Numerous routes lead to the trailhead whether you’re coming from NC 181, Edgemont, or the Blue Ridge Parkway. I’ll give directions from the parkway, which is how most people get here. Study a road map for other routes.
At Milepost 311.3 of the parkway (0.9 mile north of NC 181 and 5.9 miles south of US 221), turn south onto the gravel SR 1518 (unsigned at my last visit). Follow the road 1.7 miles to a fork; a church is on the left. Go left on the gravel FR 464 (Edgemont Road). After 6.2 miles, you’ll come to a parking area on the left. Before reaching it, you’ll pass FR 58 and the trailheads for Upper Little Lost Cove Falls, Little Lost Cove Falls, and Bard Falls.
Hunt Fish Falls Trail (#263) starts from the right side of the parking area and descends to Lost Cove Creek on a mostly moderate grade that becomes a little steep toward the end. The trail meets Lost Cove Trail (#262) near the top of the falls. Turn right and go a few hundred feet to a crossing of a side stream—the one you followed a bit on the way down. From here, you can walk out on the falls or continue a short distance to the base. However, if the rock is wet, it may not be safe to walk out to the falls.
Although Hunt Fish Falls won’t win awards for beauty or size when compared to some others nearby, it provides a wonderful destination for day hikers, particularly in warm weather. You won’t find a better sunning and swimming area in the mountains. On hot summer weekends, you can expect some company.
Lost Cove Trail continues following Lost Cove Creek downstream, then follows Gragg Prong upstream, passing several waterfalls along the way (see the entries for Middle Gragg Prong Falls and Gragg Prong Falls). Numerous backpacking and day-hiking opportunities exist for those using this and connecting trails. This region is within the proposed Lost Cove Wilderness Area.