Twin Falls

Twin Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens at 17mm, f/13, 3 seconds, ISO 200, polarizing filter. This is the left twin, the one of Henry Branch.

Beauty Rating:
Henry Branch and tributary
River Basin:
French Broad
Very small
3,000 feet
Type and Height:
Two falls consisting of sheer drops and cascades; left falls is about 80 feet and the right about 60 feet
Pisgah National Forest, Pisgah Ranger District
Shining Rock
Hike Distance:
2 miles
Hike Difficulty:
Photo Rating:
Left twin, 340°; right twin, 50°
Waterfall GPS:
Left Twin Falls:  N35.33618, W-82.76004
Right Twin Falls:  N35.33622, W-82.75941
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

From the junction of US 64, US 276, and NC 280 in Brevard, drive north on US 276 for 2.2 miles to FR 477 (Avery Creek Road), on the right. Follow this gravel road for 2.3 miles to a small pullout on the right. Avery Creek Trail begins here. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can get here by taking US 276 south for 4.05 miles and turning left on the upper end of FR 477. Follow it 4.95 miles to the trailhead.

Hike Description

Hike to Avery Creek Falls and continue past the falls on Avery Creek Trail. You’ll cross a side stream on a foot log in less than 0.1 mile. In another 0.15 mile, you’ll cross Avery Creek on a foot log. About 0.1 mile from the crossing, you’ll come to a junction with Buckhorn Gap Trail. To the left, the trail leads to FR 477 at a point 0.25 mile from the Avery Creek trailhead. Go right, following the combined Avery Creek Trail and Buckhorn Gap Trail.

In a few yards, you’ll come to a ford of Avery Creek. Don’t cross here unless you’re a horse. In a little more than 0.1 mile, you’ll come to a junction where Avery Creek Trail continues upstream and Buckhorn Gap Trail (your route) turns right and crosses Avery Creek on a foot log. On the other side of the creek, a horse trail comes in from the right. Turn left and head upstream. In about 0.2 mile, you’ll reach a horse ford over Henry Branch, but you can continue upstream to cross on a foot log. In a little over 0.4 mile, you’ll reach the junction with Twin Falls Trail, which turns left. Along the way, you’ll cross Henry Branch three more times on foot logs and cross a side stream just before the trail junction.

Turn left on Twin Falls Trail. In a few feet, you’ll cross Henry Branch yet again on a foot log. After 0.3 mile, you’ll cross a small branch and reach a side trail on the left. The side trail leads about 150 yards to a waterfall dropping over the rock cliff. The creek normally doesn’t have enough flow to make a good waterfall, but the falls is appealing after a heavy rain.
Continuing on the main trail, it is 150 feet to a campsite. In winter, you can easily see Twin Falls from here. A path leads from the campsite to the waterfall on the left on Henry Branch, then swings around to the waterfall on the tributary.

On the return, you can do a loop of the upper portion of the hike by crossing Henry Branch at the campsite and following the trail downstream to the lower junction with Twin Falls Trail. Along the way, you’ll pass a horse-hitching rack where Buckhorn Gap Trail turns left. You’ll want to continue straight.


It would be hard to find a better spring hike in the North Carolina mountains. Wildflowers abound along much of the trail in April and early May. The slopes around both of the Twin Falls and the small nearby falls are rich in a variety of species. When you factor in the waterfalls and scenic open woodlands, this hike is about as good as it gets.

The two waterfalls that make Twin Falls are not impressive in themselves. Both usually have downfall on them and need a good water flow to look their best.

Be careful if you scramble around the falls to try to get close to the base, particularly in the case of the falls on the right. There isn’t a good path on the steep slopes, and the rich soil is easily disturbed. The view from downstream is just as good anyway.