Hike Details

Related Info

Trail Map

Printed Trail Map

Western North Carolina Trail Guide – South Pisgah Ranger District Including Bent Creek by Pisgah Map Company LLC

Hike Stats

Opt 1 = 4.1 m, 650 ft   E 

2996 ft max elevation

Opt 2 = 5.6 m, 1070 ft   M 

3338 ft max elevation

Seasonal Accessibility

Open all year although the unpaved roads are not plowed.

Trailhead Coordinates

N35 18 53.46 W82 44 57.06 (DMS)
N35 18.891 W82 44.951 (DM)

Google Maps and other cell phone and car navigation systems generally accept destinations in the above lat/long formats

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View – two water falls, each about 100 ft. tall, appear at the turn around point in the loop hike. Both of the falls has an access to their base.

Hike Profile – the hike is a loop that follows the Avery Creek and Buckhorn Gap trails to Clawhammer Road (FS 5058) and then follows the Clawhammer Cove trail back to the Avery Creek trail and the trailhead. The twin falls are reached via a short out and back trail that goes from the Buckhorn Gap trail to the falls. The hike to the falls is an easy climb and the trail follows, and crosses several times, Avery Creek before it goes through an open forest. All the creek crossings have good bridges. The two waterfalls are quite close but have a different origin. The hike returns to the Buckhorn Gap Trail and has a moderate climb before joining Clawhammer Road.

The hike can be shortened considerably by returning to the trailhead directly from the falls. This eliminates the loop, creating an out and back hike.

Trail Surface – the initial part of the hike is on Avery Trail which follows Avery Creek and crosses it in several places. This trail is also used for horses and in some cases there are separate crossings marked for horses because of the terrain. This trail can be rough because of the horse use. The Buckhorn Gap Trail, which joins the Avery Creek Trail for a distance and then heads away from the creek, goes through a woodland area where the trails are usually dry. The Clawhammer Cove Trail can be muddy at times.

Environment – the area of Avery Creek and Clawhammer Creek has lush foliage typical of wet forest areas where as the upland trails go through woodlands with deciduous and hemlock trees, and some open areas with an wildflowers and berry bushes.

Navigation – one needs to watch the FS wands carefully as the Avery Creek Trail and the Buckhorn Gap Trail start close together on the FS 477 road and are joined for a distance before separating. At the trailhead take the Avery Creek Trail northwest. The Buckhorn Gap Trail will merge from the left. The two will travel together for some distance. Take the Buckhorn Gap Trail to the right, due north, while the Avery Creek Trail continues northwest. Each time the trail crosses Avery Creek there are two marked crossings – one for horses and one for people. The people crossings all have bridges. Stay on the Buckhorn Gap Trail until it joins the Twin Falls Trail to the left while the Buckhorn Gap Trail goes east to the right. Returning down the Twin Falls Trail, take the Buckhorn Gap Trail to the left.

This trail will climb until it comes to a junction with a logging road. The wands are confusing at this point but take a right onto the road – this is the Buckhorn Gap trail. Buckhorn Gap trail will end at the junction with Clawhammer Road (FS 5058). Proceed down this road until you see the Clawhammer Cove trail branching off to the right. Follow this trail until it intersects with the Avery Creek trail. Take a left onto the Avery Creek trail and return to the trailhead.

Directions to Trailhead – from the intersection of NC 280 and US 276 north of Brevard, follow US 276 2.3 mi. north. Take a right on FS 477 (to the horse stables) just beyond the Ranger Office. The Avery Creek trailhead will appear after 2.3 miles on the right. There is a small parking spot for two cars at the trailhead. There is more parking a short distance past the trailhead on the right at a curve. If you see the Buckhorn Gap trailhead, you have gone too far.

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