The double waterfall Soco Falls is very easy to reach and view as it is almost roadside.
Just off Highway 19, as you pass the Blue Ridge Parkway and enter into the Cherokee Indian Reservation, is the beautiful double waterfall – Soco Falls. This somewhat hidden gem off the highway is practically roadside and can be easily viewed via a very short walk, less than 5 minutes, down a trail that leads to a large viewing platform.
Soco Falls is located about 1.3 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at Soco Gap. If you approach from the Blue Ridge Parkway side, you will see a small blue sign for Soco Falls just before you reach the falls but the parking area doesn’t have any signage. You just have to look for a pull-off with a guardrail and a fence; there is a small trail leading off to the waterfalls just behind the guardrail. It isn’t a huge parking area and can easily become full on crowded days. It is also located at a curve in the road so be careful when pulling in or away from the area.
Soco Falls is only about 10 minutes from downtown Maggie Valley North Carolina or 20 minutes from Cherokee North Carolina. There are no restroom facilities at Soco Falls.
The short walk to the falls begins on the uphill side of the parking area on a trail that forms at a break in the guardrail. The falls are very close and you will likely hear the sound of the falls in the background as soon as you step out of your car and the entire walk down to the viewing platform. The trail is nicely maintained and is a moderate downhill walk with steps present at the steepest points. In just a few minutes you will arrive at a large, nicely constructed and family friendly viewing platform that provides a great view of the double waterfall – Soco Falls.
The view is perfect from this elevated perspective however during the Spring and Summer, when there are many leaves on the trees, it might be difficult to get a good view of the shorter waterfall to the left.
There is a short steep trail that leads down to the base of the falls but it is definitely not easy. It starts at the wooded path leading to the platform and goes sharply down to the base of the falls. There are usually ropes present to help with the decent which remains muddy and slippery from the mist and spray of the falls. If you attempt to make it down to the base, do be careful , take your time and make use of the ropes.
From the base of the falls you can clearly see both waterfalls as Soco Creek splits and forms two gorgeous cascades. The base of the falls, is as you would expect, wonderfully loud and constantly wet because the falls produce a large amount of mist.
Whether you choose to view Soco Falls from the lower base perspective or just from the upper platform, you will not to be disappointed with your decision to take a few minutes to stop along the roadside and check out these beautiful falls inside the Cherokee Reservation.
When you have finished enjoying Soco Falls, walk back up the short trail to the parking area. Be safe as you pull back out onto the highway.