Hike to Courthouse Falls
North Carolina › Summey Cove Trail
Added by Nathan Szwarc
A picturesque waterfall that is reached by a short yet really nice trail. The waterfall is a cool swimming hole in the summer and a great place to see some wonderful fall foliage in the fall.
First off, I want to say although the road is gravel it is accessible for 2WD cars you do not need a 4WD car to access this hike. The trail begins just over the bridge that crosses Panther Branch Creek. Just over the bridge there is a pullout where you can park that should fit at least 3 cars. The trail then is just right across from you on the right side of the bridge and is labeled Summey Cove Trail. The initial section is flat within no elevation change. around .25 miles in you will take a sharp left down a trail split off. All though it is un-marked two large stones mark the descending trail that goes to the waterfall. The remaining short descent is very easy as most of it is nicely done stairs that will lead you all the way to the base of the waterfall. Recently a large hemlock crashed around the base of the falls so I would suggest a wider angle lens if so you are able to go over the hemlock and still get a full shot of the falls. The trail is spectacular in the fall with the colors and also a great place to take a dip on a warm day. To return simply follow the path out back up the stairs and return on the same trail. As always make sure to pack out any trash and enjoy the trail.
- Appropriate Hiking Shoes (Trail is usually wet)
- Bathing suit (if swimming)
- Day pack
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The hike is fairly short and the waterfall is beautiful! There's a swimming hole, too. It was too cold to get in when I went to this fall. There's also free, primitive camp sites along the gravel road towards this waterfall. That's where I camped the night before hiking to this waterfall.
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