I didn’t have very high expectations for Soco Falls. I was using the book “North Carolina Waterfalls” by Kevin Adams to find waterfall candidates. In 2005, he did not have anything particularly good to say about the falls. It is different now! And I think it’s possible that his comments could have spurred the changes (or the changes were already in motion). Either way, it’s definitely a good thing!
The most difficult part is finding the falls. Even that has somewhat improved. There are now signs in both directions, approximately 0.5 miles before the falls. If headed west along US-19, though, it is extremely easy to miss the parking area, even after seeing the sign indicating the distance. There is now a sign at the parking area but it cannot be seen coming from that direction. The sign for the parking area can be seen if headed east (from Cherokee). It was difficult to turn around, but I did, and it was worth it.
The hike to the falls is simple. The trail starts at a split between two metal barriers. It heads downhill pretty quickly, but is very manageable. There are rocks strategically placed to help with footing. After a tenth of a mile or so (if that), you’ll reach the wood boardwalk, which leads to a great view of the falls. The trail to the base of the falls was blocked with yellow rope, so I didn’t proceed to the base of the falls. This is a very beautiful waterfall, and it just so happened to be raining today. The falls were impressive! (They also seem to be cleaner now.)
- The parking area for Soco Falls is found approximately 1.5 miles west from the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and US-19. As I said, if you are headed west, you will see a sign indicating 0.5 miles to Soco Falls (in blue), but then it is very easy to miss the parking area.
- If heading east from Cherokee along US-19, you will see both the first sign (0.5 miles ahead), and the blue sign at the parking area.
- From the parking area, head down the trail to the falls!
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 35′ (main drop)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Soco Falls?