A short North Carolina waterfall that is very popular due to the natural beauty of the area and large swimming hole just below the falls.
In the remote and rugged Wilson Creek area of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest is the short waterfall and swimming hole – Hunt Fish Falls. While the waterfall isn’t very high, only about 10ft total, it is big on beauty due to the large swimming hole just below the falls and cascade below. There is also a large rock area that provides plenty of room for hanging out and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. This popular spot is accessed via a short and moderate hike that is about 1 mile to the falls.
The trailhead to Hunt Fish Falls is located on the unpaved Pineola Road near the town of Linville North Carolina. The trailhead is somewhat remote and requires an extended drive on unpaved roads to reach it ; however the roads are generally in very good condition and shouldn’t be a problem for most vehicles to navigate. It is also a very beautiful area and an absolute joy to drive through. If you approach from the West, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the unpaved portion will be a little over 6 miles. If you approach from the South, the Morganton side, you will drive on unpaved roads for about 12 miles. The parking area for the trail is well marked and should be easy to spot off Pineola Road. Hunt Fish Falls is about 1 hour from Morganton North Carolina. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead.
The trail starts at the marked trailhead on the east side of the parking area. It is mostly a downhill hike and is marked with yellow blazes and, since it borrows a section of the Mountains to Sea trail, it is also marked with white blazes. The trail is easy to follow and wanders through the forest working its way down to the falls. When the trail crosses over a small creek, you are almost there. The trail will level off a bit as you parallel the creek briefly. It then turns back into the forest descending again down to the creek just above the falls.
You will most likely hear Hunt Fish Falls in the distance as the trail briefly parallels the creek. Very quickly you will be at the top of the falls. You can enjoy the view here or continue about 100ft on the trail to the swimming hole and large rock area just below falls. The trail does cross over a small creek just as you enter the rock slab. Be mindful of wet and slippery areas of the rock as you cross over the creek. If the flow is good on the creek, you should be treated to an additional waterfall just upstream from the crossing.
Once you are on the large rocky area, you should have no problem finding a spot to sit back and enjoy the beautiful Hunt Fish Falls and the gorgeous scenery that surrounds it. On most summer days, there will probably be people enjoying the crystal clear waters in the swimming hole just below the falls. The sandy bottom and gentle slope into the pool make it a very popular spot. However you choose to enjoy Hunt Fish Falls, be safe and savor the moment.
This is an out and back hike so when you have finished at the falls, hike safely back uphill to the parking area.