Exploring Hunt Fish Falls on Lost Cove Creek

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 If you make a right turn onto Old Jonas Ridge Road off The Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Linville, and only a few miles south of Grandfather Mountain, the first thing you see is a giant Christmas tree farm. What I found unusual was the large number of Colorado Blue Spruce growing there. Most of these farms grow the popular Fraser Fir, and it was refreshing to see something new! After a couple of miles, you turn onto a gravel one lane forest road, and wind your way about six miles along the ridge, moving deeper into a thick forest.  With the windows down, you feel the 65 degree air, cooled by a recent passing thunder storm. Your destination is a small parking area at the Trailhead of a steep path that will take you down through thickets of Carolina Rhododendron in full bloom.

Moss covers the rocks, and water from small springs along the trail keeps the dirt wet, but the further down you hike, the more wild rhododendron you see.

After descending for 30 minutes, you come to a creek fed from a steep series of small falls. A bridge of stone takes you over the creek, and you immediately hear the roar of a waterfall in the distance.

Another ten minutes along the steepest part of the trail, and you arrive at Lost Cove Creek. The falls are just downstream.

As you climb over rocks and old logs along the creek, you suddenly are face to face with a grotto and pool being fed by two falls. This is Hunt Fish Falls. It takes your breath away, and makes the one mile hike down the mountain well worth the strenuous effort.

Carefully finding the dry places to walk, you move over the ancient, erosion worn rock until you are below the second falls on the edge of an incredible swimming hole!

Carefully climbing back up onto the giant rock, you are close enough to the falls to feel the cold rush of wind created by the falling water, and the sound is loud.

After spending an hour in the grotto, it’s time for your daily workout, and the one mile climb back up the steep mountainside along the narrow muddy trail is better than any trip to the gym. Driving the eight miles back up the gravel road, you are back at the tree farm, and the drive south along The Parkway in the almost cold late afternoon air with the windows open makes for a well earned refreshing reward for a hike to Hunt Fish Falls.

Check out this short video made around the falls. The music alone is worth it. It’s the banjo great, Bella Fleck, violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, and cello legend Yo Yo Ma. http://youtu.be/iX8kstXx2LY

16 thoughts on “Exploring Hunt Fish Falls on Lost Cove Creek

    • Vann–

      Beautiful pictures. I now live half a year in the North Carolina mountains. Up at 4,000 feet, overlooking mountain tops. You have captured this bit of heaven perfectly. Consider writing to “Our State” magazine and offering them, with an essay. You will find Our State on the web.

      Best, Carol Weber (now Thomas)

      • Dear Carol… How sweet of your to write. Where do you live? Sounds like Banner Elk or Highlands. I have written to Our STate a number of time, both with my essays and my photos, and they are yet to answer me. Very discouraging. I read their magazine, and I wonder why they don’t take my work seriously…. Can you tell how much I love this place???? Vann

    • Dear Sharon, You are so sweet to send me your kind comments. I love exploring these unusual places, and effort to do that makes it all so worthwhile… Hope you’re well. Where is your next trip? Vann

  1. How refreshing the hike to the falls must have been-beautiful!! My son & his family will have to try that hike next time they are in that area. So enjoyed my virtual hike-its so muggy here in Miami with all this rain, just looking at your pictures perks me up! Would just love the smells from the Christmas trees, went to a small one several years ago, loved it

    • Edwina, You’re so sweet to stay in touch. Your encouraging comments motivate me to explore more. I’ll be buying two of those Blue SPruces for my house. Love that tree…. Vann

  2. I remember the Christmas Tree Farm the day we were heading back from Linville Gorge. That side trail is magnificent.

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