Horsepasture River Trail

Picture of Turtleback Falls (also called Umbrella Falls) on the Hosepasture River in North Carolina

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 6/21/97

Length: 4.6 miles

Type: backtrack

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 4

Blaze: none

Main Features: 5 waterfalls -- Drift Falls, Stairway Falls, Turtleback Falls, Rainbow Falls, Windy Falls

Animals: chickadees, mockingbird, cardinals, chipmunk

Location: NC-281, North Carolina (near Sapphire)

Driving south on NC-281, park on one of the wide shoulders 1.8 miles south of the intersection with highway 64. Driving north on highway 130 in South Carolina, the parking shoulders are 0.3 miles past the Horsepasture River bridge and 7.1 miles past the North Carolina state line.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Descend 850 feet from NC-281 to river level below Windy Falls
Total Ascent: 850 feet

0.0 park on shoulder of NC-281
step over guard rail and carefully climb down one of the steep paths to the river
(the many paths are neither graded nor maintained)
0.1 Drift Falls
0.4 Turtleback Falls (also called Umbrella Falls)
0.6 Rainbow Falls
(trail becomes rough)
1.4 Stairway Falls
(trail disappears completely, progress becomes difficult)
2.2 Windy Falls (top)
2.3 river level just beyond falls


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