Type of Adventure: Hiking (very short)
Total Distance Hiked: 0.1 mile
Those in Attendance: Evan Grady, Travis Auman
Location: US Hwy 19, Maggie Valley
Parking: 35.492819, -83.169711
This is a must see if you are in the area, and I guarantee this easily accessible waterfall will exceed your expectations.
Soco Falls is a 30′ double waterfall along US Hwy 19 between Maggie Valley and Cherokee. There is a gravel pull off on the side of the road with a trail down to a viewing platform just a few hundred feet from the road.
The short trail down the hill is well maintained, and the view from the observation platform is beautiful (see below). However, if you want to get closer to the falls, there is a bit more of a precarious trail from here.
Soco Falls can be easily viewed from the observation deck just a few hundred feet from the road.
If you decide to explore further down the trail, it can get a bit tricky. At present, someone has tied several strands of rope from tree to tree along the steep and slick trail. I decided to use trees and roots at handholds rather than to trust my weight to the old weathered rope and someone else’s knot tying.
The last section of the short trail is very slick, because it is almost always wet due to the mist and splashing water from the falls as well as the heavy foot traffic. Be careful hear or you will get muddy.
Also, as a word of caution do not walk in the creeks above the waterfall. Several people have been killed here from slipping and falling.
One last thought. As with many “roadside attractions” such as this one, they get littered with drink bottles and snack wrappers by people who just don’t care about the environment. So, as if it even has to be said, dump your trash in the trash cans at the pull off. There is a reason they are there.