Skip to Content

Sign Up For the Jackson County Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Rufus Morgan Falls

One of North Carolina’s most beautiful wildflower trails, the hike to Rufus Morgan Falls is best trekked during the second half of April.

The falls itself is named for Albert “Uncle Rufus” Morgan, a poet, conservationist, Episcopal priest, and dedicated hiker who maintained a large chunk of the Appalachian Trail up until his death in 1983 at age 97. While this waterfall pays homage to a Smoky Mountains legend, its narrow chute, partially-hidden by surrounding tree trunks, makes it rather difficult to photograph—see if you’re up for the challenge. Fed by Left Prong Rough Fork, it features a steep, cascading slide standing at 65 feet high.

Contact Information

Get Directions 35.14283, -83.54793
Photo of Rufus Morgan Falls

Get Directions to Rufus Morgan Falls

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Hike Description

The trail leading from the parking area is easily followed. You’ll climb via switchbacks and follow a small drainage for a short distance before crossing the branch and swinging around to cross Left Prong at 0.4 mile. After crossing, you’ll climb alongside a small sliding waterfall. The trail swings away from the creek and climbs to a sharp switchback at a junction. Turn right and climb 85 yards to the base of the falls.

On the way back, you can take the trail to the left at the junction to make this a loop hike. The trail comes out on FR 388 on the other side of Left Prong from the trailhead.

If you hike to the falls in reverse manner from the above description, you’ll cross the creek on the road, then follow the trail a few feet to a fork. The right fork follows the creek upstream. Take the left fork to reach the falls.

Trails and Waterfalls can be dangerous; take no chances, only photos for memories. Read our Safety and Insider tips to have a safe, fun and enjoyable trip to Jackson County.

Leave No Trace — Seven Principles

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For more details, visit www.lnt.org
©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Discover Jackson County


Get our FREE visitor guide! Download now!  

Receive Jackson County News

Sign up to receive Jackson County news in your inbox!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting your name and email address, you agree to our terms and conditions.