John’s Jump Falls

A short waterfall that is only about 100ft off Highway 281 in North Carolina. Very beautiful!

In the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina, Just off Highway 281 and a few minutes North of the South Carolina border, is the short and pretty waterfall known as John’s Jump Falls. This 25 foot beauty is just about 100 feet off the road but isn’t well marked, so very few people know it is there. However, the trail, is a bit steep so this hike is not for everyone; but for the responsible hiker the ease of reaching this hidden gem is worth a stop if you are in the area.

Reaching John’s Jump Falls is easy as it is just off Highway 281 about 4 miles south of the entrance to Gorges State Park or 4 miles north of the border of South Carolina. The trailhead or parking area is not marked but it is the large grass area on the east side of the road just north of Whitewater Church Road. The grass area is quite large and typically has plenty of space for parking completely off the busy highway. John’s Jump Falls is about 75 minutes from Asheville North Carolina or Greenville South Carolina. There are no restroom facilities on site.

The trail down to the falls is on the north side of the grass parking area just to the right of the telephone pole. It isn’t marked but look for an obvious trail leading north and into the woods. As you start, you should be able to hear the falls in the distance.

The trail stays flat for just a short distance before starting a steep climb down to the falls. It will switch back and forth a few times as the trail wanders down the ridge. It won’t be very long until you see John’s Jump Falls through the brush.

The trail will put you right at the base of the falls where there is a shallow and, usually, calm pool. If the water isn’t too high there may also be a sandy shore you can relax on for the best views of the waterfall.

John’s Jump Falls is only about 25 feet high and may have limited water flow if there hasn’t been a lot of recent rainfall. It can be very beautiful under the right conditions and is always worth checking out if you are in the area enjoying any other attractions.

When you have finished enjoying the falls, hike safely back up the hill to the parking area.

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