Alerts & Notices

NEBO, NC, October 21, 2016 - The Catawba Falls trail and parking lot in McDowell County will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, October 24, and is expected to reopen Saturday, October 29. 

A contractor will be delivering and placing a new trail bridge across Chestnut Branch. 

The Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest has been working to improve access to Catawba Falls this summer and fall. Work is expected to be completed in October.

The Catawba Falls Trail is a popular hiking trail near Old Fort, NC. Chestnut Branch is the last creek crossing before visitor reach the lower falls.

A new footbridge was installed over the Catawba River in July in partnership with McDowell County, North Carolina State Parks, and a federal Recreational Trails Program grant.

The Forest Service and its partners are continuing progress towards making this area more accessible and safe for forest visitors though the route to the upper falls remains dangerous and the public is warned against attempting it. Every month, McDowell County Emergency Management responds to at least one critical rescue at the site from the public seeking access to the upper falls. 

The best way to enjoy a waterfall is from a safe distance. Stay on established trails and be aware of the extreme danger posed by attempting a closer view of the waterfalls. Never climb on or jump off waterfalls. Don't swim or dive in waterfall pools or wade in streams above waterfalls because of hazardous rocks and currents.

For more information contact the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144.


  • Catawba Falls Trail closed October 24-28
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  • Croatan National Forest Closing Recreation Areas Due to Hurricane Matthew

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  • Critical Emergency Temporary Closure of four Croatan National Forest Roads