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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Moore Cove Falls is a beautiful waterfall, but it’s flow will vary based on how much rain the area has had. These photos and video were taken in late April, after some substantial rain. Later in the summer, Moore Cove Falls can often be just a trickle of water.
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.