If you’re in the Davidson River vicinity of the national forest, drive to Gloucester Gap, which is on FR 475 some 6.05 miles from US 276. From the gap, take FR 471 (Catheys Creek Road) for 4.8 miles to a tiny pullout on the left 0.2 mile beyond where the road crosses Catheys Creek. You’ll pass the trailhead for Kuykendall Falls on the way.
To get here from downtown Brevard, drive 3.3 miles west on US 64, turn right at the sign for Kuykendall Group Camp, make an immediate left on Catheys Creek Road, and drive 3.2 miles to the pullout. Catheys Creek Road is unpaved after 0.7 mile.
Follow the obvious path down from the road to the base of the falls. The path is steep but short.
The 1938 publication Scenic Resources of the Tennessee Valley got a little carried away when it stated, “Perhaps the most beautiful waterfalls in this part of Pisgah Forest occur along a section of Catheys Creek.” Catheys Creek Falls is scenic, for sure, but I wouldn’t rate it higher than some others in the area. In the authors’ defense, outsiders knew about few of the region’s waterfalls in 1938.
In all the times I’ve visited this waterfall since the early 1990s, I’ve rarely seen it clear of downfall, and trees have always been lodged at the downstream edge of the pool. Immediately below the pool is another waterfall. It’s tiny compared to the main falls. On the far side of the pool there is a sandy beach, somewhat of a rarity for western North Carolina waterfalls.
According to Jim Bob Tinsley in The Land of Waterfalls, the creek and falls were named for George Cathey, a captain in the Revolutionary War who was awarded land in the area for his service.