Last Updated on May 24, 2021
Last Updated on May 24, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Moore Cove Falls is an enchanting 50-foot waterfall near Brevard (also near Asheville!) that sits inside Pisgah National Forest, between Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock along the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. It’s formed by a low flow of water that cascades over a rock face framed by a rock outcrop.
A pseudo cave sits behind the falls and is one of its most striking features. The hike to reach this waterfall and return to your car is only 1.5 miles round-trip, fairly easy to complete for any hiker.
Inside our guide, we’ll provide a deeper breakdown of this awesome hike near Asheville and have organized it for you with the following sections:
- About the Falls
- Where is Moore Cove Falls?
- When to Visit
- Leave No Trace
- The Moore Cove Falls Hike
- Places Nearby (and Related Posts)
About the Falls
Moore Cove Falls is a 50-foot waterfall that is surrounded by ferns and rhododendrons. A cave sits behind it and if you’re lucky enough to visit after healthy periods of rain, this waterfall is particularly stunning.
It is technically not recommended to go behind this waterfall, due to the slippery nature of the rocks at its base. If you do decide to walk behind the falls, please be careful and prepare by wearing proper footwear.
Where is Moore Cove Falls?
As we mentioned, Moore Cove Falls is located along the US-276 portion of the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. From Brevard, you’ll drive 6.5 miles north and just one mile past Looking Glass Falls. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, Moore Cove Falls is 8.2 miles south, with the parking area on the left.
There are no signs identifying Moore Cove Falls, but you’ll find its parking area along the road. The trail begins at a stone road bridge, with an information board just before a wooden pedestrian bridge.
When to Visit
We recommend visiting Moore Cove Falls after a big rain. The water flow is usually low to begin with, and a recent rainstorm will magnify the falls’ beauty. It is also worth saying that Moore Cove is a great winter hike! Snow and ice can accumulate at the base of the waterfall, which can be really cool to see.
During warmer months, hikers love to walk behind the falls and explore the cave behind. The large rock outcrop that creates this cave provides for truly magnificent pictures.
Moore Cove Falls is very popular on the weekends and also even during the week in warmer months. Many people come to see the nearby Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, many times adding this waterfall to their itinerary.
Our advice is to arrive early to avoid crowds and snag a parking spot. Parking is limited at Moore Cove Falls, and there may not always be a spot available.
Leave No Trace
Before visiting Moore Cove Falls, we want to remind you to always keep this place beautiful and to leave no trace. Trash does NOT belong anywhere on our trails, including this one.
The Moore Cove Falls Hike
The hike to Moore Cove Falls begins with a wooden pedestrian bridge followed by several natural steps. This section is the steepest part, with the trail being relatively flat from there on out.
After 0.75 miles, the trail will end at a viewing platform. Some hikers like to cross Moore Creek via a social trail before reaching this platform for a different vantage point.
One of the most popular aspects of Moore Cove Falls is that you can walk behind the waterfall and under the rock outcrop. If you proceed past the viewing platform, do so at your own risk.
Never climb to the top of any waterfall, including this one, as deaths occur when on top. Also, hiking the area upstream of the falls is dangerous and can even result in significant environmental damage.
Ready for the Moore Cove Falls Hike?
We’ve enjoyed this waterfall throughout the year and love the views it offers. As always, use caution and sense while hiking to Moore Cove Falls and when you arrive at its base.
With that caution in mind, we still regard Moore Cove Falls as an excellent kid-friendly waterfall hike, in case you want to bring the whole family!
Looking Glass Falls is probably the most visited waterfall in North Carolina due to its accessibility. It’s a roadside waterfall that you can venture down some stairs for a closer view. No matter your vantage point, Looking Glass makes for beautiful photos.
Further down the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway is Sliding Rock, an extremely popular place in the summer for those looking to cool off! This natural waterslide is located along the same road as Moore Cove Falls and promises icy cold water.
Our guide to Sliding Rock covers entrance fees and everything else you’ll need to know.
If you’d like to hit a North Carolina brewery before or after exploring Pisgah National Forest, check out Ecusta Brewing. Sit outside by the river and enjoy a tasty pint after exploring these wonderful waterfalls!
Here are some guides to places we’ve mentioned and more things to do in Brevard, as well as its surroundings.