This is one of the most beautiful falls in our region, and while it's a short hike from the parking area, it's actually one of the toughest falls to view. The half-mile hike is extremely steep and often very slippery. Many people have been seriously injured attempting to view these falls. You don't so much hike to the falls as you actually climb down to them -- no steps here, just rocks and tree stumps to hold onto. So while it's an amazing waterfall, this trip isn't for everyone. (I don't even bring my dog to this one!) Take your time and use caution and common sense -- for instance, wear shoes with ankle support and stay off the slippery rocks at the top of the falls! If you aren't able to visit, take a look at more of my pictures. Red Fork Falls is actually a series of eight falls. The first three photos here show various views of the main 60' waterfall. The final photo is the corkscrew that the water enters immediately after the main falls -- the water enters from the right and zig-zags through the narrow channel to another cascade. It's an amazing place to visit -- but with all the climbing, you'll be sore the next day or two!
Directions: From I-26 take the Unicoi exit (#32). At the end of exit ramp turn east towards town. At the stop sign, turn right onto Unicoi Road (which is also known locally as the Erwin Highway) and proceed for 0.7 miles. Follow the signs pointing to the Cherokee National Forest by turning left onto Rt. 107 (Limestone Cove Road). Drive 7.8 miles, turn right on Red Fork Road (it's also referred to as Unaka Mountain Road). Proceed up the mountain for 1.2 miles to a small parking area and trail head to your right -- marked only with a big red dot on one of the trees. After a short walk down the initial part of the trail, you'll cross the creek, then turning right, you'll cross another one. Continue a short ways more and your near-vertical descent will commence!
Click here for a detailed post listing all there is to see and do on Unaka Mountain.
Before venturing out, please read my warnings, safety tips and disclaimers.