll hear the falls, and soon come around a corner and see Moore Cove Falls, and the large rock wall/cave that it cascades down.  There is a large observation area here, surrounded by fencing.

If you decide to go to the bottom of the falls, and stand in the water, be careful as the rocks are covered with algae, and are very slick.  We saw a person fall here, fortunately they didn't get hurt.

The trail continues behind the falls and will take you up to two campsites on down the trail.   We did not hike that portion of the trail.  

If you are hiking with children, DO NOT let them go up this trail.  It leads up to a ledge above the falls, and people have fallen and died from there.  

 Also, avoid the temptation to access the top of the falls, as it is very slick and dangerous.  The view isn't that great, and not worth risking your life.   People have died from falling from the top.

We really enjoyed the hike, and the time we spent at Moore Cove Falls.  This would hike makes for a great family hike, especially if you have younger children.  The hike is also really good for beginning hikers or those trying to get back in shape to take on longer more difficult hikes.

Moore Cove Falls Video

Nearby Waterfalls:

Our Waterfall Guides

See our full guides to more than 40 waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, on our Waterfalls Page.  Information, Directions, Photos, Video, and more!

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.


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}