Briefcase Falls

Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lens at 24mm, f/11, 3 seconds, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

Beauty Rating:
Trail and bushwhack
Tributary of Hungry River
River Basin:
Very small
1,700 feet
Type and Height:
Steep sliding cascade about 15 feet high
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Cliffield Mountain
Hike Distance:
About 250 yards
Hike Difficulty:
Photo Rating:
Waterfall GPS:
Trailhead GPS:
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Driving Directions

The trailhead is the same as for Case Falls and Lower Falls on Hungry River. South of Hendersonville, take Exit 53 off I-26 onto Upward Road. Head east (away from Hendersonville) on Upward Road for 1.6 miles and turn right on Big Hungry Road (SR 1802). The road forks at 0.5 mile; stay left to remain on Big Hungry Road. Continue 0.25 mile to another fork and bear right. From this fork, drive 0.5 mile and turn right on Gallimore Road (SR 1956). Follow the road 0.6 mile to the turnaround at the end.

The trailhead is the access for kayakers running The Narrows on the Green River, and as such it can get crowded. A gated parking area is on the right, but it’s for those who pay an annual fee. It’s okay for non-kayakers to park at the turnaround, but if you have a kayak or canoe rack on your vehicle you’re taking a chance. Boaters are allowed to park only in the paid parking area.

Hike Description

Take the old road directly opposite the kayaker parking lot. (Do not cross the creek beyond the turnaround.) Go about 100 yards to where the road swings left around a ridge, then strike out through the woods on the right. You’ll quickly hear the sound of falling water, which will likely be Case Falls. If you visit it first, Briefcase Falls is a very short distance downstream. However, to reach the base safely and in the easiest manner, you need to climb back up the slope a bit to swing away from the creek, then work your way back down. If you’re only going to Briefcase Falls, don’t go straight toward the sound of falling water. Go a bit to the left so you come out at the creek farther downstream.


While not anything to plan a vacation around, Briefcase Falls is a pretty little falls that makes a nice addition to an outing that takes in Case Falls and the two nearby waterfalls on Hungry River. Add Emily Falls and you have a terrific outing of a few hours that takes in 5 waterfalls. The bushwhack to Briefcase is relatively easy as bushwhacks go, but watch out for the poison ivy that grows abundantly all over these woods.

There’s a smaller waterfall a short distance downstream. You can easily see the brink of it from the base of Briefcase. You might not think it’s really worth the extra effort, though. One possible strategy would be to climb down to it (easier to climb back up the bank and swing around), then continue following the creek downstream a short distance to Hungry River. Head upstream on Hungry and you should be able to pick up a path that leads all the way up to the lower waterfall at the old dam site. From there, you can follow the road back to finish the loop.