Courthouse Falls Trail #130

Update 6/30/2020: Courthouse Creek Road, FSR 140, is temporarily closed to motor vehicle traffic, non-motorized use is allowed. Visitors should be aware that this closure will add approximately 5 miles roundtrip to the hike to Courthouse Falls. When parking, please remember to not block the gate. 

0.3 mi - Easy - Summey Cove Trail is an easy trail which initially follows an old railroad grade. This section is always wet, so wear appropriate footgear. Within ¼ mile you will start hearing the roar of the falls. Shortly beyond the falls, the Courthouse Falls Trail will be a sharp turn to your left—in a wide, smooth, sweeping, right turn of the main trail; though there may be no signs or blazes visible, two natural stone steps at the top of the trail help distinguish it. Please do not leave the main trail until you see a distinct side trail and/or trail sign; shortcutting causes erosion problems. Courthouse Falls Trail is a narrow trail which never receives much sunlight, so all log bridges and wooden steps can be slippery. It takes you to the base of a spectacular 45-foot waterfall dropping into a large, deep pool in a picturesque cove. The mist from the falls keeps this area cool, even in the middle of the summer, so it is delightful on a hot day. If you are a rockhound, you will be rewarded with small garnets that are common in the creek.

Approximate Elevation Change: 30 feet
Blaze: Orange

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Hiking Trail: foot traffic only.
Water: yes
Restroom: none
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information

Directions: Via Blue Ridge Parkway: From the Pisgah District Ranger Station/Visitor Center parking lot, turn right (north) onto US 276 for approximately 14 miles; turn right onto access ramp for Blue Ridge Parkway, then left (south) on Parkway. Drive 11½ miles to NC 215. Take NC 215 south 6.7 miles and turn left on FS 140 (Courthouse Creek Road)—a gravel road immediately beyond a small concrete bridge and paralleling a stream. Go approximately 2½ miles north to Summey Cove (#129) trailhead, a small pull-off just beyond a creek crossing. (There are several bridges beforehand.) This trail is a spur off the Summey Cove Trail. Alternative route via gravel and paved roads: Drive 3½ miles north from Ranger Station, then left onto FS 475 (Davidson River Road, signed for Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and state Fish Hatchery). Drive approximately 1½ miles (paved road) to Center for Wildlife Education and then approximately 5.3 miles beyond (via paved, then gravel, road) to SR 1327 (Shoal Creek Road; paved), then SR 1328 (Clinic Road; also paved), which ends at NC 215. Turn right (north), go 2.6 miles to FS 140 on right. Proceed as above.


Day Hiking