Your Guide to Moore Cove Falls Waterfall in Brevard, NC
Moore Cove Falls is a 1.2-mile out-and-back trail in Pisgah National Forest with a waterfall.
Moore Cove Falls is a 1.2 mile out and back trail near Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest. It’s relatively easy and leads to a small waterfall.
Moore Cove Falls Quick Facts
Trailhead location: US 276 Pisgah Forest, NC
Trail length: 1.2 mile out and back. There’s a waterfall at the turnaround point.
Difficulty: Easy (our sons started walking the trail at age 3)
Elevation change: Minimal. There are stairs at the beginning, though.
Distance from downtown Asheville: 38 miles
Drive time from downtown Asheville: 50 minutes
Trail Condition: Can be muddy after heavy rain. This is when the waterfall is most impressive. The trail is very shaded.
We typically recommend Moore Cove Falls to those looking for an easy waterfall hike near Asheville where they can immerse themselves in nature. Though it begins with a series of stairs, the trail itself is never steep and instead offers a peaceful walk along the river. It’s definitely a family-friendly hike and you’ll often see kids of all ages on the trail.
Directions to Moore Cove Falls trailhead
The trail is located in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard along Pisgah Highway (Highway 276.)
If driving from downtown Asheville, you can either take 151 S through Candler or 280 through Mills River.
Speaking of 280, our day trip itinerary from Asheville to Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway uses this route. This loop drives right by the trailhead.
Parking at Moore Cove Falls
Parking at the trailhead can fill up. In the past, we have arrived by 9 or 10 am and there are typically a ton of cars there already. Despite that, the trail itself never feels crowded.
If coming from Pisgah Forest, NC, you’ll see a designated parking area as you arrive and you should be able to pull over. You’ll park by the river and then cross this river by foot at the trailhead. Be careful when driving up because there are often people near the cars and walking around. Drive up slowly!
If the parking area is full, go past the entrance and over the iconic bridge and park along the road there. You’ll have to walk across the bridge, though, so be careful! The road can get busy and people will often drive really fast on it.
Hiking The Moore Cove Falls Trail
Moore Cove Falls is a well-maintained, relatively easy hike with a great waterfall about 0.6 miles in. The trail is not too strenuous, though it has a few moderate inclines.
It typically takes us around 25 minutes to get to the waterfall (the turnaround point) with our kids. Our oldest (5) walks and we carry our youngest in this backpack carrier. It’s not a top-of-the-line carrier, but it’s cost-effective and great for shorter hikes.
The Waterfall at Moore Cove Falls
While it’s not as intense as the impressive Looking Glass Falls, the 50-foot waterfall at the end of the trail is actually quite nice and peaceful. The rocks behind it are curved a bit and create a pretty cool gap behind the falls.
While it may look inviting, it is not advised to walk behind the waterfall. The wet rocks are slippery. You should also not attempt to hike to the top of the falls. Not only is this dangerous, but you can cause significant environmental impact.
The waterfall’s flow depends on recent rains, so it can get pretty dry when we haven’t had any in a while. Because it’s not a very powerful waterfall, you can even sit pretty close to it and relax without getting too wet. Just go at your own risk and follow all posted signage.
There’s a small creek there where the waterfall hits. You’ll typically find people having a snack and water break since this is where the trail ends.
Frequently Asked Questions
The trail is 1.2 miles roundtrip. It’s a relatively easy hike with a great waterfall about 0.6 miles in.
Parking for the trail is along the road just before you get to the trailhead if coming from the Brevard entrance to the forest.
No, there is not a dedicated swim area here. You can definitely splash along the rocks there, though.
No, there are no restrooms at the trail. However, there is one at Sycamore Flats and another at Coon Tree Picnic area just a few miles away.