Lower Falls on Hungry River Highly recommended waterfall for everyone!

Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lenms at 24mm, f/16, 1/8 second, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

Beauty Rating:
Hungry River
River Basin:
1,660 feert
Type and Height:
Sliding cascade about 15 feet high
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Cliffield Mountain
Hike Distance:
A little over 0.4 mile
Hike Difficulty:
Photo Rating:
Waterfall GPS:
Trailhead GPS:
Google Earth Waterfall Download View waterfall on Google Earth. Link is for a Google Earth file. Click file after download and Google Earth will open and fly to the waterfall. Don't have Google Earth on your computer?

Driving Directions

The trailhead is the same as for Briefcase Falls and Case Falls. 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.) The road leads directly to the falls. To reach the base, bear right off the road just as it starts to ascend. A path leads about 100 yards up to the falls.


Prior to 2015, I would not have recommended this waterfall. An old dam stretched across the top of the falls, backing up sediment and creating horrendous log jams. It wasn’t a pleasant site. The dam came down in 1915, an effort by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The removal not only restored the scenic qualities of the falls, but more important, it restored the natural river flow, improving the riverine ecosystem for the flora and fauna that depend on it. It also enhanced the recreational experience for fishers and paddlers.

As best as I can determine, the dam was built in 1913, two years after the upper dam was constructed. (See Upper waterfall on Hungry River.) The dam structure was entirely removed, but the concrete walls of the old powerhouse still stand. Rusty metal components remain in the structure, with trees growing among them.

Among the finest waterfall play sites around, the waterfall features a large, flattish rock area for lounging, a deep, turbulent plunge pool, and a calm pool a short distance downstream that has a sandy beach. There’s something here for all levels of adventure seekers, as well as for history buffs and just plain waterfall lovers.

Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lenms at 17m, f/11, 1/8 second, ISO 64, polarizing filter. This view shows the old powerhouse beside the waterfall.

Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lenms at 24m, f/22, 2 seconds, ISO 200, polarizing filter. This is the view from inside the old powerhouse. I shot two photos, one for the waterfall and one for the window, and blended them together.

View inside the old powerhouse. Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lenms at 17m, f/16, 0.4 second, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

View inside the old powerhouse. Nikon D850, Nikon 17-35mm lenms at 24mm, f/16, 3 seconds, ISO 200, polarizing filter.