Granny Burrell Falls

A short waterfall and long cascade at the end of a kid friendly hike inside the Pathertown Valley.

Panthertown Valley, of the Nantahala National Forest, has a number of beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout the valley. On this episode we are going to explore one of the falls that is easy to reach and is a great family friendly hike – Granny Burrell Falls. At only about 15ft in height, it isn’t the tallest waterfall around, however, it usually has good flow and the shape and long slope of this cascade make for a beautiful waterfall. There is also a calm and picturesque pool at the base of the falls that make it a nice spot to relax. The hike to this beauty is just over a mile in length.

The trailhead for Granny Burrell Falls is located at the West end parking area at the end of Breedlove Road near Cashiers North Carolina. As you approach, you will follow Breedlove road until it ends at a short gravel road that leads to the moderately sized parking area. The trailhead is about 20 minutes from Cashiers. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead.

You start this hike on the marked Panthertown Valley trail which begins to the right of the signboard in the corner of the parking area. Before heading out, be sure to check out the signboard for any trail updates or alerts. The Panthertown Valley has a complex network of trails and there are a couple of different ways you can reach Granny Burrell Falls. We will explain the easiest and most direct route.

Hike downhill on the Panthertown Valley trail for just over 1/2 a mile to the intersection with the Deep Gap Trail. Along the way, you will pass by an overlook at Salt Rock Gap which is worth checking out for excellent views of the valley below. When you reach the fork at Deep Gap Trail, head left.

Continue downhill for about another quarter mile until you reach a four-way intersection. From here you will turn right on the marked Mac’s Gap trail. You will follow Mac’s Gap trail for another quarter mile until you intersect the marked Granny Burrell Falls trail; just after crossing a wooden bridge. Mac’s Gap, for the most part, is generally easy to follow but it did become a little faint as it passed through a beautiful pine forest. In this section, the trail veers a little to the left and continues just on the other side of the pine trees.

When you encounter the intersection with the Granny Burrell Falls trail, turn right. The waterfall is only about 1/10 of a mile up the trail. With the long gentle slope at the base of the falls, there are a couple of areas you can use to view the falls. Find a spot that works for you and relax and enjoy the beautiful Granny Burrell Falls.

Remember that the wet rock on the slope will be extremely slippery. Be mindful of this as you walk along the base of the falls. During the warm Summer months you might see people trying to slide down the rocks and into the calm pool at the base of the falls.

The hike to Granny Burrell Falls is an out and back hike so when you have finished enjoying your time at the falls, hike safely back to the parking area.

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